Has Anybody Trapped a Gecko?

Today, I heard a scuttling sound inside the shed where I trap lots of rats. Instead of a rat, it was a fairly large gecko (species?). It high-tailed it out of the shed, so I hope it won’t return. Has anybody ever killed a gecko in one of their traps?

The shed is a very good site to trap rats, so I’d like to keep the traps operating, but now I’m paranoid about trapping a lizard in one of them, instead.

I looked online, but I couldn’t find any evidence of this happening.


I am also interested if anybody has caught geckos - especially in tree mounted traps

I have never trapped a gecko, but know a bit about baiting tracking tunnels etc. To study them. Usually tinned fruit and cat food are used as baits to attract gecko and skinks.

What are you baiting your traps in the shed with? Peanut butter should not be attractive to gecko, but jam or meat based lure might be.

Which part of Nz are you in, ans was it a green gecko or a brown one? There are about 48 species of gecko in NZ, but i might be able to narrow down the list for you.

I wasn’t the one that saw the gecko, but every lizard that I’ve ever seen in our area looks the same. I’m pretty sure that it is the Ngahere Gecko.

I checked the traps in the shed, looking for evidence of lure consumption, but I couldn’t see any. 2 of the snap-traps had peanut butter on them, and 1 had store-brand Nutella on it. It’s highly-likely that it was in the shed hunting insects.

I don’t use sweet lures like jam/honey, because the ants here would be on it in a heartbeat. There are a lot of waxeyes here, so a sweet lure would increase the odds of me trapping them. I use meat/fat lures regularly, to trap mustelids and brown/Norway rats.

Thanks for the help.

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Do you not find that the ants get into your meat lures? I experience a lot of ant interference with most lures here. Mayo, Nutella, meats and some baits too. I find ant sand works quite well to repel them, but it is extra effort and probably won’t work with all trapping setups. I’ve put some in my Victor boxes and in Smart Cages. I haven’t seen any larger geckos here that would be a problem for trapping. Cheers, Cam

I don’t usually have a problem with ants eating my lures, but I do have to contend with Gisborne cockroaches and tree weta. I do have a few suggestions for things to try, though.

To tackle ants, I highly-recommend applying white vinegar to your lures, by either spraying them or dunking them for a second or 2. The coating of acid appears to deter insects until the vinegar evaporates, and the smell might overpower their senses.
I don’t have any problems with invertebrates, but I doubt that they would like vinegar, either.

In addition to repelling insects, the predators here love vinegar, so it’s worth trying it for that reason alone. I’ve sprayed WV on peanut butter, Nutella, BBQ sauce, egg mayo, etc. and a number of meat lures, and it appears to enhance their appeal. I have a small spray bottle that I take with me to apply to fresh lures and give existing lures another dose. I also spray the entrance of DoC tunnels with it and the lure area.

In wet weather, the acidity of vinegar delays the growth of mould, so it can make a big difference, depending on how frequently you’re able to check your traps. With something like peanut butter, I probably get an extra 24-36 hours before it’s colonised by mold.

Don’t spray vinegar on any metal surfaces that aren’t stainless steel, because it will rust them.

Something else to try is Goodnature’s range of lures. I’ve been using them for 5 years now, and I have yet to find insects or invertebrates eating them. I’ve trapped hundreds of predators with the lures, on their own or paired with others, and they’re an easy, cost-effective way to lure a lot of traps. The possum lure also traps rats, BTW.

The blood lure, especially, has been very good in/on my snap-traps. The downside is that the texture of the lures makes them easy for predators to eat, so I’ve been putting a chickpea on top of the lure inside the bait cup of my T-Rex traps. Rodents like chickpeas, but they like the blood lure a lot more, so I’ve trapped dozens of rodents, big and small, attempting to remove the chickpea, which causes enough disturbance to trigger the trap. Placing a chickpea on top of PB, Nutella has also proven effective, because it gets stuck on top. Nibbling on the very hard chickpea is risky, and so is trying to steal it or move it out of the way. I’ve found a number of rats with a chickpea stuck in their mouth.

The gecko hasn’t been seen or heard again. I’ve done intensive trapping on our property, and planted a lot of native plants, so the geckos have enough food that the odds of me trapping one are probably close to zero, but it can’t hurt to ask fellow trappers.

A very good lure to try is tallow, but insects will eat it, unfortunately. It takes the insects and mice here a lot longer to eat than the other lures you use, due to its texture. Once again, a spray of vinegar will help.

Good luck trapping!

I got one Lizard in a mouse trap with peanut butter. I was just wanting to see what was tacking the bait. They appear to be able to lick the bait off a trap without setting it off. It was a bit clumsy and had a bad day at the office.

Sad to hear. Is there a healthy population of geckos in your area?

Since I’ve intensified my trapping, I’m seeing way more lizards, which is great, obviously, but the odds of trapping them ought to increase when there are more of them around.

Good luck trapping!

Their are plenty of Lizards around Lake Alexandrina.