Do you have lizards in and around your garden? If so, then you must know what do lizards eat in the garden. You can use them to your advantage and keep insects and worms away from your plants.
Lizards normally eat anything that they can find. Lizards are omnivores, and they will consume anything in their vicinity. Some of their favorite items include insects, worms, crickets, as well as plants.
In this article, you’ll get to know all about what do lizards eat in the garden, different species of lizards and what they eat, how to keep lizards away from your plants, and more.
What do lizards eat in the garden?
Lizards are normally omnivorous creatures, and they’ll eat anything that they can find. Some of the common food items include insects, worms, crickets, mice, and birds. Some of them even love eating plants. They can easily eat up to 15% of their total body weight each day. Many lizards in the wild might have a diet consisting mainly of ants and spiders instead of birds or mammals. You can easily find them under logs or rocks for protection from predators, especially during the summer.
Lizards tend to feed on insects that are found in the garden. Some of those insects include butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars, and other bugs. Insects are normally more of a staple in the diet of the lizards than plants. This is why they stick to consuming insects over most other types of food. Sometimes, they can even eat fruits like guava or mangoes.
What do lizards eat by species?
It’s important to know what type of lizard species you might see in your garden and what do they consume. You will find a lot of variety all over the States. The warmer the area you’re residing in, the likelier it’ll be that you’re sharing land with lizards. Here are some of the different species of lizards and the food they consume.
- Caroline Anole – This species of lizards are normally found throughout the Southwest. You will see these lizards being sold in pet stores, as they’re easy to handle and docile. They are often referred to as chameleons thanks to their ability to change colors and camouflage. They feed largely on insects like crickets and flies.
- Five-Lined Skink – The five-lined skink lizards are commonly found along the Eastern Cost and even in Canada. This is the only species of lizards found in Massachusetts. It is a comparatively small lizard, as it only reaches around 8 inches in length. You will find them in open forests where they’ll find food items like spiders, beetles, and other insects.
- Eastern Collard Lizard – The Eastern Collard Lizard will make its home in dry regions in the Southwest. These lizards have a striking look as they feature an orangish head and a turquoise body. This species is very fast, and they can stand on their hind legs. These lizards prefer eating similar foods to the previous species, but they sometimes eat smaller lizards too.
- Prairie Skink – The Prairie Skink is among the few species that you will find in the northern regions of the United States. In fact, this species is protected in some areas of Canada. These lizards love eating insects and invertebrates living in the open grasslands.
- Desert Spiny Lizard – The Desert Spiny Lizard is another incredibly common species of lizards found in the Southwest region. You can easily encounter one if you live in California, Utah, or Nevada. These lizards have a wide head and a black band around the neck. This species has the unique ability to change color according to the temperature, for absorbing more heat when needed. This species of lizards prefer eating centipedes, caterpillars, and other small lizards.
- Desert Iguana – If you reside in the scrublands of the Southwest, you might come across the desert iguana species. Unlike most other species, Desert Iguanas are herbivores. They prefer eating the native plants of this habitat, especially the creosote bush.
- Italian Wall Lizard – The Italian Wall Lizard prefers the rocky areas, but they can easily adapt to urban areas as well. These lizards feed primarily on beetles, spiders, and wasps occasionally. They’re very adaptable, and they extend their range rapidly westward. They have been spotted in Kansas as well as other regions of the Great Plains.
- Western Banded Gecko – The Western Banded Gecko is known for being the creature of the night. These lizards prefer hunting at night and their favorite preys are insects and scorpions. These lizards venture close to human dwellings during summer nights when they’re looking for food. They protect themselves from predators by mimicking their prey’s items, like scorpions.
What fruits can lizards in your garden eat?
Fruits might not be the first choice for lizards, but they love having fruits once in a while. Lizards often see fruit as a reward or something to make other fruits more appetizing. They cannot help resist if they come across mangoes or guavas.
Some of the fruits that lizards love eating are –
- Honeydew melon
What vegetables can lizards in your garden eat?
Vegetables are also a decent food source for many lizard species. For lizards, consuming a variety of vegetables will be a healthy food habit. This will decrease their likelihood of having vitamin deficiency. Here are some of the most common types of vegetable plants that lizards love consuming.
