Wayne

Author Archives: Wayne

Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.

Do Lizards Eat Bed Bugs?

If you have ever had bed bugs or have them now, you will do anything to get rid of them. But are lizards the answer? That is the question that I will be answering today.

Do lizards eat bed bugs? Yes, they do bed bugs. Especially the house lizards (geckos). However, they are not a feasible pest control solution. This is because there is only so much bed bugs or other house pests that they can consume before they are full. And Bed bugs multiply at an alarming rate.

Now that you know that lizards will eat bed bugs, let us delve a bit deeper. What if you want to offer your pet lizard bed bugs, is this a good idea? what can happen to them? What other pests can they eat besides bed bugs? Let’s answer these questions now.

What is a bed bug?

Bedbugs are a type of tiny insect that typically feeds off human blood in the night. They are called bed bugs because they are usually found infesting people’s mattresses and causing irritation and bites during the night.

The bite can cause a number of different health-related issues primarily rashes, blisters or other skin related problems.

The two main species that are known for bed bugs is the well known common bug (Cimex lectularius) or Cimex Hemipterus.

Their Size

These bed bugs are quite hard to detect because they are really small. Typical size can be between 1 & 7 mm in length. As you can imagine they are very hard to see with the naked eye. Especially if you’re sleeping.

They get around by jumping onto clothing, pets or other household items. They spread by laying eggs and multiplying. If you find them in your house, it’s not necessary due to bad hygiene, it could be just because you live in a highly populated urban area.

Could You Just Have Multiple Lizards to deal With a Bed Bugs Infestation?

In reality, lizards will eat until their bellies are full and then roll over and leave the rest. You may be thinking to yourself, well if that’s the case I’ll simply have multiple lizards to deal with them. You could do this, but then you will have an infestation of lizards spreading droppings and mess all over your place. So for that reason, it is not advisable.

What are the dangers of feeding lizards bed bugs?

If your lizard is left to fend for itself in your house primarily for pest control there is not so much of a concern. However, if you regard your lizard as a pet, then that is different.

If that is the case, it is not a good idea to feed them bed bugs. Reason being, recent research carried out in Vancouver has revealed that they can carry organisms that can lead to bacterial infections.

What other pests do household lizards eat?

You may be happy to know that house lizards do not just eat bed bugs, they will also feed on other pests that may be lurking in your home.

Rats and mice

In reality, as you can imagine, it is unlikely that a small house lizard can deal with a big rat or mouse for that matter. However, they are more than capable of dealing with their offspring. In particular their babies or newborns.

Lizards tend to hang out in dark murky places where rats and mice like to rare their young. This is an opportunity for them to snack on these young mice known as “pinkies” which are an ideal size for them.

They tend to hide in areas where they know the Offspring will be and wait for the mother to disappear before launching their attack.

Cockroaches

House lizards like to hang out in cool damp and dark areas which are ideal for cockroaches. This is ideal for them because house lizards love to snack on cockroaches.

Centipedes

Centipedes are definitely eaten by house lizards. Their wriggly movement attracts their attention and they will snap them up without any hesitation. You can expect to see them looking for centipedes.

An example of places that you may find these centipedes within a house is, for example, within wooden fixtures such as wood beams. Especially if the wood is old or worn with some signs of wood rot. Lizards will scale the walls to eat them.

Termite Swarmers

Swarmers are an adult version of termites with wings. You can often find them flying in colonies, hence the reason they earned their name “swarmers”.  If lizards are given an opportunity they will gladly lap up these delicious treats.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are one of their favorite foods. They are notorious for sticking out their tongues and devouring them.

Problems you may have using a house Lizard for pest control

If you are still considering using a Lizard as pest control, to deal with your insect infestation. Let me warn you about a couple of things.

Feces

Using a house gecko as pest control, as discussed earlier, can’t really help you. But in addition to this, there are additional undesirable effects, for example, you will start to find lizard droppings hidden behind hard to find areas that could take months to discover.

For example, you could find feces behind an old kitchen cupboard which is rarely moved. This hidden gem could be located right at the back, hard to find.

In fact, you may not notice this stinker for months or longer. Maybe you will only notice when other related problems occur. Such as flies swarming around the feces and adding to your pest problem.

Damaged household devices

You may also notice house geckos will get everywhere, even in your prized electronic devices, which could end up getting damaged.

There have been reports of a particular homeowner who found a lizard electrocuted and stuck within their printer causing it to malfunction and costing them because they had to replace it.

Related Questions:

What do house geckos eat in captivity? You will find that house geckos eat a lot of insects in captivity, such as waxworms, silkworms, and cockroaches.

To keep them happy you will need to provide these insects 5 to 6 times a week. In addition to this, you need to make sure that you provide some meal supplementation. Such as a vitamin supplement. This supplement can be quite simply dusted onto their food so that they consume it without even noticing.

However, when you offer them these insects be careful of the sizing. A general rule is, it should be no bigger than the distance between each of their eyes. This is so that they can avoid being choked.

One word of warning though, do not allow uneaten crickets to roam around inside of their enclosure. The problem is, there is a good chance that the crickets will start to bite and nibble on your house gecko and cause problems.

When it comes to their consumption of water, it is important to mist their enclosure on a daily basis. This is because they will not take water from a dish. They expect to lick the water droplets from tree branches and leaves.

Do house lizards eat spiders? Yes, they do they definitely eat spiders. However, they go one step further. they even control the spider’s food sources. As well as eating the spiders, amongst other things, you may even find them eating up the lava of wasps. This helps to control the spider’s population indirectly because they typically eat them.

Do Lizards carry salmonella? Yes, they do, such as the common house lizard. This is quite a common issue and can be spread from casual contact or even through their feces. This can even be spread from contact from the environment that they use, such as the water provided in their enclosure in captivity. For this reason, it is advisable to keep young children away from them, or at minimum, always supervised, because they have bad habits of putting things in their mouth.

Where are Veiled Chameleons from?

If you are interested in Veiled Chameleons, in particular where they come from, you are in the right place. Let me get straight to it.

Where are veiled chameleons from? The Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) is a species of the Chameleon and native to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It is also known as the conehead or Yemen Chameleon

Now that you know where the Veiled Chameleon is from. Let me explain more about them. Such as if they can be kept as pets in captivity, what they eat, what supplementation they need, lighting requirements and more.

Can a Veiled Chameleon be Kept as a Pet in Captivity?

Yes, it can and it is also quite a popular pet. For that reason, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips and details of the best practices to keep them.

What do veiled chameleons eat?

Veiled Chameleons mainly eat crickets in captivity. However, if you are going to be feeding them you need to make sure that you get the sizing correct. A general rule for most lizards is to only feed them food which is no longer than the distance between each of their eyes. The reason for this is to avoid choking.

When they are young, such as baby or juvenile, is important to feed them on a regular basis. When I say on a regular basis, I mean at least once or twice a day. However, as they get older you can reduce this frequency to every other day.

Supplementation

In addition to this, because they do not have other sources of nutrients and calcium, you will need to supplement their food. This is done by providing a calcium and vitamin supplement. This can easily be achieved by dusting the insects with the supplement.

For females, this is even more important. Because there is a good chance that they will breed during their lifetime.

Gut-loading Insects for Nutrition

To improve their nutrition, it is a good idea to also gut-load the insects that you feed them. This is done by simply pre-feeding the insects, such as crickets, with nutritional food.

The ideal food for this is:

  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Etc.

What water requirements do they have?

