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What Are Those Lizards Lounging Outside Our Louisiana Homes?

Dusty Hayes
Dusty Hayes

My two-year-old granddaughter visited us this past weekend at our home in Shreveport.  The world is one big, exciting place to Adelyn and her curiosity is insatiable.  She is particularly fascinated by the little creatures that live under the lights on our front and back porches.  Every couple of hours or so, Adelyn would walk over to me and say, “I want to see the lizards.”

As anyone who lives in this part of the country knows, the lizards of which Adelyn speaks are geckos.  But Adelyn doesn’t just want to see the lizards, she wants to know everything about them.  So, like any good granddad, I figured I’d better bone up on my lizard facts, and a Google search ensued.

Seems that the critters in the crevices around our houses are Mediterranean house geckos.  They are indigenous to–you guessed it–the Mediterranean, but have been introduced to many other areas of the world.  They thrive in Mediterranean-like climates which is why they can be found in abundance in Louisiana.  In some countries like Turkey and Cyprus, it is forbidden to harm a gecko because they are considered to be a sign of good luck.  Many people keep them as pets because of the lizards’ benign nature.

Having geckos around our homes in Shreveport/Bossier is a good thing.  They are considered by master gardeners to be beneficial lizards.  Their diet consists of insects, especially cockroaches and crickets.  They also are known to splurge on spiders from time to time.  Geckos are nocturnal which is why you will often see them congregate around the lights on the outside of your house.  Lights attract bugs, and geckos love them some bugs.

I tried in vain to grab a gecko so Adelyn could get a closer look at one, but those little suckers are fast.  And besides that, their tails break off which makes them almost impossible to catch.  So, I’ll be escorting my granddaughter to the front and back porches of our house every couple of hours every time Adelyn visits.  She’ll say, “I want to see the lizards!” and Granddaddy will be happy to oblige.


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