- Dandelion greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Collard greens
- Bell Peppers
- Swiss chard
- Romaine lettuce
Are there any food items in your garden that lizards cannot consume?
While there are several types of food items that lizards can eat, there are some that are unsafe for them. For insectivores, they can only consume feeder insects that are free from diseases and parasites. Meanwhile, omnivores and herbivores should stay away from specific fruits and vegetables that are harmful to them.
The food items that might be unsafe or toxic for lizards include –
- Iceberg lettuce
How to keep lizards from eating your plants in the garden?
Lizards aren’t normally harmful to plants in the garden. However, sometimes they can start nibbling at your plants and start eating them. This will leave you in a tricky situation as your effort and hard work of days or even weeks will be compromised. There are certain plants like kale, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, and other similar vegetables that don’t get eaten by lizards. You can easily plant them in your garden or at the boundary, and they’ll keep lizards away. You can even place fruits like mangoes or guavas in your garden. Lizards love eating mangoes and guavas, and they’ll keep the lizards at the boundary and give them no reason to come into your garden.
Use lizard repellent
If you don’t know much about home remedies and don’t want to bother with them, simply go for lizard repellents. Lizard repellents will be the best possible option if you’re looking to keep lizards away. Lizard repellents are available via numerous local stores or online stores. You can even get them at your local supermarket. These repellents will be available either as a small gel tube or as sprays.
All you’ll have to do is inject some of it or place it in different parts of your garden. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a safe, cornered area that is hidden. This will give the gel enough time to get hardened in place. Over time, you’ll notice that the lizard population has started declining in your garden.
Another effective method that you can use to get rid of lizards in your garden would be the coffee method. All that you have to do is purchase a can of tobacco and then mix it with a pack of coffee powder. Many people refer to this mixture as the lizard killing machine. You can easily mix them as fine as possible and then make tiny balls out of the mixture.
These balls can be easily placed at different corners of your backyard. You could even bury a few balls under the surface. Otherwise, these balls will end up losing their effectiveness.
DIY Pepper Spray
If you’re looking for a proactive way of getting rid of lizards, then you can go for a pepper spray. It is important to keep in mind that lizards are highly allergic to pepper, and they run from it.
If you’re able to create a pepper spray, it’ll be very irritating for the lizards. Moreover, they’ll run away from your garden as quickly as possible. All that you’ll require is to mix crushed black pepper with water and put it in a spray bottle.
As this is a completely organic solution, you will not have to worry about any potential damage to your plants. If you have an idea of the hiding locations of different lizards, you can spray the solution there generously. However, it would be best if you cover all the bases and plants in your backyard. This way, you can ensure that the lizards stay away from your garden.
Tabasco Sauce Spray
Tabasco sauce is definitely a mainstay in most kitchens. If you open your fridge, you will probably find a thin red bottle of Tabasco sauce there. Tabasco sauce, while being an excellent addition to food items, is also effective when it comes to keeping lizards away.
Just like how pepper irritates lizards, the smell of Tabasco sauce will create problems for lizards.
You can take a bit of Tabasco sauce and then mix it with water, and you’ll be good to go. Then, you can spray the Tabasco solution along the bottom of the fence. Further, spray a bit near the plants, too. It would be best to target the difficult-to-reach areas using a sharp sprayer. These are normally the places where lizards prefer hiding.
One of the easiest yet most effective methods of keeping lizards away would be by using eggshells. All you’ll need to do is put some empty eggshells in different areas of your garden. You will then notice that the lizards have started avoiding those areas. Interestingly, there are bodies present in the eggshells and this deters the lizards away.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about what do lizards eat in the garden, what do different lizard species eat, how to keep them away, and more. Lizards usually fall into two categories – omnivores and insectivores. The latter category only consumes insects and other invertebrates. They’ll eat anything from spiders, aphids, and flies to worms, crickets, and dubia roaches. Some lizard species are omnivores, and they have a diet of all types of food items. While they eat insects, they also consume fruits and vegetables. Some of their favorite fruits and vegetables include mangoes, bananas, guavas, grapes, papaya, strawberries, carrots, dandelion greens, and more.