Clean vivarium Plants

Veiled chameleons are arboreal, which means that they live most of their lives in trees. Therefore, they do not expect to see water handed to them a water dish.

What they are used to is getting their water supply from the dew off plant leaves. To emulate this in captivity, you have to mist the leaves in their enclosure.

To achieve this simply water spray the enclosure (Misting) at least a couple of times a day to make sure that the leaves and plants are well covered.

Another option is to provide a dripping system. This dripping system will allow you to automate the misting of the leaves. Using one of these gizmos, it will drop in water on a regular basis to make sure that the leaves stay misted.

What is the ideal housing for the veiled Chameleon?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t really provide a glass terrarium for a veiled chameleon. This is mainly because of their need for ventilation.

Ideally, you should provide them with a mesh enclosure. Ideally made from PVC. You can avoid the metal or fiberglass versions PVC is adequate.

Verticle Enclosure Is a Must

Whatever you choose just make sure that it is a vertical enclosure. This is because chameleons really like to climb. So, a vertical enclosure is an absolute must.

The ideal size of this enclosure is 36x24x36, but obviously the larger (or taller) you can get it the better.

You can also consider providing an outdoor enclosure for your chameleon. However, if you do this, you need to make sure that they do not get overheated. So you will need to regulate the temperature to ensure that this is not a problem for them.

Cleaning, maintenance and substrate requirements

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the enclosure are very important. If you neglect to do this, you could notice bacteria and mold growing in the enclosure. This can lead to unfortunate health conditions.

To help make cleaning and maintenance easier it is recommended to use newspaper or paper towel substrate.

However, you should avoid using wood chips or any other particle-based substrate. This is because they could easily be ingested by your chameleon and cause impaction or any other related health conditions.

Plants and accessories

To keep them happy make sure that you have a good supply of plants and climbing branches. Just make sure that they are non-toxic. You can also consider artificial plants & vines if you do not want to invest in natural ones.

In addition to this make sure that there is a good selection of branches at different levels. As discussed earlier, the chameleons like to climb.

Heating and lighting requirements?

Chameleons require two forms of lighting:

  • Heat source
  • UVB light

Heat Source

It is important to provide a heat bulb in a basking area with incandescent fixtures. However, you should avoid heat rocks or tape. Or any other similar heating items.

UVB Lighting

As discussed earlier they also need UVB lighting. This is important because it helps them absorb calcium and avoid health conditions such as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), caused by calcium deficiency.

If you are in the position to provide natural sunlight then this is obviously preferred but in captivity, this is usually not possible.

One thing to note, these UVB lighting tubes cannot penetrate glass. So, you need to position the UVB lighting at the top of the enclosure with the nearest perch approximately 6 to 8 inches away.

To maintain these UVB bulbs you need to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and change them on a regular basis. This is because they can be deceiving at times. Even if they still show a form of light, it may not be providing UVB rays, which is the whole purpose of the tube.

It is also important to provide gradient lighting inside the enclosure

This means that you have a contrast of a cool area and a basking area in the ambient area you would best to provide the temperature of approximately 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the basking area, you need to provide a temperature of at least 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is best produced by having a heating lamp approximately 6 to 8 inches away from a Perch in the enclosure.

Related Questions:

How Big do Veiled Chameleons Get? The adult male can grow up to 2 feet in length. The female is typically smaller at 18 inches. Their hatchlings are usually anywhere from 3 to 4 inches in length. They are one of the biggest Chameleon species.

Is a Veiled Chameleon Similar to Piebald? Yes, a Piebald Chameleon is effectively the same as a Veiled Chameleon but has a different color scheme. They eat the same food and have the same requirements.

Do Chameleons recognize their owners? Yes, they do. However, there are some things that effect this. This can be achieved in as little as one week.

But this will vary a lot depending on how you bond with them. How you treat them also makes a big difference in how they respond to you. Ultimately if they see you as a threat, then they will not. But if they associate you with a positive part of their day, such as feeding them, they will love you.

Will Chinese Water Dragons Eat Dead Crickets?

If you own or thinking of keeping a Chinese Water Dragon maybe you are interested to know if you could save some effort or money and check if they will eat dead instead of living crickets. Let me explain.

Will Chinese water dragons eat dead crickets? Yes, they will definitely eat dead crickets. However, this is not normal behavior. In fact, you will find that this is quite rare. Reason being, the movement of live insects usually triggers them to attack and eat them.

Now that you know that they can eat dead crickets let look at what else you can feed them, what foods to avoid to keep them happy, how often you should feed them, if their specific requirements, such as UVB lights that Water Dragons need are too advanced for beginers and much more.

What is a Chinese water dragon?

The Chinese water dragon (Physignathus Cocincinus) is a species of the Agamid. It is a native of China and the South East of Asia. it is also known as the following:

  • Green water dragon
  • Tai Water dragon
  • or Asian Water Dragon

What should you feed a Chinese water dragon?

They are omnivores, meaning they will eat primarily insects but can also eat vegetables and fruit. You will find the majority of their diet will consist of insects such as the following:

  • Silkworms
  • Crickets
  • Waxworms
  • Earthworms
  • Grasshoppers
  • Etc.

You will find online guides or books that say fruit and vegetables are a required part of their diet. In fact, this is true. They will be expected to have at least 10 to 15% of their diet consisting of fruits and vegetables.

However, in practice, this can be quite different. You will find that they are quite picky. In some cases, they will completely reject anything else apart from insects.

You will have to take this on a case-by-case basis but in general, you can expect them to prefer eating insects. You might get lucky, if you see it that way, and your one may enjoy eating fruit or veg.

Important food items

Once they are at the juvenile age, up until it’s an adult, it is important to keep their calcium and nutrient levels at a good level.

To achieve this it is a good idea to feed them some of the following:

  • Pinkie Mice
  • Feeder Fish
  • and Fuzzy Mice

It is advised to offer them this at least two to three times a week to maintain a good nutritional profile.

What is the best feeding schedules?

It is advised to feed them every other day or worst case two to three times a week. However, some keepers have found that feeding them daily works well.

These keepers argue that feeding them every other day or less is not healthy, especially when they are hatchlings or juveniles. It is important to keep them strong and healthy, hence the reason some of these people keepers swear by daily feeding.

What do Water Dragon hatchlings eat?

Hatchlings eat pretty much the same diet as their adult counterparts. With the exception of the larger items, such as pinkie or fuzzy mice.

They will usually have mealworms or other insects broken up into two or three pieces. This is because they are very young and important to give them smaller portion sizes so that they can handle it.  This will avoid choking.

What happens if they stop eating?

You may find from time to time that your water dragon starts to refuse to eat or may start to become picky. Unfortunately, this is one of the challenges of owning a Chinese Water Dragon.

Majority of the time this could be down to boredom due to lack of variety in their diet. To get around this, it is a good idea to rotate their food items. This is so they are not always eating the same thing over and over again.

The mistake that some lizard keepers make is feeding them one or two food items over and over again, which will start to make them feel bored.

The Simple Solution

The simplest solution is to rotate their food. For example, on day one offer him some crickets. On day two some mealworms. And on day 3 you mix it up and provide some earthworms.

Continue with that rotation. Try to rotate with as many items as possible. Ideally, you would have  7 or more different items. So you can offer a longer rotation cycle, are you with me?

I understand in practice this could be more expensive because you’re having to buy different items. But, just stretch it as far as your budget can allow.

Are they ideal for beginners?

Whilst they are very beautiful and interesting lizards, in my opinion, they are not the best choice for a beginner.

