10+ Easy Ways to Get Rid of Skinks on the Porch

10+ Easy Ways to Get Rid of Skinks on the Porch

What Attracts Skinks to the Porch and Balcony?

Skinks love insects, bugs, pests, among other invertebrates. Like any other organism, skinks are attracted to areas where their source of food is available.

Most insects are herbivores—they feed on leaves, roots, seeds, nectar or wood. So, if you’ve got any greenery, such as a garden, you’re likely to see insects fly by often.

Lights bulbs also attract many of the flying insects at night, perhaps because they give off heat. Your porch and balcony can attract skinks or other insect-eating organisms if you have a garden next to your house or you’d love to have security lights at night.


How to get rid of skinks in the house

Skinks in the house is a common problem for people on the lower story.

These lizards will seek out artificial structures and aren’t afraid to infest them. If you have skinks getting into your home, here are some tips to help keep skinks out of the house.

Block access to your home

The only way a reptile can get inside your home in the first place is if there were some kind of opening it used to sneak in.

If you block off all possible entryways, then the lizard has no choice but to stay outside!

As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to do a thorough evaluation of your home (on the outside) to check for entry points.

Since skinks can be extremely small (1” as a baby), they can squeeze through cracks as thin as 0.25”.

You know all those cracks you see in the walls of your home, around the windows, and even on the cement floor? Those are all possible ways they can enter your home.

And don’t forget about under doors and through window screens.

Remove hiding places

Your home is a whole new world for lizards.

There are plenty of objects and shiny things for them to hide in, on, or under.

Think about your refrigerator, oven, furniture, washing machine, dryer, couch, table, dresser, wardrobe, TV stand, closet, and more.

This makes it hard to completely eliminate everything that the lizard can use to hide. You’ll want to assess the situation and see where you notice the skink to hang around.

Then you’ll want to block off possible hiding places it could be using. If you see more than two skinks in a small area, there’s likely a nest nearby that may require a professional exterminator to handle.

These nests can house up to 30 lizards and you definitely don’t want them to bite you (or run and disperse throughout your home).

Eliminate food and water

Skinks will establish territory close to a food and water source.

Their food source is small insects that are found throughout your home.

Depending on what bugs you have, you’ll want to take the proper steps to get rid of them. Spiders, millipede, centipedes, beetles, thrips, flies, and other critters are all things they eat without care.

Water can be found on leaky faucets, damaged plumbing, and even through simple condensation (such as behind your fridge).

These lizards just lick off the drops of water found throughout the home and that’s all they need. The water you drop on the floor after using the sink can be enough for the day.

Block sunlight

Every day, skinks will come out of their hide to bask in the sunlight for UVA/UVB.

You can catch them in the sunlight during these peak hours in the afternoon.

Check to see which area of yours has a lot of sunlight streaming in and look for the skinks there. You can also block sources light from shining into your home by shutting the blinds or closing the curtains.

This makes your home not a suitable environment because they NEED sunlight. The lizard may then depart and migrate away on its own.

Are skinks poisonous?

Skinks aren’t poisonous, but they do bite.
Skinks aren’t poisonous, but they do bite.

Skinks can be poisonous when eaten, so this could be a problem for cats, dogs, horses, and other animals.

They are not venomous and do not inject venom.

However, skinks will bite to defend themselves if provoked or threatened.

The typical garden skink runs away and flees rather than fights, so they’re naturally afraid of humans.

Even so, you should never attempt to handle, catch, or endanger one because it’s very possible it’ll bite. The bite rarely causes any serious harm and may result in minor swelling or pain.

Be sure to sanitize the wound regardless and consult a doctor if needed.

The main reason why people are confused about skinks and poison is because of their color.

The blue-tongued skink has bright, flashy colors that people usually associate with venom or poison. Skinks are not poisonous and don’t carry any toxic venom.

But if they’re eaten, they can harbor bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and other dangerous pathogens that can cause sickness.

Therefore, if your pet eats a skink (or even licks one), you’ll want to monitor for signs of sickness. If you handle a skink, always wash your hands afterward with good hygiene.

Skinks aren’t dangerous because they generally avoid humans and flee, but can be harmful if proper handling isn’t practiced.

About Us

Hi, I’m Annemaria. I moved to the country a few years ago. I grow a large garden. (Is 75 tomato plants and 50 pepper plants too much?) This website is where I discuss how to keep your garden, yard, and house safe from animal pests. Even though many of these pests are common in the country, they are also a nuisance in the cities!

