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  1. #1
    dyaken is offline Newbie
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    Question idealistic roach solution?


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    Hi

    I tried reviving a thread with a similar question elsewhere, but received no replies (is this because this idea is totally insane?)...anyway here we go again....

    I have a roach problem.

    I just moved to an apartment in Boston and discovered these pesky little roomates. Many years ago (when I was about 3 years old) I lived in Australia with my family and I remember my Mom was so happy when a gecko moved into the house because it kept the roaches under control. (But then she accidentally murdered it...which is another story entirely). So...I've been toying with the idea of getting a gecko. I was thinking of basically just setting up a vivarium but leaving it open so the gecko could come and go as he/she pleased.

    Right, so, here is how my fantasy goes.....we have a new addition to our family - a beautiful wee <insert appropriate species here> gecko with sweet little suction cup toes and big googly eyes...we call him "Gigi". I explain to my children all about how this little creature will get rid of the bugs and they stare in awe at our gecko through the glass of the vivarium. The children are fascinated with Gigi and I take him out of his "house" to let them see him better and stroke him gently with their pudgy little fingers. They laugh when he suddenly sticks his tongue out. Gigi chirps with delight. I explain to them that this is Gigi's sleepy time and I must put him away now so that he can rest. Before we all go to bed that night we open up the lid to Gigi's house for him. We all fall asleep to the pleasant sounds of Gigi, joyously crunching roaches in the kitchen. I wake up in the morning to a sparkling clean kitchen with no signs of the previous evening's hunt - Gigi hasn't even pooed on the kitchen counter. I check on Gigi who is sleeping soundly in a hiding spot in his house. I blow him a loving kiss and close the lid of his house quietly so as not to disturb his well earned slumber. And we all live out our days happily ever after. Cue music.

    So the questions I have for you knowledgable folks are....

    How completely naive is my idealistic roach solution? Is this a bad idea? Is it terrible to get a gecko just for such utilitarian purposes? Will my gecko stay in the apartment or will he decide to escape? (am picturing self roaming the halls of the building in my PJs calling "heeeeeere gecko gecko gecko!"). Will he return to his vivarium or will he decide he's happier living under the stove and I'll end up accidentally cooking him one day? If the Gigi fantasy solution does work - how well will it work? - I don't want to accidentally starve my gecko. Will I just be trading one problem for another (roaches for gecko poo everywhere?)?

    Also, I have 2 children (aged 1 and 3) and I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt or bit (either gecko biting kid or kid biting gecko).

    Thoughts please.

    - D

  2. #2
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
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    Very interesting...love your fantasy, but most likely your new found roach-loving friend would not return to "his" apartment after his great hunt. He/she might find a cozy and warm place to hide like under a refrigerator. Don't think there would be a chance of cooking him. However, there are tales of missing geckos returning to their cages after being out and about for awhile. I think heat from nearby lamps as well as an open cage is one factor in their return.

    In my experience geckos would not normally bite humans unless they were being held.

    What do other geckophiles think?
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  3. #3
    Lordoftheswarms is offline Junior member
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    On practical and functional terms:
    If you've got a roach problem, and want them gone 100% deal with it as the rest of western civilization does. Fumigate. The pest exterminator will likely put Sulfuric acid where the roaches are likely to be, the acid will destroy the roaches legs. With a couple treatments the roaches will be gone.

    If you want to control the population a little bit, then get a gecko.
    Alternatively, get a Siamese cat. I hear they really like to hunt.

    On my terms:
    If I were one of your kids, I wouldn't want you to get a gecko for this purpose. I would probably put the tank in my room with the gecko in it, and install a lock on my bedroom door. I wouldn't appreciate someone intentionally letting it loose.
    2.3 Leos, 1.0 P. quadriocellata, 1.0 P. lauticauda, 0.1 prego P. grandis, 1.1 U. sikorae, 1.0 HI Boa Want: Geckos, Nosey Be Panther Cham.

  4. #4
    qiksilver is offline Newbie
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    Cats work.

    Also, your solution wouldn't really work. I used to live in Boston, and this is probably the wrong website to admit this on, but I had a Candoia that would not eat anything but geckos for a while. I switched her over as soon as I could, but for a while I had to feed her house geckos (I kept some as well, it was slightly upsetting). One escaped and was never seen again. Basically, the geckos you want to keep around probably will disappear forever if not kept in a cage. Especially if you live in an old building like i was in.