The reason I say this is because, as discussed earlier, they can be quite picky when it comes to food items.

In addition to this, they have very specific requirements (such as heating & humidity) that need to be met for you to stand a good chance of keeping them happy and maintaining them for the long-term.

What food items should you absolutely avoid giving to a Water Dragon?

There are some leafy green vegetable items that you should definitely not feed your water dragon. These include the following:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • or even spinach

They are great for us humans, but for water dragons, not so good. They are high in oxalate and this is not ideal for them.

Can water dragons eat strawberries?

Yes, they can eat strawberries as well as the following fruit items:

  • Raspberries
  • blueberries
  • Figs
  • etc.

In addition to these fruit items, as discussed earlier, they can also eat vegetables.

These include:

  • Sweet potato
  • Green beans
  • and even carrots.

One tip though, it is a good idea to make these food items finely chopped when you offer them. This is so you stand the best chance of them eating them, and avoid choking.

Related questions:

Q. Why would a water dragon keep Digging all the time?

There could be a few reasons why it could be digging:

  • She is Gravid
  • Wants to escape
  • or Just loves digging.

Because she is gravid

There is a chance that the digging could be due to an attempt by a female water dragon to lay her eggs. Maybe you didn’t know but she could be gravid. They can become sexually mature from the age of 2 years old and there is a good chance that they could be gravid.

You may be thinking to yourself this is not possible because there’s no male in the enclosure. But, believe it or not,  this is still possible,  without the presence of a male.

They may just want to escape

Another reason why they may be digging is that they’re unhappy in the enclosure and want to escape.

This could be caused because of the size of your enclosure. For your information, it should be at least 50 gallons in size or even bigger, if your budget can extend this far.

Another issue that could be making the want to escape could be because they are bored. They may actually just want to get out and roam around. There is no problem with this. From time to time it is a good idea to let them out to roam about, obviously with your supervision.

They Enjoy Digging

Finally, you may find that they just genuinely enjoy digging. If they are healthy and eating fine, it could well be this.

Q. What is so special about a water dragons tail?

There are two things special about a water dragons tail. Firstly it is designed to help them swim. In fact, it is built with strong muscle that is flattened on one side to allow it to glide and cut through the water elegantly.

Lastly, the sheer length of its tail is quite impressive a water dragon can beat up to 1 meter in length and weighing approximately 1 kg. however, up to two-thirds of this length is just its tail alone.

Q. Can water dragons swim?

Yes, they can swim. In fact, they can swim pretty well. They can even stay underwater for as long as 90 minutes.

Q. Can water dragons sleep in water?

Yes, they can. In colder months before hibernation, they often find that it is warmer in the water than it is out on land. Whilst they can actually sleep in the water, they cannot breathe in the water like a fish can.  They will be sleeping with their nose (snout) out of the water to continue breathing oxygen during this period.

Are Skink Lizards Poisonous? (Wish I knew it Earlier)

If you have ever seen a skink, you may have wondered if they are poisonous. Or maybe saw the blue tongue on one of their popular species, and thought they must be dangerous. I had similar thoughts, but I will now clear up some of the myths.

Are Skinks poisonous? No, they are not poisonous. Neither are they venomous. For some reason, some people are quite superstitious and rumours have led people to believe that they are dangerous, poisonous or even venomous. In fact, they are really not that dangerous at all.

Now that you know that they are not poisonous or venomous. I will now explain what skins are, how they defend themselves. The most popular species and much more.

What are skinks?

The Skink is a lizard from the Scincidae family. Its family holds some of the most diverse species of lizard. Some of these skinks have normal lizard features. However, there are some confusing species such as Typhlosaurus, that literally look like they are a snake, instead of a lizard.

For this reason, some people tend to get them confused and mixed up with completely different animals.

Now let me give you an idea of some of the most common stinks out there:

  • Keeled skink: The Keeled Skink is from Asia and also found in northern parts of Australia. It is one of many common skinks out there.
  • Sand Skinks: This species of skink is quite interesting. It is also known as the “sandfish”. The reason it is called this is because of his bizarre capabilities of being able to sift it’s way through sand. It uses its scales and toes to cut through sand like butter.
  • The Snake-eyed Skink: Has bizarre eyes. In particular, it has fixed plates on its eyes instead of moving eyelids, meaning when you look into its eyes it’s as if it never blinks. Unfortunately, because of its stand-out features, it is often captured in the wild and sold on the black market to people that want to sell them on as pets.

How do skinks defend themselves?

Obviously, there are many different species of skink, however, if we focus on the blue-tongued skink, it has a very noticeable way of defending itself. It uses its blue tongue to confuse and intimidate its prey.

It’s contrasting blue tongue in its pink mouth causes its predators to think twice about attacking it.

Other techniques that are used, beyond this, is the ability to flatten its body and make-up undesirable hissing sounds. This is to fend off any oncoming predators.

Failing this it will use its vicious bite which has quite a lot of pressure. It can cause a lot of pain and injure its opponent.

Are skinks good pets to keep?

Yes, they are good pets. Over the last few years, they have become quite popular as pets. This is mainly because of their laid-back and friendly behaviour.

Most Popular Skink

One of the most popular species, that is usually taken as a pet, is the blue-tongued skink. This is because it has the most interesting blue tongue and good temperament.

As stated earlier it is very relaxed and well behaved. Also, it is usually quite happy to be handled, as long as you handle it correctly.

However, you need to make sure that you only pick up a captive bred skink. Because if its captured in the wild, they are not usually as relaxed and well behaved. You may find they have wild tendencies and not wanting to be handled.

Beware of Mixing Children & Skinks

Word of warning though, even if you do pick up a captive bred skink if you have them around children. Make sure they are monitored at all times. This is mainly because if they are not handled correctly, and they feel threatened, there is a chance that they may bite.

In addition to this, they may confuse your child’s small fingers as a wiggly worm. And get confused and think food that’s being offered to them. So, to avoid any of this you are strongly advised to monitor your children.

Why is the blue tongue skunk is such a popular skink?

First and foremost, their behaviour. Because they are so easy to adapt to human surroundings and able to accept being handled, they make a good pet.

Their diet

Because this skink loves eating, it makes it easier to maintain them. They are not as picky! They are omnivores, so they eat a combination of fruit, vegetables and also insects. This means that you have a lot more options to feed them and to keep them happy.

However, you need to make sure that you keep the balance right when you are feeding them. In particular, they need to be fed at least 60% plant matter and vegetation. The final 40% can be a mixture of insects, including waxworms, silkworms, etc.

Related questions:

Is the Typhlosaurus snake or lizard? It is a lizard. However, looking at it, it is understandable how it can be confusing. It is actually part of the skink family. They do not have any limbs and at-a-glance it could easily be mistaken as a snake. It is from African origins and is definitely considered at a lizard.

Are Broadhead skinks dangerous? No, there are rumours and superstitions that some skinks are dangerous. Some even get confused and call them scorpions. Some also believe they have a venomous sting. However, this is not true and is more of an urban myth.

In fact, you will find that there is no Skink in the southwestern region of the United States that is dangerous to humans or poisonous/venomous.

How big does the broadhead skink get? This species of the skink can grow up to 13 inches in length, along with the Great Plains Skink, it is one of the biggest Plestideon skinks. It gets its name from its wide looking jaw and the distinct shape of its head.

What Foods should you avoid giving to your skink? Do not feed your skink artificial based foods, or anything containing harmful chemicals such as pesticides. This can cause your skink harmful health issues. Also, avoid any artificial colouring this is also bad for them.

