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How to Take Care of a House Gecko: A Complete Guide

House geckos, also known as Mediterranean geckos or common house geckos, are popular pets due to their small size, low maintenance, and interesting behaviors. These small reptiles are native to Southeast Asia and have adapted well to living in human homes. If you are considering getting a house gecko as a pet, it is essential to understand their unique needs to ensure their health and happiness. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to take care of a house gecko.

1. Create the Perfect Habitat:
House geckos require a properly set up terrarium. It should be spacious enough for them to move around comfortably and have hiding spots. Line the terrarium floor with a substrate like reptile carpet or paper towels for easy cleaning.

2. Provide Appropriate Temperature and Lighting:
Maintain a temperature gradient in the terrarium, with a warm side (around 85°F) and a cooler side (around 75°F). Use a heat lamp or under-tank heater to achieve this. Additionally, provide a UVB light source to ensure proper calcium absorption.

3. Offer a Balanced Diet:
House geckos are insectivores and should be fed a variety of live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and small roaches. Dust the insects with calcium and vitamin D3 powder before feeding to ensure their nutritional needs are met.

4. Ensure Access to Fresh Water:
Always provide a shallow water dish filled with clean water. House geckos will drink from it and may also use it for soaking if needed.

5. Maintain Proper Humidity Levels:
House geckos require a moderately humid environment, around 60-70% humidity. You can achieve this by misting the terrarium with water regularly and providing a humidity hide.

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6. Handle with Care:
While house geckos can tolerate handling, it is best to limit it to prevent stress. If you need to handle your gecko, do it gently and support its body.

7. Regularly Clean the Terrarium:
Clean the terrarium once a week by removing any uneaten food, feces, and shedding skin. Disinfect the terrarium using a reptile-safe cleaner to prevent the growth of bacteria.

8. Watch for Signs of Illness:
Be vigilant for any signs of illness in your gecko, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, or abnormal feces. If you notice any of these signs, consult a reptile veterinarian promptly.

9. Prevent Escapes:
House geckos are excellent climbers and can squeeze through tiny openings. Ensure your terrarium has a secure lid to prevent escapes and keep them safe.

10. Avoid Housing Multiple Males Together:
Male house geckos can become territorial and aggressive towards each other. It is best to house them separately to avoid potential conflicts.

11. Give Them Enrichment:
House geckos are curious creatures, and providing environmental enrichment is essential for their mental stimulation. Add branches, plants, and other decorations to the terrarium to create a stimulating environment.

FAQs:

1. Can house geckos live together?
No, it is not recommended to house multiple male geckos together as they can become aggressive. They are best housed separately.

2. How often should I feed my house gecko?
Feed juvenile house geckos daily and adult geckos every other day. Offer an appropriate amount of live insects per feeding.

3. Can I use sand as a substrate?
No, sand can cause impaction if ingested. It is best to use reptile carpet or paper towels as a substrate.

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4. Do house geckos require a heat lamp?
Yes, house geckos require a heat source to maintain the proper temperature gradient in their terrarium. A heat lamp or under-tank heater can be used.

5. How long do house geckos live?
With proper care, house geckos can live up to 10 years or more.

6. Do house geckos require a UVB light source?
Yes, a UVB light source is essential for house geckos to ensure proper calcium absorption and overall health.

7. Can I handle my house gecko?
While house geckos can tolerate handling, it is best to limit it to prevent stress. If you need to handle your gecko, do it gently and support its body.

8. How do I clean the terrarium?
Clean the terrarium once a week by removing uneaten food, feces, and shedding skin. Use a reptile-safe cleaner to disinfect the terrarium.

9. Can I feed my house gecko fruits or vegetables?
No, house geckos are insectivores and require a diet consisting of live insects. They do not typically eat fruits or vegetables.

10. How often should I mist the terrarium?
Mist the terrarium with water once or twice a day to maintain the required humidity level of 60-70%.

11. Can house geckos regenerate their tails?
Yes, house geckos have the ability to drop their tails as a defense mechanism. The tail will regenerate over time, but the new tail may not look the same as the original.
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