Many people find geckos incredibly adorable and amusing. They have beautiful dark eyes and come in a variety of colors.
Yet, some people find the critters off-putting. Because of their clawed feet and detachable tails, geckos get a terrible reputation.
To top it all off, there were many articles talking about how toxic these animals can be.
At this point, you may be wondering, are geckos dangerous?
If that’s the case, then we’ve got you covered with our guide. Luckily for you, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about the critters.
We’ll also discuss their behavioral patterns and temperament.
Humans and geckos have cohabitated for many years. The tiny critters made their way across the country into almost every home.
However, there are only a handful of cases where the animals caused harm to another living being. From this information, we can determine that geckos aren’t dangerous.
They can peacefully coexist with other creatures.
Although these lizards can be a tad territorial. Still, even then, they don’t pose a threat to the general population.
In this section, we’ll take a look at all the ways geckos can cause injuries. Yet, before we do that, let’s dive into the background of these critters.
Geckos are small carnivorous lizards that you can find all over the world. These critters are native to all continents except for Alaska.
There are over 1,000 different varieties of geckos. One of the most notable species is the common house gecko.
That’s the type that most of us have had run-ins with.
They are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. Plus, they have large heads, short stout bodies, and strong limbs.
At first glance, they seem tough and a bit scaly. Yet, when you examine the animals, you’ll notice they have soft skin.
This is because geckos shed the top layer of their skin almost every month.
Before you decide whether geckos are dangerous or not, you should be able to identify them. That’s because there are many other animals that share similar physical features.
One of the first characteristics you should look out for is the feet. They have toes and adhesive pads that allow them to crawl on walls and ceilings.
Other than that, they have a distinctive tongue. It has a pinkish hue and can extend all the way from the mouth to the eyes.
Finally, the nostrils are on the front of the face.
The simple answer to this question is yes, geckos have teeth. As we mentioned, these critters are carnivorous.
That means they feed on other animals like insects. In order to break through the exoskeleton that many bugs have, geckos need sharp incisors.
To make chewing easier, the animals have conical teeth on their upper and lower jaws. Although, the upper typically has more teeth.
The number of teeth a gecko has will depend on a few factors. For starters, there’s a natural tooth loss cycle that all these critters go through.
Other than that, you have to consider their eating habits. If they’re a little rough with their food, geckos can chip or lose a few teeth.
On average, a house gecko will have anywhere between 50 and 100 teeth. Yet, some species can have much more than that.
The leaf-tailed gecko has over 300 teeth.
Geckos are typically friendly creatures, but they can get defensive. If they feel threatened for any reason, they’ll switch to survival mode.
In this state, they can be a tad aggressive toward anything they view as a potential danger. That includes humans and other animals.
In that case, they can become agitated and attack. They’ll start by barking and hissing loudly to scare off the threat.
If that doesn’t do the trick, geckos will open up their mouths as far as they’ll go and jump toward the attacker.
When they make contact, the critters will bite down and hold on with all their might
Geckos have tiny teeth, but these small structures can pack quite a punch.
The conical teeth act like a group of tiny needles and can puncture through the top layers of skin. The amount of pain that inflicts will depend on the size of the gecko.
The larger the critter, the more painful its bite is.
Although size isn’t the only determining factor. A few select geckos have toxins in their saliva. These harmful chemicals can cause quite a bit of agony.
The pain will last a few minutes after the gecko lets go.
The majority of geckos aren’t poisonous or toxic. That means they shouldn’t cause any harm to your cat.
Although, there are a few instances where this can change.
For example, some species of geckos carry liver flukes. These are parasites that can make their way to a cat’s vital organs.
They can cause a lot of damage, including increasing the risk of liver and bile duct diseases. In severe cases, the flukes may even lead to the death of a cat.
So, if your pet eats a gecko, it’s crucial that you take a trip to the vet as soon as possible. More often than not, your cat should be fine, but it’s better safe than sorry.
Geckos, by nature, don’t carry any venom that’s harmful to dogs. Yet, they may be the hosts of a few different parasites that can cause a lot of damage.
For example, geckos can transmit diseases like salmonella. Sadly, this can be fatal to canines. Other than that, when a dog eats a gecko, it can develop many harmful symptoms.
- Excessive thirst
- Crossed eyes
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness and lethargy
Because of that, it’s best to keep the lizards away from your pets. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your canine to the vet immediately.
There have been many debates about whether geckos are harmful to humans or not. Some people believe that these critters are toxic.
Although, that’s not the case. Geckos don’t make any venom, but they do carry a host of parasites and other harmful microorganisms.
When ingested, these tiny creatures can lead to all sorts of diseases.
On the other hand, some people think that geckos are crucial to our survival. That’s because they mainly feed on insects like spiders and moths.
This means the lizards are an integral part of the circle of life.
Geckos are typically docile creatures that have no issues cohabitating. They’re friendly and don’t have an issue sharing resources and food.
Yet, if someone harms a gecko, it can become aggressive. The critter will begin to hiss, bark, and flail around to get away.
It may also bite, depending on the size of the lizard. While the teeth are sharp, they won’t cause that much damage.
The real fear is from getting an infection.
Even though geckos are friendly, they can be a bit territorial. When you bring the lizards into your home, they’ll spend a little time looking for the ideal spot.
They’ll keep an eye out for a warm, humid area that has access to plenty of food. Then, the geckos will perfect their spot and customize it to their needs.
As you can guess, after this time, geckos can become incredibly attached to their spots.
For that reason, the critters will do whatever it takes to protect their home. In some cases, geckos will fight and maybe even injure each other in a battle over habitat.
That’s why it’s important to provide plenty of space for your geckos.
As we mentioned, wall geckos are typically perfectly harmless. Unless you plan on eating them, they shouldn’t pose any threat.
Yet, they can munch on insects like spiders and crickets. That means they play a major role in the survival of the ecosystem.
For that reason, it’s best to leave geckos alone when you find them in your home.
However, if you have a pet, then that’s not the best way to deal with the issue. Since cats and dogs are likely to chase down the gecko and eat it, it’s best to get rid of the critter.
Are geckos dangerous? Most of the time, geckos are completely harmless to humans and animals.
They don’t produce any venom or poison that can cause pain to other creatures. However, some species produce toxins in their saliva.
While the chemicals can be painful, they shouldn’t cause any lasting damage.
The only threat geckos pose is when you ingest them. Since they can carry parasites like liver flukes, they can cause a wide array of infections.
So, if you notice your pet eating a gecko, it’s best to visit the vet as soon as possible.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.