How much Water does a Skink Need? Generally speaking, you should be providing fresh water on a daily basis. This is because they have a tendency to get sand and other debris in their water throughout the duration of the day. So its best to refresh it every day.

Can you mix Skinks with other lizards? No, it is not a good idea. The fact is, Skinks are quite territorial and will see any other lizard as a threat, even if it’s their own kind. Obviously, if you plan to breed them, that is a different thing. But that may be the only exception.

Do you need hiding spots for your Skink? Yes, Skins need plenty of places to hide. In fact if they do not get enough places to hide, you will find that will not be happy and may even feel jumpy and anxious. So this is an absolute must.

Do they need a lot of humidity? No, not too humid. However, you need to keep the right level of humidity. If you can provide a damp substrate that should suffice. To accompany ths, you need to have the right sized water bowl. The idea is, its big enough for them to put their body in as well as drinking from it.

Do Skinks Need Lots of Space? Obviously, it depends on the individual size of your skink. There are quite a few different species to consider. But generally speaking, you need to provide as much space as your budget can stretch. Put it this way, the hatchlings will need at least 10 or even 20 gallons to feel happy.

Do Gila Monsters Lay Eggs? (with Video & Pics)

The Gila Monster is a mysterious, solitary lizard. They had me wondering how they reproduce or if they even lay eggs or have live young. If you want to know I will tell you.

Do Gila Monsters lay eggs? Yes, they do lay eggs. Typically, they will lay anything from 2 to 12 eggs in one Batch. This is usually in the summertime, around July and August. When the eggs are laid there is a  small hole dug up which (approximately 12 cm deep) and the eggs are left, unattended to hatch.

Now you know that they lay eggs, let me explain how they breed in the wild, how they breed in captivity, some useful tips to increase the chances of successful breeding and much more.

How are they breed in the wild?

It is often suggested that a random group of Gila Monsters is put together to encourage successful breeding. This is mainly due to the complexities of differentiating the male and the females.

The hypothesis is if there is a large group, it increases the chance of some of them pairing up and mating. In addition to this, there is another theory that the males in the pack, that may typically be hard to breed, will be more inclined to do so, due to social pressure and increased competition from rival males.

How is breeding achieved in captivity?

In captivity there are other challenges, firstly the male does not have an escape route when it is in an enclosure. Therefore there will be more fighting, however, it is believed that fighting is a natural part of establishing who will mate.

The best method

The method that has been used successfully in captivity is deliberately separating the male and female Gila Monsters. Then, when you wish to breed them, introduce the female to the male enclosure.

There will be fighting and combat but this is a natural prerequisite to mating. The winner will be gifted the female for breeding. But, you do have to keep a close eye on the fighting to reduce the injuries on the losing lizard.

In captivity for some reason, it has been noticed that the male Gilas use a lot more biting than they would in the wild. This can open up cuts and injuries. Therefore, this needs to be managed.

The Importance of Temperature

To encourage successful mating, you need to make sure that the temperature is perfect. Especially after the winter cooling period. To get this right you need to have the temperature at a consistent 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you have this and get the timing right, you can expect the “magic” to happen within 4-6 weeks.

Getting the Female/Male Mix Correct

For the best results, you need to have a one-to-one ratio of male and female Gilas. This is not mandatory but it usually gives you the best results. Typically, once the male and female are paired up for mating, you can expect this copulation activity to last anything from 15 minutes to 2.5 hours.

What should you do once the female is gravid?

Once the female has completed mating and is actually gravid (basically a lizard form of being pregnant),  you need to make sure that you separate her. This is so she can lay her eggs and keep them safe from other cage mates.

During this period, when the female is gravid,  she will be quiet but alert. It will be a noticeable difference in behavior.

You may even notice large periods of time while she may even appear motionless. Nevertheless, she will still be alert and on the lookout even though she is actually in the enclosure on her own.

The best housing at this stage

During this time you should provide an adequate nesting box for your female Gila monster. This will give her time to rest in the nest box before laying her eggs. Just make sure that there is some Moss substrate there for her to lay her eggs and feel comfortable.

What preparation is required before breeding?

To successfully breed you need to make sure that the female is adequately fed. This is really important and something that a lot of people underestimate. The reality is, if they are not fed adequate food before reproduction, it will not happen it’s a simple as that.

The lizard’s body needs a certain amount of fat reserves for it to allow the female to reproduce so that it does not put itself, or its eggs, at any danger during the process.

The reproduction will typically happen before the winter cooling off period. Therefore, the year before this mating season you need to make sure that the female is well fed and has fat reserves.

How should they be treated after egg laying?

After egg laying, they need to be fed so that they can return to the correct weight. Similar to before they were gravid.

However, do not stop there. After the winter cooling off period, it is important to continue with their feeding. To keep them well fed for the following years breeding cycle. If you do this on a consistent basis you should be in a position to breed them on a yearly basis, without any problems.

Do their hatchlings have any known Predators?

Yes, they do have Predators this includes:

  • Humans
  • Coyotes
  • Birds of Prey
  • Cage Mates

Humans are one of their biggest predators. They will often use excuses that they were defending themselves to justify their actions. Coyotes are another predator. Also in captivity, other cage mates are also known predators. Hence the reason why it’s important to keep the female on her own during the egg laying process.

Related questions:

Are Gila Monsters endangered? The official IUCN record states that they are “near threatened”. This is largely to do with changes in their habitat. Such as roads being introduced in the middle of their habitat. Unfortunately, this causes them to be run over when this happens.

In national parks, the Gila Monsters are protected. However, there is a large amount of interest on the black market for them. People are known for capturing them illegally in the wild to sell them on as pets to other people.

Do Gila monsters live underground? Not exactly. The reality is 95% of their time is lived burrowed underground. However, that remaining 5% is spend mixing with other lizards or animals, for example, when they come out to breed or attack their prey.

Are they dangerous? No, the Gila Monster is not regarded as dangerous, however, they do have a venomous bite. On a day-to-day basis, they are quite a relaxed, docile and solitary lizards. But if they are provoked or feel threatened they will bite.

Do they have a large appetite? Yes, they do. However, they don’t eat often. They have the ability to eat up to one-third of their own body weight in one single sitting. However, they have a slow metabolization and have the ability to store fat reserves in their tail. Meaning they may only need to eat a handful of times a year to maintain.

How long does it take for their eggs to hatch? They do not Hatch immediately, it could take as long as 10 months before they actually hatch out during this period of 10 months they are literally left on their own to fend for themselves once they hatch out typically they will be about 6 inches in length and I’ll be left to fend for themselves without their mother being there.

Are Gila Monsters & Komodo Dragons the same thing? No, the Komodo Dragon is substantially larger than the Gila Monster. And it is a very ferocious and formidable lizard. In fact, it is the largest lizard of them all. Because the Gila monster is venomous and assumed to be dangerous it is often bought up in the same conversations. However, in reality, they are quite different.

Why is a Komodo Dragon Called a Dragon?

Komodo Dragons are often ridiculed for their name. Many people wonder where their name came from and if they are even really lizards. For this reason, I will explain where they actually got there name from.

Why is a Komodo dragon called a dragon? When they were first discovered, they were known to have “dragon-like” features and are from the island of Komodo. These lizards were discovered in the early 1900s. During the first world war, when a plane crashed and discovered them. 

Now you know whey they are called this, lets now learn more about them, such as what other names they have, if people can actually have them as pets, if they are venomous, what other animals they prey on and more.

