Where’s my Gecko?! What to do in case of Leopard Gecko Escape

Leopard Gecko on the Loose

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Don’t Panic

First thing to keep in mind in the event of a leopard gecko escape: Don’t panic.

Have you noticed that a healthy leopard gecko has a fat tail?  It’s not just there for show. A leopard gecko stores fat in its tail, and can use this energy in times when food is scarce.  Unless your gecko is missing for over a month, it most likely will not starve before you find it. Time is on your side.

To find your gecko, think like a gecko.  What does it need? What does it want? The answer is: warmth, shelter, and food.  Where would it find these things in your home? Let’s take a look:

Look in warms spots

All reptiles are cold blooded, and will seek out warmth.  Look in places where heat is generated. For example, under the refrigerator or stove or behind the TV are good places to start. 

Do you have plugs and adapters behind an entertainment center that may be warm to the touch? Your gecko may like to snuggle into the tight space and soak in the warmth.  Are there radiators or baseboard heaters in your home that a gecko may hide under? Do you have space heaters or heat ducts your gecko may want to cozy up against?

You get the idea. Your lizard will want to stay warm and safe.

Look close to the ground

Leopard geckos don’t climb much in the wild, therefore they probably won’t climb very high in your home.  Look on the floor, under and behind things. 

Try under beds, couches, and furniture. Does the woodwork on your furniture have spaces on the bottom where objects could roll underneath?  That looks like a cave to your gecko. Be careful moving furniture; you don’t want to squish your gecko while trying to save it.

Check your shoes before putting them on

Leopard Gecko escaping from shoe

Yes, your gecko may have found a dark and warm hiding place in your shoe.  Should your leopard gecko escape, be sure to check everyone’s shoes. You don’t want an unpleasant surprise for both of you the next time you slip on your shoes, so best to take a look.

Clear the Area

Remove as much as you can from the floor; Anything your gecko could climb into. This could be boxes, clothing, toys, shoes, slippers, etc. The more you can eliminate the easier it will be to find your lost leopard gecko.

Also, if you can cut off access to other areas of your home by closing doors or blocking doorways before you gecko has a chance to wander off, this will cut down on the area you need to search.

You found it, but can’t get it out?

So, you found your leopard gecko nestled in a tight place and can’t get to it safely?  Try tempting it with some food, especially if it has not eaten for a while. A superworm squirming around is sure to get its attention, and waxworms can be a tempting treat. 

How to make sure your lizard does not get loose

When you have your leopard gecko out of its enclosure, keep a few things in mind to make sure your gecko does not get away or get hurt:

o    Don’t leave it unattended
o    Don’t put it somewhere it could fall
o    Be mindful of other pets that may injure – or eat – your gecko.

Cat photobombing a leopard gecko
Our cat keeping a watchful eye on our leopard gecko

o    Make sure your tank has a well fitting lid, or that your enclosure securely closes. This is not only so your gecko can’t get out, but also so other curious pets can’t get in.

If you want to let your leopard gecko roam a bit safely, you could check out a pet playpen. They’re collapsible and come in a variety of colors.

GABraden Small Animals Tent,Reptiles Cage,Breathable Transparent Pet Playpen Pop Open Outdoor/Indoor Exercise Fence,Portable Yard Fence (Cool Green)
Check the best pet playpen price on Amazon (affiliate link)

Make sure you have everything your Leopard Gecko Needs! Check out our Habitat setup and Gear guide here.

Wrap Up: What to do if your Leopard Gecko Escapes

If your leopard gecko escapes and is on the loose, it can survive for a while on the fat stores in its tail. Start by looking in warm places close to the ground where it may feel safe and warm.

About the author

About the Author: H. Evan Miller & Leopard Gecko

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