Are Backyard Lizards Dangerous? Examining The Risks Of Having Them Around

Backyard lizards can be an interesting addition to any garden. While they can provide a fun and unique wildlife experience, it is important to consider the potential risks of having them around. So, are backyard lizards dangerous or not?

This article will examine the potential dangers of having backyard lizards and any precautions that can be taken to ensure a safe environment.

Are Backyard Lizards Dangerous?

Are backyard lizards dangerous? In the United States, many people believe that all lizards are dangerous.

However, this is not the case. While some species of lizards can be dangerous, many are harmless and beneficial to have around. This article will explore the risks of having backyard lizards and how to enjoy them safely.

The type of lizard is the first thing to consider when determining if backyard lizards are dangerous. The most common backyard lizards in the United States are geckos and skinks. Both these types of lizards are harmless and do not pose any risk to humans.

However, some species of lizards, such as iguanas, Komodo dragons, and Gila monsters, can be dangerous. These lizards have sharp teeth and claws and can deliver a nasty bite if provoked. If you have any of these species of lizards in your backyard, it is important to take extra precautions when handling them.

The second thing to consider is the environment in which the lizards live. Many lizards will instinctively try to avoid humans, so if you have a backyard full of weeds and other natural hiding spots, the lizards will likely remain in these areas and not venture into your house.

On the other hand, if your backyard is barren and open, the lizards may feel more comfortable venturing closer to the house and may even enter. If this is the case, it is important to ensure that all doors and windows are securely closed and that any other possible entry points are sealed off.

Finally, it is important to remember that lizards are wild animals and should not be handled unless necessary. If you need to handle a lizard, it is important to use proper safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and using a net or other safe containment methods.

It is also important to remember that most lizards found in residential areas are harmless and can even be beneficial to have around as they help to control insect populations.

What Types Of Lizards Commonly Live In Backyards

What Types Of Lizards Commonly Live In Backyards?

Backyard lizards, also known as common lizards, can be found in many parts of the world, often in gardens or yards of homes. Depending on the location, different types of lizards may live in a person’s backyard.

In the United States, some of the most common lizards are the green anole, the brown anole, the five-lined skink, the fence swift, the eastern collared lizard, and the eastern glass lizard. These all vary in size and color, but they all have a similar shape and body structure.

  1. The green anole is a small, slender lizard that is usually green or brown in color but may have a stripe down its back. They are shy and usually hide in trees or bushes when startled.
  2. The brown anole is also a small, slender lizard, but it is usually brown and may have spots or stripes. It is also shy but tends to move quickly when disturbed.
  3. The five-lined skink is a medium-sized lizard with five yellow stripes running down its back and sides. It is a relatively fast-moving lizard and is active during the day.
  4. The fence swift is a small, slender lizard with a long tail and a grayish-brown color. It is commonly found in gardens or near fences and is active during the day.
  5. The eastern collared lizard is a medium-sized lizard with a grayish-green color and a white collar around its neck. It is an active hunter, often preying on insects, and is usually found in gardens or near rocky areas.
  6. The eastern glass lizard is a large lizard with a light gray color and no legs. It is usually found in gardens or near water sources and is active during the day.

All of these lizards can be found in backyards, and while they may be harmless to humans, they can be dangerous to small animals, such as birds and rodents. They can also carry parasites and diseases that can be passed on to humans or other animals. For this reason, it is important to take the necessary precautions if you have backyard lizards in or around your home.

How To Identify Common Backyard Lizards?

Identifying backyard lizards can be tricky, as many types of lizards are found in various parts of the world. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Observe their physical characteristics: Look for specific details like color, size, patterns or markings, and the shape of their head and tail. All these characteristics can help you identify the type of lizard you see.
  • Research: Use online resources or field guides to learn more about lizards in your area. This will give you an idea of what species you will likely see.
  • Habitat: Different lizards have different habitat preferences. Look for lizards in different areas like sunny rocks, shaded areas, or around trees and bushes. This will also help identify the lizards you’re seeing.
  • Behavior: Observe the lizard’s behavior, like their movement patterns, mating habits, or hunting techniques. These behaviors can be unique to each species and help you identify lizards.