What is the Komodo Dragon?

The Komodo Dragon is also known as the Komodo monitor. Its scientific name is “Varanus komodoensis” and it is found on the Indonesian island called Komodo. It is also one of the largest lizard species in the world.

It often raises curiosity amongst people, due to its sheer size (up to 10ft long) and dangerous persona. They are large formidable lizards. They are also known part of the Monitor lizard family (Varanidae).

Why is the Komodo dragon classed as a reptile?

This is because the Komodo dragon fits into the category of reptiles perfectly. Firstly it has a backbone, scales, does not live in water, so it breathes through its lungs rather than using Gills. Finally, it is also cold-blooded. With all these attributes it is a perfect fit to be classed as a reptile, no matter the size.

Is the Komodo dragon an endangered species?

Yes, the Komodo dragon is an endangered species. The reason for this can be pinned down to a few key things:

  • Volcanic activity
  • Eating its own Young
  • Environmental Effects (Habitat)

To summarise, in the Komodo dragons natural habitat there has been volcanic activity which has caused widespread damage to their environment. This has affected their numbers.

But one of the biggest problems that they have is us, humans. Firstly they are sometimes hunted by us and secondly, there are indirect effects such as us hunting food that they rely on for food. An example of this is deer and other livestock.

Another large contributing factor is their tendency to eat their own young. They are also known to attack smaller Komodo Dragons as well.

Are Komodo dragons a good idea to have as pets?

The short answer for this is no. But let me explain:

Their size

Komodo dragons can be up to 10 feet in length. This is a really big lizard. Meaning anyone that would consider taking care of them would need a very advanced level of skill as well as unlimited resources to accommodate their diet and living environment. Not to mention the fact that they would be a constant danger of being eaten.

Infectious bacteria in their teeth

Komodo dragons are known to have very bad dental hygiene, to say the least. In recent studies, it has been found that the Komodo dragons can have up to 50 different variations of bacteria and toxic offerings. In fact, a proportion of these are actually very dangerous to humans if they are passed on.

Difficulties to differentiate between Male & Female

The male and female Komodo dragon is very hard to tell apart. In fact, there is no obvious way to do this especially if you are an untrained individual.

Also to make matters worse mixing males together is very dangerous because you can almost guarantee they will fight.

Cannibalistic tendencies

One of the things that Komodo dragons tend to do it is to prey on smaller Komodo dragons in their vicinity. As I’ve stated earlier, they also have a tendency to eat their own young. They will not hesitate to attack each other. As a potential keeper, you could have serious problems keeping them away from each other.

They will eat just about anything

Nothing is safe around a Komodo dragon, they will eat almost anything. And when I say almost anything, I mean it. This includes hair, teeth, and horns off of their prey.

Poor hearing

They have really poor hearing especially in comparison to us human beings. They cannot voices that are low or high pitch screeches. So, communicating with them could be a challenge.

Related questions:

Q: Are komodo dragons venomous?

A: Yes, they are. However many people do not believe they are. Due to a recent discovery by researcher Brian fry, it was discovered that they do actually have venom.

Previous to this it was believed that they would only cause damage by the bacteria and toxins in their saliva which is passed on when they bite their prey.

This still happens to be honest, but they also unleash venom into their victim which can cause a number of different effects on their body.

This includes reducing the victims’ blood pressure, sending the victim into a shocked state.

All of this makes it almost impossible for their prey to escape, even if they are lucky and manage to escape their vicious bites.

It is been found that the Komodo dragons venom is comparable to the impact of some of the world’s most venomous snakes.

They are however different in the way that they inject this venom. Snakes typically inject the venom using their fangs. But, Komodo dragons do things slightly differently.

They unleash a vicious bite into the victim and open a deadly wound. The venom is then seeped into the wound affecting their prey, effectively immobilizing them. This stops them getting away so that the Komodo dragon can finish their meal.

Q: Can komodo dragons attach Attack large prey?

A: Yes, Komodo dragons can go after quite large animals, including deer, wild boars or even bigger. They use a strategy known as “ambushing” to catch their prey. This is done by lying in wait, waiting for their prey to go past them, without them knowing they’re there. Then pouncing on them when they are unexpected!

Q: Do Komodo dragons have a big appetite?

Yes, not only do Komodo dragons eat large animals they also have the ability to eat a lot in one sitting.

To put this into perspective, it is been known that one Komodo dragon can eat up to 80% of its own body weight in one sitting.

However, although they eat a lot in one sitting they do not eat frequently. For example, after eating a really large meal, they may not again for a whole month.

Q: How do they eat hair, teeth, horns, etc?

They don’t actually digest and metabolize these parts of the body. They actually regurgitate them into pellets, known as “Gastric Pellets”. They are ejected from their body. It is a compacted pellet of hair, horns, teeth, etc.

Q: Why do Komodo dragons dig up graves?

They have a tendency to look out for carcasses rather than always hunting for Life prey. This makes life a lot easier for them. They have a good skill of being able to detect and smell carcasses up to 6 miles away from them.

Unfortunately for the residents of komodo, this presents a problem. Because they sometimes detect carcasses, such as human bodies, that have been recently buried. To stop this happening, locals have been known to stop using sand based graves and use clay instead. As well as putting large objects, such as rocks, on top to prevent them from digging it up.

Q: How do some of these lizards avoid being eaten by their own Kind?

A: In a bizarre method to save themselves from being cannibalized by their own peers, they sometimes cover themselves in feces to make themselves seem unattractive to their predator. In reality, if you were facing being eaten by them, wouldn’t you consider this?

What is Safe Wood for reptile enclosures?

Using wood a substrate for your reptile is quite common. But, you have to be careful because not all wood can be used. If you choose the wrong one, it can cause health issues for your reptile.

What is safe wood for an animal enclosure? Shredded Aspen and Cypress Mulch is a good safe wood for reptiles. If you have the budget you can pick them up in most pet stores. However, you can also consider using some types of wood from outside, as long as you are prepared to clean and sterilize it first.

To further expand on this, I am going to explain which other types of wood you use. As well as types that you need to avoid because they can be very bad for your reptile, and much more,

What is safe wood for an animal enclosure

To start off with let me list a few wood substrates that you can use safely without any concerns. Later on in the article, I will outline some that you should avoid at all costs. I will also explain how you can prepare wood that has not been purchased from a conventional pet shop.

Here are some types of wood you can use for substrate:

  • Aspen (Shredded)
  • Orchid Bark
  • Cypress Mulch

Generally speaking, most hardwoods can be considered as well,  such as:

  • Oak
  • Dogwood
  • Maples

Which wood should you avoid for your Reptile?

I’m going to outline certain types of wood that you should avoid to keep your reptile safe.

Cedar

Cedarwood is a popular wood that is used for furniture products, such as closets, it is used because it is good at avoiding long-term decay of furniture. Also, it repels insects. However, for reptiles, it is not a good idea, especially for lizards.

The reason it is not good for your reptile is that it can cause skin lesions or even respiratory health problems for your reptile.

Some of the most dangerous versions of this cedar wood include White or Japanese Cedar.

The biggest issue with this wood is that most commercial products very rarely say exactly which type of cedar that they use in their products. So as a general rule, you should avoid using them.

Eucalyptus and Pine Trees

These trees have similar issues to cedar wood. Although, there is not as much evidence to back it up. However, as a general rule, they are to be avoided to maintain the health of your reptile.

The main issue is the fact that it secretes aromatic phenol, which causes health issues with reptiles.