Will Bleach Kill A Lizard?

Yes, bleach will kill a lizard. However, it is a very inhumane way to do it, causing burns and excruciating death. Bleach is poisonous to the surrounding area and can poison any animals that might eat the lizard before or after it dies. For this reason, it isn’t recommended to use bleach.

How to Get Rid of Lizards on Porch, Outside, or In the House

1. Glue Traps

If you dislike lizards you can use glue board traps but this is often a death sentence for them.

  • They are not recommended generally because lizards are truly not as bad of a problem as a lot of people might think they are.
  • If you don’t remember to check them often, they can also cause a lot of suffering before death.
  • And you may have the smell of decomposing lizards to deal with over time.

2. Pepper Spray

The same type of spray that can prevent voles and insects will also discourage lizards.

  • You can spray homemade pepper spray in the corners of your home or anywhere that you want to discourage lizards from hanging out.
  • You can make it from Tabasco sauce and water or something similar.
  • Be careful spraying any pepper spray because it can burn your eyes or skin if exposed.

3. Electrical Diversions

You can purchase an ultrasonic device that emits a sound that lizards can hear but you cannot.

  • This sound helps keep them away and is usually pretty effective.
  • You may need more than one for good control if you have a larger home or space you are trying to keep lizard free.
  • This method also has the benefit of being very humane compared to many others.

4. Egg Shells

© Marek / Fotolia

Many housekeepers swear by egg shells as a natural lizard prevention system.

  • Most people hang empty egg shells and claim it is the smell that keeps lizards from climbing their walls or roaming on the porch all the time.
  • If you don’t want to hang them up then putting them in something on a top shelf or similar can have the same effect on lizards.
  • Just be sure to warn others in your house, so they are not surprised to find a bunch of old egg shells in a corner.

5. Other Home Remedies

When it comes to getting rid of lizards in the house, on the porch, or outside the house, some people use a handful of home remedies. Some of them work best than others, so make sure you try them a few times and see what best fits your needs:

  • Coffee and tobacco mix: placed in the corners of rooms or around the property deter or even kill lizards;
  • Mothballs: their smell deter plenty of pests, lizards included;
  • Flypaper: an obvious method to get rid of flies, the sticky paper also captures lizards that you can take outside your property.
  • Onion and garlic: these pungent smells deter lizards and keep them away from your home.
  • Phenyl tablets also keep lizards at bay from entering your home.

Peacock Feathers

Peacock feathers work in a way similar to the eggs

Peacock feathers work in a way similar to the eggshells. Because peacocks are natural enemies to lizards, lizards naturally avoid areas they see feathers. In addition to being a bird feather, peacock feathers also have a spot on them that looks like an eye that is very effective at scaring away pesky reptiles.

To use this method, put peacock feathers on your porch where lizards are usually found. This method looks better than the eggshell method and won’t attract pests.

How to Get Rid of Lizards Outside

Getting rid of lizards is not that hard if you follow the next tips and tricks!

1. Scooting a Lizard off a Wall

The walls of a home are easy for a lizard to crawl up.

  • If you have a lizard on your wall you can use a rolled up magazine, newspaper, used paper towel roll, or broom, to gently scoot the lizard towards the nearest exit.
  • Be gentle doing this. Lizards can be a lot more delicate in their constitution then you might expect.
  • There is little reason to hurt them when all that is needed is for them to go out a window or door.

2. Make Sure to Put Away Pets

If you are trying to get a lizard from around your home without risking injury to the lizard, then it is best to put away your dogs, cats, etc. while you remove the lizard.

  • While your beloved pets may mean well, they can easily kill or injure a lizard.
  • You certainly don’t want them eating one as some lizards may be toxic to your pets.

How To Get Rid Of Skinks

Eager to learn how to get rid of skinks? Lucky for you, there are many ways to control the population and drive them out successfully.

Here are some of the most effective methods worth trying.

1. Remove Their Food Sources

The first thing you should do when getting rid of skinks is deprive them of their food source. While that sounds easy enough, skinks are not like cockroaches or mice. They typically do not eat human food. Instead, they prefer a diet of bugs!

An underlying bug problem is a surefire way to attract skinks into your home. Take a look around to spot the problem. Once you find the bugs that the skinks are feeding on, you can exterminate them.

When the bugs are gone, the skinks will migrate elsewhere to find food.

