How to find escaped geckos


Moderator/The French Viking Moderathorr
How to find an escaped gecko?

It depends on the species and its usual behavior.

First, escaped geckos usually stay inside the same room and very often within 3 meters/10 ft from where they escaped.

I will make a difference between day geckos and nocturnal ones.

-Day geckos:

They are usually very fast and excellent climbers, even on smooth surfaces. Close doors and windows until you find your escapee again. Day geckos will not hesitate to flee in the outside if given a chance to do so.
In most cases, you will find them wandering on walls. The best way to catch them without harming them is to use a small net such as the ones used to catch fishes in fish tanks. Remember they have fragile skin, easily torn to escape a grasping hand.
If that does not work, prepare a powerful bright lamp and place it in an easily accessible corner of the room. Turn the lamp towards a wall. Turn off all lights but this lamp, the escapee is likely to come out of his hide to bask under the lamp.

-Nocturnal geckos

Any sort of food trap is not very efficient. Escaped geckos will prefer to stay under cover than risking to wander in the open and eat.
For ground-dwelling species, depending on what you have as a floor, you may spread flour on the floor and check in the morning if there are any footsteps and their direction.
Ground-dwelling species will stay on the ground, so look under any space under furniture. Escaped geckos will use the tightest shelters to stay hidden.
When you cannot easily have access to certain places (behind heavy furniture, under a bookshelf with a 1/2 inch space on the floor, behind a fridge), you can force the gecko to come out of his hide by using a flat, long ruler, or a small diameter bamboo perch.
Don't use boxes to imprison the gecko once you have spotted it, you are likely to cause its tail to break. Rather use your own hand by targetting the gecko body (not its limbs or head!) and rounding your palm to avoid smashing the poor creature.
Nocturnal species which are great climbers can be spotted by turning all lights off and leaving the room completely in the dark, avoid making any noise, then come back an hour later and suddenly turn on the lights again. There are chances you will notice them.
Geckos with prehensile tails will love to wander on any sort of wires.
If you have natural potted plants, this is one of the first place to check.
if you can't find your escapee, I recommend the following:

-Check the same places several times. Geckos do move a lot.
-Place a potted plant in the middle of the room with nothing else around it and spray the leaves with water.
-Place hides on the floor or, for climbing species, on the shelves of your reptile rooms: half coconut shells, pieces of bark...You will often find your escapee under one of these.

Nocturnal geckos will never venture outside even if you leave windows opened.

Other pets such as dogs or cats should ALWAYS be denied access to the room where the gecko escaped. In some cases, introducing a cat to the room, especially if the species is fast-moving, helps spotting the escapee: cats have outstanding senses compared to us and they may attract your attention if they have noticed where the escapee actually is. You have to monitor the whole thing closely though, to avoid the cat to turn your $ 500 gecko into a snack.

While escaped frogs will dry up and die within hours, with geckos, you have time to find them back. Receiving no food will not be a major problem for them. if you can, leaving a few crickets wandering in the room will help.

In any case, place a drinking vessel with fresh water where the gecko is likely to go- on the floor for leopard geckos and other ground-dwelling species, on a shelf for arboreal ones. Water is much more important than food.

Be extremely cautious when you use a vacuum cleaner in the room the escapee is supposed to be. A broom, whenever possible, is a much better solution.

During the day, escapees are likely to wander inside or around heaters, and/or behind the heated reptile enclosures in the room.

With very small species or babies, avoid wearing shoes in the room. You may unintentionally stampede on the gecko and smash it in no time.

Traps such as wasps traps are a no-no, same thing for glue-based traps.

Never give up. I found a Turner gecko in perfect condition behind a cupboard after almost a year of free roaming inside my place!


New member
Thanks for all those hints n tips. I certainly hope I never have to use any of them..... But there are certainly a lot of fantastic advice there. Obviously from lots of personal experiences, I'll be betting!!!!! :))


New member
Once of the many times I've had Tokay escape it would easily found near the ceiling. If you have tall bookcases make those your number one spot to look by day. They'll also shout out at certain times of dusk or dawn, makes them easy to find. Don't be tempted to just grab it. You know where it is and you can wait until it's sleepig. You can tell if you've been around Tokays. It's always kind of adventure as long as they can be kept inside. Screen your window and door in the Summer. Once outside they're gone!