Wood that has been treated with chemicals

Any wood that has been treated with chemicals is a big no-no! This obviously encapsulates quite a range of wood types. Sometimes it’s quite hard to identify which wood has been treated with chemicals. But if you suspect that it has been chemically treated, do not use it with your reptile.

These chemicals can contaminate the air or seep out onto your reptile, so they are not to be used.

Fruit trees are notorious for being sprayed with pesticides to keep away insects, that eat their fruit. These pesticides can have serious health effects on your reptile and should be avoided at all costs.

A general rule is, any tree that has been treated with chemicals should be avoided. This includes herbicides, pesticides, wood preservatives or anything along those lines.

Trees that have sharp Thorns

This one is relatively obvious to see and common sense. Basically, avoid using any wood which has got sharp edges that could scratch or impale your reptile. The good thing is, this can be seen quite easily.

However, there are a couple of known trees that have exceptionally thorny branches that you should avoid, such as Hawthorn or Honey Locust.

Preparing wild grown wood for your Terrarium

Wood is often used in Terrariums in the form of branches, logs or any kind of wooden climbing apparatus. It’s fun for your reptile and is encouraged in most cases.

Most people tend to buy these accessories from their local pet shop or online.

However, if you are on a budget or have access to a large amount of wild grown wood, you can consider using it.

The reason you need to prepare it first is it may contain bugs, bacteria, viruses or dangerous fungus. Without prep, this can easily pass on to your reptile and cause unknown health issues. So, to avoid this you need to prepare the wood.

Preparation is essentially cleaning and sterilizing the wood so it is safe for your reptile to use.

Step 1 – Cleaning and preparing the wood

The first step is to clean off all of the surface level dirt. Give the wood a good bang just to get rid of any of the dirt that may be collected on it.

Once you have removed some of the obvious dirt, you then need to use some hot water to clean the wood. The best way to do this is to use a steel bristle brush, so it can clean off the dirt properly.

Step 2 – Sterilizing the wood

The objective here is to remove any germs, viruses, fungus or any other related bacteria that are not visible to the naked eye.

Because wood is porous it is not a good idea to try and use chemicals to sterilize it. Because this would just contaminate the wood. The best way to do this is to use a handheld steaming unit. Alternatively boiling or baking the wood is a good way to remove all of these potential issues.

If you are going to consider doing baking or boiling, then take it from me, baking is the easiest and fastest option.

Baking

To bake the wood you need to place it into an oven and set the temperature to 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, be warned, never leave the wood unattended. Because it is a fire hazard!

You can expect it to take up to an hour before it is completely sterilized.

Boiling

If you would prefer to go down the boiling route then you can set it at a slightly lower temperature such as 210-212 degrees Fahrenheit. But you will need to boil it for a lot longer. In particular, up to 6 hours to ensure that all the bacteria and viruses are removed.

Drying the wood

After you have sterilized the wood you need to make sure that you completely dry it off. The reason that you need to do this is, is because leaving it wet will allow it to decay very fast. So you need to get it dry and usable for a substrate.

To do this you need to put it in a dry and clean area. Ideally not outside, because if you put it outside it could be susceptible to being infected again, by insects or other pathogens.

Once it is in this clean and safe area. You need to leave it to dry out for a number of days to be 100% certain that it is dried out properly. Especially if it’s a larger piece of wood.

Another option that you can use to dry it is by placing it into an oven for a few hours. You will need to set the temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to take some caution though. Never leave it unattended while it is drying in the oven because it is a fire risk.

Related questions:

What kind of wood can you use to build an iguana cage? For Iguanas you can use most hardwoods. Such as Birch, Walnut or Cheery wood. However, be warned, it is always going to be quite an expensive job. If you want to reduce the costs, Oak and Birch are the most economical options at approximately $1 to $2 per foot.

Why do some people use vinegar to clean their reptile vivarium? If you are a reptile keeper you will know from experience that from time to time they will start to smell.

In addition to this, you need to clean the enclosure for good maintenance and to keep your reptile healthy.  For that reason, white vinegar, in particular, is used. It is good because it cleans well, removes the smell and does not contain dangerous chemicals.

Gila Monster Temperament (Are They Dangerous?)

Many people are curious about Gila Monsters, mainly because they are deemed as dangerous venomous lizards. However, what is their Behaviour really like?

What is the Gila Monsters Temperament like? In general, they are quite relaxed, solitary lizards. In fact, it tends to shy away from human contact due to fear. However, they do have a venomous bite and if they are scared or feel that they are being attacked they will defend itself by biting.

Now you know a little about how they behave, let’s look into if they are safe to be handled, if people actually keep them in captivity,  how to keep them if you wish to and so much more.

What is a Gila monster?

The Gila Monster (Heloderma Suspectum), is a venomous lizard from the southwestern regions of the United States and also found in Mexico.

It is closely related to the Mexican beaded lizard and is typically up to 2 feet long. It is a relatively heavy lizard and moves quite slow.

Will the Gila Monster bite you?

Yes, it can and will bite. However, it is unlikely to attack humans unless it feels under threat. Its natural form of Defence is to run away and avoid conflict. But, as discussed earlier, if they feel under threat they will bite you.

In the event that they do feel like they are being attacked, they will give a warning first by opening their mouth wide and making a hissing sound to give you the warning to stay away.

The bite is quite vicious and it will inject venom into you. However, it is unlikely to cause death. But one of the biggest problems with the Gilla monster is actually getting it off you once you are bitten.

Once it locks its jaws, it has a tendency to keep its mouth clampdown on your body. This can obviously cause extreme pain and psychological shock. All in all, quite a traumatic event to be avoided at all costs.

Are they safe to handle?

Generally speaking, no, they are not really safe to handle. However, if you are a trained professional and have the skills to do this it is possible to handle them. Be warned, even trained professionals still need heavy protective gloves. Just in case they get bitten.

An important tip, never hold them by their head or tail. This is because it can cause injury.

Is the Gila monster too dangerous to be kept in captivity?

They can be kept in captivity, however, they are definitely not for beginners or inexperienced lizard keepers.

To handle them successfully you need to have a large amount of skill, patience and the resources required to facilitate them. This is because they are quite large lizards.

If you feel that you’re capable of this I will give you some tips on how best to keep them happy in captivity.

Housing

The minimum dimensions for a Gila Monster are 4 x 2 x 2 ft. But, I want to stress that these are minimum dimensions. The reality is, a Gila monster is a large lizard and can be up to 2 feet in length. Therefore, the bigger the enclosure the better. They need as much room to maneuver as possible.

If you are interested in what types of tanks or enclosures, you could consider large cattle stock tanks can also be considered for this.

Another very important point is to have a very secure lid to keep them inside the enclosure. This is for two reasons. One, it’s important for the safety of your Gila Monster itself. But also for other people, because if it is to escape it could be dangerous. If someone pushes or prods it by accident, it could cause it to bite them.

Substrate

The best substrate for the killer monster is bark chips, moss or sand. the main objective is to try and keep the enclosure as dry as possible.

You want to try and keep the substrate deep enough but at the same time not so deep that you can’t find loose bits of uneaten food or even lizard feces. Also when I say deep enough I mean deep enough so that it can absorb the moisture, are you with me?

Accessories

The Gila Monster likes to spend a lot of times hiding in hideout dens or Burrows. Therefore, it is a good idea, in captivity, to emulate this.

Diet

In the wild, this lizard doesn’t eat very regular at all. As you can imagine it eats when it has success with hunting. To give you an idea of how infrequently it eats, you could expect them to eat only 8 to 10 times in a whole year.