  5. #5
    acpart is offline Senior Member
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    If you live in an apartment in Boston, it's likely that some of the roaches in your apartment have been in other people's apartments and may have eaten poison that's been put out for them. That means your gecko will also ingest it. On some level it will work. I had a banded gecko loose in my house for 4 months that was thin, but surviving when I caught it and was probably feasting on all the crickets that escape. I have heard stories from people who let some geckos loose in their houses and never saw another gecko or another ****roach again. I do fear though, that the most likely scenario is the ****roaches continuing to haunt you, and your eventually finding a small skeleton under your fridge.

    Aliza

  6. #6
    meisen is offline Newbie
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    I worked in a disgusting pet store when I was a kid...we definitely had roaches, rats, mice, crickets and other random animals living in the walls and ceilings. A modest population of tokay and house geckos lived in the building as long as I worked there as well. While there were dozens of tokays and probably 100s of house geckos, the roach population was quite healthy during my tenure.

    We would find Tokay eggs in light fixtures as well as in unused drawers in back. I often scooped baby house geckos out of the reef sumps....I am guessing they tried to drink from there and the salt did something to their toe pads.

    Its a simple ecosystem thing, you have to have 100,000s of roaches to support 10s-100s of geckos and you have to have lots of food to support 100,000s of roaches. Coming in early mornings you would find employee meals, animal food in cages all completely covered with 100s of the buggers...and those were just the ones you see!!!

    Short answer: In order to eliminate all the roaches you likely have, you'd need a small army of hungry geckos.

  7. #7
    Charlenelle is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Gecko a loose

    Hi. Don't know about roaches carrying poison already being hazardous to geckos, seems like the roach would already be dead by the time it reaches the point to be harmful to a gecko! Geckos can be pretty resilient. I've had a Vietnamese golden for about 10 years. I decided to let it loose about a month ago, as I was afraid of it dying soon anyhow. Also I haven't taken very good care of it for the past 5 years, and the damn thing will not die. I barely fed or mist it, and thought it would be best on its own! However, it comes back to its cage every night, and I know it was out on the back porch (I leave the back door open all the time, now, that it is summer)! Don't know if it's female or male, I call it midori, Japanese for green, also a common Japanese name for girls. I have brown recluses, and an exterminator once said I should just let that thing loose. After a couple years, that's what I'm doing! He/she comes back every night to its cage, guess I'll continue to put crickets in there from time to time, since it didn't give up me! Xoxox little gecko! Haven't noticed any poop in the house yet either. Don't have any info as to what winter will be like, thinking if you live in Boston, you should provide a warm house for it. Most geckos are nocturnal, so just tell you kids it's sleeping during the day. Cances are, it is! I think it's a good idea. I might be wrong. I worried for many years about what might happen if the thing gets loose, and here I am letting it go, and leaving my back door open everyday, and it comes right backntomits home! Granted it is very used to that home. It's lived there for almost 10 years! Its had a long life, and deserves to end its days however it chooses! I will continue to leave the house there for it to come back to until I really believe its gone for good! I kinda love it more now that it seems to like its home so much!

    (please excuse my poor typing, iPad autocorrect in effect...ugh!)

    Best of luck! I vote for free geckos in homes!
    Last edited by Charlenelle; 05-28-2012 at 01:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Charlenelle is offline Newbie
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    I just wanted to add that in live in Tennessee, which is pretty tropical in summers! And that if you do decide to let it loose, don't expect it to ever be a sweet loving family member. Mine, as it is, is very independent, and does not like to be picked up and scurries away from my hand. Children might be apt to try to catch it, but you may be able to establish some rules about that! It will definitely live its own life, even if it does come back to its house regularly. And I do think a cat or certain breeds of dogs would be apt to catch and kill it. So keep that in mind. I have and elderly lab mix that doesn't seem to notice its there unless she hears a sound, which almost never happens, but they can climb walls, so they have that. Still a cat would concern me.

  9. #9
    Sanprofe is offline Newbie
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    I will be attempting exactly this with whatever "House" species is available at the local pet store today. The facet I find most fascinating is the environment which roaches find most enjoyable (warm, moist, dark) is exactly that preferred by the gecko. We do own a cat, but the geckos are sold as feeders anyway so I'm not overly concerned. Best-case scenario, he becomes a life-long installation and solves a particularly difficult problem (lazy cat refuses to kill the little bastards) and worst-case he does what he was born to do and becomes an expensive meal. I will be posting back with my findings.

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