If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of finding a skink in your garage, you know just how frustrating it can be. These little lizards can be hard to get rid of, but with these tips, you’ll be able to get your garage back to its original, uninfested state in no time!
What You'll Learn Today
What are Skinks – and Why Are They in My House?
Skinks are tiny little reptiles that have quite the knack for getting into homes and garages! Although they appear just about everywhere in the world, they’re most common in the coastal areas of the United States.
They build communal nests and lay lots of eggs at once, a characteristic that enables them to increase in population quite rapidly.
A few skinks here or there shouldn’t be an issue, but if you have lots of them hanging out in your garage, they’re sure to cause some irritation.
Skinks are often confused for other types of reptiles and amphibians. In fact, many homeowners think that they are anoles, geckos, or other kinds of lizards at first glance. However, you’ll know it is a skink if you take a closer look at the body of the creature. It has a long, girthy body with a tail that is thick, long, and tapered. The legs are short, often giving the illusion that this animal has no legs at all.
These creatures slink rather than scurry, another feature that makes these animals different from similar types of lizards. They can have muted colors or those that are more striking in nature. They usually have overlapping scales and heads that are distinct from the neck.
There are several types of skinks that may end up in our home but there are quite a few different species that can end up in the garage.
Catch a skink in your garage adn there’s a good chance that it’s going to catch you off guard in return! However, the good news is that skinks aren’t dangerous and they’re probably not going to do too much damage to your belongings, either.
Even skinks with bright colors – a trait that is usually indicative of a poisonous, venomous nature – aren’t harmful. They do occasionally bite when threatened, which can be painful, but this is rare. Skinks are also toxic when ingested – likely something you aren’t planning on doing, but it’s common with pets.
Finally, skinks can transmit a variety of diseases to humans, including bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. They can leave droppings and urine all around your garage. The nests, which are often found in water-damaged beams or wall voids, can be problematic, too.
What Keeps Lizards Out of Your Garage?
Remove the Food Source
One of the best – and most effective ways – to keep lizards like skinks out of your garage is to remove the food source.
This can be challenging if you’re not used to dealing with them, since they aren’t like other types of pests that feed primarily on things like human or pet food. Getting rid of skinks is different from getting rid of rodents or roaches – to get rid of skinks, you need to get rid of bugs.
If you have an underlying insect problem in your garage, it’s a surefire way to attract more than your fair share of skinks. They eat all kinds of bugs, too, including silverfish, pillbugs, spiders, moths, flies, and fleas.
Take a close look around your garage to determine whether an insect infestation might be to blame. Pay close attention to areas beneath porches or even around exterior lighting, such as near a deck. Even if the bug problem is outside there’s a good chance that the skinks will soon migrate indoors.
Get Rid of Water Sources
Like all living things, skinks also need water in order to live. Remove any sources of water to remove the skinks.
Despite being larger than most pests you might find in your garage, skinks actually don’t need a lot of water in order to survive. Even just a few stagnant puddles, a condensation-covered air conditioner, a leaky sprinkler, or a birdbath can provide the skinks with the water they need.
Clean Things Up
Aside from removing all food and water sources, it’s also important that you tidy up the rest of your garage. These creatures like to use plant debris to build their nests. From scraps of paper to dust, they’ll use any kind of mess to build their homes.
Make sure your garage is neat and tidy. Sweep the floor on a regular basis and clean up any areas that may serve as discreet hiding spots. Seal up any voids, cracks, or holes in the wall too – that way, the skinks can’t get in.
Lower the Lights
Most pests prefer conditions to be dark and quiet – that’s not the case with skinks! They love lots of light, primarily because the light tends to attract bugs.
Dim the lights to make sure fewer insects come in. Lowering the lights will also affect the skinks’ likelihood of coming into your garage in the first place, since light indicates warmth. They need to find heat in order to thermoregulate and will come into your garage if the lights are always left on.
Keep unused lights off – everything from garage lights to porch lights and even decorative lighting should be turned off when not absolutely necessary.
Use a Lizard Repellent
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of skinks is to use a lizard repellent. These are effective against skinks and usually come in a concentrated liquid form. You can spray the yard with a garden-focused blend or you can use an in-house spray.
When you spray, pay special attention to the nesting areas, corners, and voids where skinks are most likely to live.
These repellents are usually harmless, with most just containing intense aromas that naturally repel skinks. If you’re really concerned, you can opt for an all-natural spray that relies on herbs, essential oils, and spices to keep skinks at bay.
Want to make your own DIY lizard repellent? Watch this video with tips on how to whip up a batch of your own skink-busting brew at home:
What Kills Skinks Instantly?
If you want to get rid of skinks, you might find yourself so overwhelmed with frustration that you want to kill them outright. Although this might be easily done – and the best solution – for other kinds of pests, it’s really not a recommended solution for creatures like skinks.
Skinks aren’t harmful to humans, for the most part, and they serve a valuable role in the ecosystem. As you already know, they eat lots of bugs – something that might be frustrating when it comes to keeping them out of your home, but is beneficial in the garden. Skinks are important creatures to have around – and while you probably don’t want them inside, it’s not a good idea to try to kill them.
Instead, focus on keeping your property as bug-free as possible – that goes for both the interior of your home and garage as well as the exterior. Remember, a few bugs outdoors are sure to attract skinks indoors.
Skinks are some of the most common pests you might encounter in your garage – especially if you live in a coastal area. They can be quite difficult to get rid of, too – remember, they’re nocturnal, so you’ll probably only see them at night.
Follow these tips, and you should be able to detect whether you have a skink infestation – and take appropriate steps to get rid of skinks in the garage for good.