When they do eat in the wild they typically eat Reptile eggs, small Birds, other lizards, frogs, etc.

In captivity, you can expect them to eat mealworms, crickets, and other insects. As they start to get a little bit bigger they will start to move on to small pinkie mice in their diet as well.

Heating requirements

This lizard enjoys a combination of basking in sunlight as well as cooling off in a reduced temperature area. Therefore, you need to emulate this behavior in your enclosure.

This heated area, where they can bask, can easily be emulated by having a simple rock (Click to see the price on Amazon) which is elevated and then having a heat lamp to provide the Heat.

In the warmer area of the tank, you want it to be 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the cooler area, on the other hand, you want it to be from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At night-time you want the temperature to drop down anywhere from 70 to 75.

One thing to note, the heat that you provide is very important to the health of your Gila Monster. So, make sure that you have proper heating facilities. And also make sure that you have a plan B, in case anything goes technically wrong with your heating equipment.

Lighting requirements

Lighting is also critical to their wellbeing. It is advised, after the hibernation period, to provide 8 hours of light, followed by 16 hours of darkness. As it moves towards the summertime this will gradually increase. Light hours this time may increase up to 10 hours of light. It is important to have a basking light during these periods of lights to keep them happy.

Water requirements

They like to bask in the water directly, therefore, you need to provide a large enough water dish so that they can do this. You also need to make sure that you change the water on a daily basis. Because they like to bask in the water and drink at the same time.

Related questions:

Why is it called the killer monster?  The Gila monster was named after the “Gila River” where it was originally found. However, the word “Monster” is unknown. One can only assume it is due to their build and size. Maybe the word monster was just a nickname that was attached to them.

Are Gila Monsters the only venomous lizards? No, there are other venomous lizards, in particular, its Close relative the Mexican beaded lizard.

Many people believe that there are only two venomous lizards available which is known to be the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded dragon.

However, there are some debates to suggest that there are more venomous lizards than these two.

How do they keep warm during the winter months? In the winter months, they dig burrows to keep themselves warm. They also have a method of storing fat reserves in their tail. To keep them alive during times when there is not much food available for them.

Do they have very good eyesight? No, they do not have very good eyesight at all. However, this is not a big problem for them. Because when they hunt for food, in particular, they actually use their scent and smell to detect their prey. They will flick out their tongue to pick up the scent to direct them towards their prey.

Are you legally allowed to own a Gila monster? In some states in America, it is illegal to own a Gila monster. For example, in Massachusetts, you cannot have one.

In other States, such as Arizona, they closely monitor Gila Monsters. You are not allowed to hunt for them and then bring them into captivity. This is a violation.

So it is a good idea to check your local state or location to make sure that you can legally own one of these before going out and trying to keep one.

What size is a Mexican beaded Lizard? (+ Video & Pics)

The Mexican Beaded Lizard is often referenced for its venomous bite, however, I wondered how big are these lizards and do people actually keep them in captivity? Let me explain.

What size is a Mexican Beaded Lizard? Up to 3 feet in length. Its body weight is typically up to 2 lbs.  Males and females have a stocky type build however the male is typically broader than the female. In addition to this, the male is usually larger than the female as well. The hatchlings typically are about 20 cm in length.

Now you know how large they can be, let me explain how big the largest recorded one is, what they actually are (natural habitat, scientific name, etc) and how their diet and housing can impact their size.

What is a Mexican beaded lizard?

The Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) is typically found in the west or central parts of Mexico. Its natural habitat is in the desert or tropical Forest areas. You can typically find it rested on rock ledges.

What is the largest recorded beaded lizard?

The largest recorded beaded lizard is up to 40 inches in length and almost 10 pounds in weight. So, it is a substantially sized lizard, especially in comparison to the Gilla monster.

How does their diet affect their size?

As you can imagine the diet of any lizard is very important to their growth. If they are not fed correctly, this can directly impact how big they grow. As well as their health for that reason. I’m going to explain what is the best diet for them, to make sure that you maximize their size.

Their diet in the wild

In the wild, they typically eat eggs of other small Reptiles and sometimes, they eat smaller animals.

Their diet in captivity

In captivity, they have a slightly different diet. They will typically eat small mice, rats, etc. I mentioned earlier, in the wild, they will typically eat eggs. However, in captivity, this is not a wise decision. And this is for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the eggs that they are fed in captivity have a large risk of passing on salmonella poisoning to the Lizard. Secondly, eggs typically are fatty food. In the wild, this is excellent, because they need to build up their fat reserves.

This is done by storing the fat in their tails so that they can allow for days when they cannot find food. This is a common occurrence in the wild.

However, in captivity, they are fed on a regular basis. Meaning eating fatty foods like eggs will build up fat reserves that are realistically never going to be used in captivity. The problem with this is, it can lead to obesity in the lizard and further health issues.

However, there are many other foods that it can eat in captivity such as a wide variety of insects.

The importance of correct housing to maximize their sides

In captivity, if you do not provide the correct housing this could stifle the growth of your Mexican beaded lizard. If it is not comfortable or cooped up in a small enclosure, it will not be able to grow to its maximum length.

For that reason, I’m going to give you some directions on the preferred housing in captivity. Also some of the ideal substrate and accessories that you should have in their housing to keep them happy and maximize their growth potential.

Enclosure Size

Firstly you need to make sure that the size of the enclosure is at least 3 1/2 feet square. But in reality, you want to make it even bigger than that. This is because some of them can be up to 3 feet in length. And they need more space to move around and feel comfortable.

It is also a good idea to have some vines or some kind of climbing accessories because they do like to climb to keep them self happy.

Substrate

This lizard will be happy with newspaper as a substrate. However, f you really want to make them happy it’s better to have wood shavings, in particular, Aspen shavings. Reason being they’re easy to clean up and move back in after you’ve done your maintenance.

Enclosure Security

Security wise you need to make sure that you have a very secure lid. You need to remember that this lizard is venomous. Therefore if it escapes it can be quite dangerous. So a secure lid is very important.

Humidity and water requirements

This lizard is naturally from the desert so it really requires high humidity and also good water reserves. The water is ideally served in a large bowl. Even better, something that it can actually soak itself in and drink at the same time, it will really appreciate that.

Heating and lighting requirements

This lizard likes to have the temperature preferably in the lower end of the 70s on the cool side of its enclosure and over 80 degrees in the warm end of his enclosure. Splitting it up into a higher heated basking area and a cooler area is ideal.

This can be achieved by having a clamped lamp over the basking area with an appropriate bulb wattage to provide the 80 degrees that they require.

Are Mexican Beaded lizards too big to be handled?

Ideally, you do not want to consider handling these lizards. Even though you may have them in captivity they are not really safe to be handled.

The exception to this rule is if you are a trained professional. Even as a trained professional you will require some strong black leather gloves just in case you get bitten. Remember, they are venomous.

Their temperament is usually quite docile, but if they are provoked or upset they can bite. And if they bite they will inject dangerous venom.

By the way, if you find that you have ever been bitten by one, you need to consult medical attention immediately!

Related Questions:

How can you tell the difference between a Male & Female Beaded Lizard? Firstly the male is slightly larger than the female. In addition to this, while they are both quite stocky in build, the male is typically broader than the female.

How does the Mexican Beaded Lizard Inject Its venom? This lizard is one of the few lizards that are venomous. They have specially grooved teeth to help them seep their venom into the victim. They have venom glands that are perfectively aligned so that they can pass venom through the glands down the grooves in its teeth. The venom is pumped into its victim as it chews for the best effect.