Skinks can eat a wide variety of bugs, and the problem insect varies based on your climate. In warm and humid areas, skinks usually feed on silverfish, spiders (getting rid of spiders in your garage is highly recommended), pillbugs, and more. In colder areas, the bugs of choice are moths, fleas, and flies.

Quick Tip: Don’t forget to pay attention to areas outside of your house as well. Many bug infestations occur underneath porches or around exterior lighting by a deck. If the skinks are feeding on bugs close to your house, it’s only a matter of time before they move inside.

2. Eliminate Sources Of Water

Like all living creatures, skinks need water to survive. Removing their prime source of hydration can do a lot to keep skinks away from your house.

However, the tricky thing is that skinks don’t need a ton of water. As a result, you have to be extra vigilant about keeping things dry.

Pay attention to how water accumulates inside and outside your house. Outside, you might see stagnant puddles form after a heavy rain. Or, you might have a bird feeder or a leaky sprinkler.

Whatever the case may be, remove it! Getting rid of skinks is a piece of cake when they don’t have any water nearby. They’ll typically vacate on their own.

The same goes for inside water sources. Close toilet covers, fix leaking pipes, and don’t leave water out for too long. You’d be surprised by what sources are supporting the skink population.

Quick Tip: Don’t forget to check appliances like your air conditioner. Condensation is more than enough to keep skinks alive. 

3. Tidy Up

Another effective way to get rid of skinks is to keep things clean. Whether the lizards are calling your porch home or they’re living in your garage, there’s likely some comforting and protective clutter in the vicinity.

Many species like to use plant debris to create nests. Those living inside can also use things like scraps of paper, dust, and anything else they can find.

Removing some of the mess will repel skinks by making them look elsewhere for shelter. Not only that, but tidier homes attract fewer bugs for the skinks to eat.

Don’t stop at sweeping and vacuuming. Go the extra mile and clean all of those discreet hiding spots. Take a look around and seal up any holes or voids.

The goal is to make your home as uncomfortable and uninhabitable to skinks as possible. With regular cleaning, there’s a lot less mess that they can take advantage of.

4. Keep It Dark

Believe it or not, reducing light can work wonders if you want to get rid of skinks in your house or yard.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, light attracts bugs. Have you ever taken a look at your porch light in the dead of night? Chances are, it gets covered in bugs!

It might as well be a buffet for skinks! Limiting the light will draw in fewer insects and give those reptiles fewer opportunities to eat.

Secondly, skinks tend to gravitate towards light naturally. Remember, they need to find heat to thermoregulate. Light indicates warmth, so most skinks will meander towards distant light for shelter.

Start by trying to keep unused lights off if you want to get rid of skinks. The worst offenders are porch and garage lights, but even decorative lighting can be a problem.

5. Use A Repellent

One of the most directly effective methods for getting rid of skinks is spraying repellent.

Repellents are surprisingly effective against skinks. Many commercial products are available. Some of the most commonly used come in the form of concentrated liquid.

All you have to do is attach the concentrate bottle to your hose, crank up the water, and start spraying your yard. It automatically mixes, allowing you to cover your home’s perimeter.

Alternatively, you can pick up in-house sprays. For the most efficiency, spray the product around areas of your home where skinks might live. Pay attention to voids, hidden corners, and other possible nesting areas.

Repellents are relatively harmless, so don’t feel bad about using them. Most include intense aromas that naturally repel skinks. All-natural sprays might utilize pungent essential oils, spices, and aromatic herbs. However, chemical-based products are available, too.

Quick Tip: Insect-based repellents work great as an indirect method as well. Skinks only go where they can find food. If you use repellent to keep bugs away, the skinks will move out in no time.

How to Inspect for Lizards

Once you’ve identified that you have a lizard problem, you’ll need to inspect your property for signs of lizard activity.

Here are a few steps we recommend:

  • Check common hiding places. Again, lizards like cool, sheltered areas. Check behind clutter in your home, garage, kitchen, or outdoor sheds for lizards or their droppings, which look like small black pellets with a white tip. If you’re looking for lizards outside, search common hiding areas like warm, humid parts of the garden.
  • Note entry points. Lizards are small enough to squeeze through gaps in doors or windows, or small openings in your wall. As you inspect your property, pay close attention to these potential lizard highways.
  • Check your screens. Lizards can easily enter homes through open windows, or windows with torn screens. As you inspect your property, double-check all your window screens to ensure they’re intact and in good repair.

