Care of Pet House Geckos

Basic Care and Set Up

Common house geckos reach an adult length of 3-5 inches in total length and live five to ten years. Their color varies the from a yellowish tan color with darker spots or blotches in the light to a pale, grey-white; they often appear more pale at night. They also have specialized toe pads that allow them to effortlessly move along vertical surfaces and upside down.

Background

Common house geckos are native to much of southern Asia, but they've established breeding population in many other warm areas of the world.

They are thought to have become such a successful invasive species largely by hitchhiking on ships and other transport, but owners should be careful not to contribute to the problem by releasing pets.

While house geckos live in less inhabited areas as well, they are commonly found around human habitation, including the walls and ceilings of houses, which is how their name arose. They are good at keeping insect populations in check.

Housing House Geckos

A 20-gallon tall terrarium is sufficient for a couple of house geckos, but bigger is better. Keep in mind that house geckos need vertical space for climbing, so use a tall tank. Males are territorial so keep them one to a cage, but females get along.

Substrate

Use substrate for house geckos that retains moisture, such as reptile bark or shredded coconut fiber bedding.

Accessories

House geckos need room to climb--provide branches, driftwood, and silk or live plants.

They also need hiding spots such as reptile caves or small clay plant pots placed on their sides. Use enough hides to give multiple geckos space to hide from each other. Provide a small shallow water dish with fresh water daily, though they may prefer to drink from water droplets on leaves.

Temperature

Maintain a daytime temperature gradient of 75-90 F with a drop at night time to 65-75 F.

Provide heat with a ceramic heat element or reptile bulbs in a reflector, or a heat mat under the terrarium. Use white incandescent bulbs or blue reptile bulbs, but only during day time hours. At night, utilize a red night time bulb for heat.

Lighting for House Geckos

Golden geckos are nocturnal so they do not need special UV lighting. However, many experts feel providing UV lighting is still beneficial to the overall health of nocturnal animals.

Humidity

House geckos need a moderate to high humidity level; aim for 60-75 percent relative humidity which you can measure with a hygrometer. Provide humidity with regular misting; the geckos will likely drink from water droplets left from the mist.

Feeding

Feed house geckos a variety of small prey items. Crickets can make up the main part of the diet, with the addition of fruit flies and other small flies, silkworms, the occasional mealworm, and other insect prey. Gut loaded prey prior to feeding, and dust with a calcium supplement two to three times a week plus a multivitamin once a week.

Feed them in the evening; juveniles should be fed daily but adults can be fed every other day. Feed as much prey as your house gecko will consume eagerly

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