Are Beaded Lizards Endangered? They are listed on the IUCN register as “Least Concern”. Meaning they are not endangered. They are also typically kept in protected areas to keep them from being hunted. However, there is a sub-species that is endangered, called the Montagua Valley Beaded Lizard. It is rumored to be as low as only 200 of them in the wild.

How long do they live for? They have quite a long lifespan. In particular 30+ years. So if you ever considered keeping one of these lizards you have to understand the commitment that is required here. This is far greater than having a pet dog for example.

Why is the Mexican Beaded Lizard Protected? This lizard is rarely seen in the wild and for that reason, it is seen as a “Trophy” for hunters. They can demand a high rate for selling them. For these reasons, they have been put under protection to save their numbers from dwindling in the wild.

How many eggs does a Female Beaded Lizard lay? This can range anything from 2 right up to 30 eggs. Quite a big range. The lizard becomes sexually active from the age of six. The male Beaded Lizards will often fight quite viciously for their chance to mate with the female. The winner gets their price and mates happily with the female.

Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches? (& Pictures)

Cockroaches are usually a big pain, some people will try using a number of remedies to get rid of them, but can lizards help? This question intrigued me. On paper it makes sense, but let’s see if they do eat roaches and if they can be a viable help for this.

Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches? Yes, they do eat cockroaches. However, not all lizards do. Only insectivores or carnivores will typically eat them. In addition to this, even if they are capable of eating cockroaches, it depends on the actual size of the cockroach. If the cockroach is too large they will not eat it.

Now that you know that some lizards will eat cockroaches, let’s investigate exactly which species will eat them if they are a viable solution to insect infestations, how the size of cockroaches will affect them being consumed and more.

What lizards actually eat Cockroaches?

There are a number of lizards that eat cockroaches. I will now give you a list of some of them.

Panther chameleons (and other Chameleons)

Panther chameleons eat cockroaches, along with other insects. However, there are a number of other chameleons that also he cockroaches.

It is advised that you seek out captive-bred cockroaches rather than feeding them random wild ones. This is because the wild ones are often filled with diseases. This can pass on to your lizard.

Bearded dragons

These lizards definitely eat Cockroaches. They are quite an expensive lizards to maintain, as a pet. So, feeding them cockroaches is a good economical way of keeping them fed.

Madagascar hissing and Dubia cockroaches are a couple of species that are regularly used for these lizards.

Leopard geckos

Leopard geckos are nocturnal animals and therefore cockroaches are ideal for them to go after. In particular, they love Dubia Cockroaches.

Cockroaches are also an ideal alternative to crickets. Crickets have a tendency to bite leopard geckos if they are not consumed within a certain time frame. Whereas cockroaches do not do this.

You can expect a juvenile leopard gecko to consume up to 10 cockroaches in a day. An adult, on the other hand, will be more like 20 in the day. Typically they will also be fed up to 4 times a week.

Monitor lizards?

Monitor lizards are typically quite large. For example, up to 3 ft in length. Therefore, many insects, such as crickets, will not interest them.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, stand a chance. But it depends on how big they are. Some cockroaches can be as big as 4 inches in length and those are the ones that will pique their interest.

The Emerald Tree Monitor lizard is a good example of a Monitor species that will devour these cockroaches and other large insects.

Can a lizard be used in a house for pest control?

Using lizards as a way to control a pest infestation is not always the best way to do things. Reason being the number of insects that one gecko can consume will not make much difference to a true pest problem. Are you with me?

In addition to this, you have to be careful about what food you feed to your lizard. There is a good chance that these pests carry salmonella or other bacterial infections that can seriously harm your lizard.

What about using wall geckos?

These lizards need a large amount of humidity to survive. Unfortunately, most houses in the US will not naturally provide this level of humidity.

The insects in the house may provide a certain level of moisture for them, but not nearly enough to sustain them. You may find within just one week they are dehydrated or just escape to find better surroundings.

Predators will attack the lizard before it deals with your insect problem

Another issue with using lizards as pest control is the predators of the lizards. Remember, lizards also get eaten by other predators. Animals such as a pet cat can put an end to your pest controller in a heartbeat.

There have been reports of people trying to use a Tokay Lizard as a way to get rid of their pest problems. Just to clarify the Tokay can be up to 1 foot in length. The assumption was made that a cat would be intimidated by this lizard. In reality, the cat attacked this lizard without hesitation.

Remember that a cat capable of grabbing a large rat in his mouth will have no hesitation to grab lizard. So, in summary, using a lizard as pest control is not always the best way forward.

What is the ideal diet for a lizard?

There are many different types of lizards available, this can range from a very small gecko right up to an enormous Komodo Dragon.

Therefore, to focus this I will concentrate on conventional pet lizards which is what most people are interested in.

Even with traditional pet lizards, there is still a variety of different diets. But, in general, most of these pet lizards are insectivores or maybe carnivores. For that reason, they will typically eat insects.

However many of them in captivity will each other things such as plants fruits and vegetables. To give you an example of these I will give you a brief summary of some of the common pet lizards and an example of what sort of food you can expect them to eat.

  • Bearded dragon: You can expect a bearded dragon to eat insects even greens and even frozen mice
  • Geckos: Typically these animals will eat sweet fruits and insects.
  • Iguanas: These lizards are slightly different. Typically you would feed them greens vegetables and even some fruits.

Related questions:

Do house lizards eat Cockroaches? Yes, they will eat roaches. However, it depends on the size of the actual house lizard. The problem is, cockroaches can actually be quite large and they may even be too big for a house lizard to consume.

As discussed earlier the Tokay lizard has been used in some cases to try and deal with these Cockroaches, it would typically wait for a cockroach to go past and lap It up. But you can’t always rely on the house lizards to deal with the infestation.

Do lizards change colour? Yes, Chameleons can change colour, for example, the Yemen Chameleon is well-known for this. However, the Chameleon does not change colour based on its environment or surroundings, as many people mistakenly believe. It actually changes based on its mood.

Why do lizards need UVB bulbs? Lizards need UVB bulbs because the UV rays are very important for lizards. It helps the lizard to metabolize the calcium that it consumes in its diet. It’s a critical part of its requirements to survive. If it does not have enough UV rays it can have health issues such as metabolic bone disease (MBD).

Will Lizards eat Plants? Yes, some lizards will eat plants. For example, Omnivores. They can consume animal and plants, such as the blue-tongued skink.

Will Lizards Attack a human? Yes, but this is more likely for a vicious species like the Komodo dragon (click to see which animals attack Komodos). Other lizards, such as a Chameleon will bite you if you provoke them.

It is quite rare for a full-on lizard attack. In most cases, generally speaking, lizards will only bite if you make them feel uncomfortable. An example of this is if, in captivity, you decide to reach into their enclosure to handle them and you haven’t spent time to get them to trust you.

Do lizards come out at night? Yes, some lizards are nocturnal, meaning that they are active at night time. Such as most geckos. However, most lizards are diurnal, meaning they are active in the day and rest at the night time.

Why do insects get sprinkled with supplements and fed to lizards? As discussed earlier in this article, lizards need calcium. However, in captivity, this is quite hard to provide naturally. Therefore they need supplementation.

A handy way to do this is to sprinkle the insects before feeding them to your lizard. It is a trick used by many lizard keepers to keep their lizard’s calcium levels correct. Along with other required vitamins.