Since lizards eat mainly insects, they’re less likely than other pests to leave behind a trail of destruction in your garden or landscaping.

Still, it’s smart to inspect your fruit and vegetable plants, since lizards consider these valuable food sources.

Where do skinks live?

The habitat of the lizards can vary according to the species of each one. While some have a preference for living in plant matter, others prefer land above ground. Skinks can burrow, so they can easily make a nest anywhere to use as a hiding place.

Some skinks prefer climbing trees and living in them, and if you have trees in your yard, they will surely be visited by this little animal. But since skinks’ characteristics can vary, some prefer aquatic life and prefer to live in places like ponds.

How to Prevent Lizard Re-infestation

Instead of dealing with recurring lizard infestations, employ these tips to prevent lizard problems from coming back:

  • Address insect populations in your home, lawn, or garden
  • Use barrier treatments to keep lizards out of your home
  • Keep food scraps and water sources secure

About This Site

Hi, I’m Annemaria. I moved to the country a few years ago. I grow a large garden. (Is 75 tomato plants and 50 pepper plants too much?) This website is where I discuss how to keep your garden, yard, and house safe from animal pests. Even though many of these pests are common in the country, they are also a nuisance in the cities!


Get rid of the lizard food source – Spray the interior and exterior with NO Bugs Super to reduce flies, moths, ants and other insects. Pay attention to surfaces around exterior lights. Fumigate with NO Bugs Bug Bombs or NO Bugs Super Fumigator. Seal or remove hiding places – Lizards are small and can hide during the day in cracks and crevices around the building. Seal up or remove these potential hiding places and make the building less hospitable to the lizards. Don’t leave the lights on – At night turn off lights that attract insects and consequently lizards. Contact your local DoC office if you believe you have found plague skinks.  

How to Keep Lizards Away

Unfortunately, the market isn’t as open to lizard control as it is to rodents or insects. You’re not likely to find a natural lizard repellent spray at the local hardware store, but there are some everyday household items that can deter a hungry lizard. The following are just a few examples.


The best repellents will always be the most natural ones. Garlic, for example, is one of our favorites, and it works on lizards as well as a wide range of other pests (and is good for you, too!). You can place individual cloves in places lizards seem to hang out (be careful around household critters, as garlic is poisonous to cats and some other pets).

You can also make an effective spray using garlic, onion juice, and water that can repel a wide range of pests.

Related: Garlic – It Fights More Than Vampires

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is another popular repellent spray. Simply mix hot sauce or crushed red pepper to water and spray it in places the lizards like to go. While harmless, the residue will irritate the feet on a wide range of pests, encouraging them not to come back.

Both sprays are excellent for home and garden applications. Just make sure to respray every couple days when using outdoors, as dew and rain can wash them away.

Commercial Repellents

Of course commercial repellents are also available. Even the best lizard repellents can be hit or miss but this one seems to be the most consistent at keeping lizards and geckos away.

Using Decoys

The effectiveness of using a decoy against any pest is still debatable, but well worth trying out. Unlike larger critters, you can skip having ceramic predators littered around the property in favor of more suggestive evidence. There are quite a few potential remedies, although some are more popular than others.

Want to Let the Pros Handle It?Get a free quote from top pest control companies in your area.

Egg shells are one popular example. Scatter some broken egg shells around potential entry points and the lizard will think a predator is nearby. Remember, lizards tend to be egg layers, so seeing egg debris can be scary to them.

The same thing can be said for decorating with peacock feathers. Peacocks are a natural enemy of lizards and seeing potential traces of one will send a lizard running the other way.

How To Keep Skinks Away From Your House?

Keep skinks away from your home by:

  • Maintain proper cleanliness on your porch

The more clutter up there in your yard, the more likely skinks will find a good hiding place. You must keep your porch clean to prevent skinks from staying there.

  • Do not leave entrances on the porch where skinks can access

Some porches have a wide entrance, and this makes it easier for the skinks to enter. You must seal these entrances to prevent these animals’ access and other insects that can become pests.

  • Clean all areas of the garden

Your garden is a good place for skinks because they have all the comforts that these insects seek. Even if your yard is clean, skinks will likely want to live there if it’s neglected.


As you can see, getting rid of skinks isn’t a very complex process. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and effort!

We hope you found this guide helpful and have success with your skink problem. If you have any questions about the information above, feel free to let us know.


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