Potential Health Risks Of Having Lizards In Your Backyard

Potential health risks are associated with having lizards in your backyard, but the level of risk depends largely on the type of lizard and your health status. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Salmonella: Lizards can carry salmonella, a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This is especially true with certain types of lizards, such as iguanas and chameleons. If you come into contact with lizard feces or surfaces contaminated with the bacteria, you could become ill.
  • Parasites: Lizards can also carry parasites like mites and ticks. You could become infested if these parasites come into contact with you or your pets.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people are allergic to lizards, and exposure to them could cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include skin rashes, itching, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.

To minimize these risks, it’s important to avoid direct contact with lizards, their feces, and any surfaces that may have been contaminated. You may also want to consider keeping your backyard clean and clutter-free to reduce the likelihood of lizards nesting there.

If you come into contact with a lizard and experience any illness or allergy symptoms, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider or a veterinarian immediately.

What Happens If A Lizard Bites You

What Happens If A Lizard Bites You?

If you are considering having backyard lizards, it is important to understand the risks associated with them. One of the biggest risks is the possibility of being bitten by a lizard.

A lizard bite may cause various symptoms, from minor irritation to severe infection. In some cases, a bite may even require medical attention.

The severity of a bite from a lizard depends on the species. Some lizards have a mild bite that may cause mild skin irritation, while others have a bite that can cause intense pain, swelling, and bleeding.

The most dangerous bites are from venomous lizards, such as Gila monsters and beaded lizards. These bites can cause serious illness and even death in some cases.

Notably, most lizards are not aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened. To avoid being bitten, it is important to never handle a lizard without the proper protective gear, such as gloves and a long-sleeved shirt.

It is also important to be cautious around lizards as they may not be visible until they are very close. When possible, it is best to view lizards from a distance rather than trying to get too close.

Do Lizards Bite Hurt?

While many lizards do not threaten humans, some can be dangerous if improperly handled.

The first risk associated with having lizards around is that they can bite. Depending on the lizard species, the bite can range from a minor pinch to a deep puncture wound. Some lizards, such as the Gila Monster, can inject venom into the bite. While most lizards do not have venom, even a non-venomous bite can be painful and should be treated with care.

Another risk associated with lizards is the potential for disease transmission. Lizards can carry a variety of parasites and bacteria that can cause illness in people, especially if the lizard is handled with bare hands. Diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, and hantavirus can be spread from lizards to humans, so it is important to take precautions when handling them.

The final risk associated with having lizards around is that they can be carriers of fleas and ticks. These parasites can spread illnesses to humans, pets, and other animals, so preventing them from entering your home or yard is important.

Are Lizards Dangerous To Humans?

Are backyard lizards dangerous to humans? This is a question that many people have asked, especially those that live in warmer climates where lizards are a common sight.

While lizards may look intimidating, they are generally harmless to humans. Very few documented cases of lizards attacking humans, and the potential risks are typically overblown.

Lizards are generally shy around humans and will run away if they sense they are in danger. Lizards can also not bite human skin with enough force to cause real damage. The most common risk of having lizards around is their potential to spread diseases, as they can carry salmonella and other bacteria. However, this is only an issue if the lizards are handled, and even then, the risk is minimal.

The other risk of having lizards around is their potential to damage property. Lizards have been known to chew through wires and other materials, leading to electrical and other issues. This is why inspecting the area around your home for any lizards or their droppings is important, as this can help identify potential risks.

Are Garden Lizards Poisonous To Dogs

Are Garden Lizards Poisonous To Dogs?

While it is true that some lizards are poisonous, the majority of species that can be found in backyards are not dangerous. In particular, whether or not garden lizards are poisonous to dogs is an important question for pet owners to ask.

The answer to this question is no. Garden lizards are generally not poisonous to dogs. Many people find that having lizards in their gardens can be beneficial, as they help control insect populations.

For example, some lizards, like the Mediterranean house gecko, feed on various insects, including mosquitos. This can help reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property, which can help reduce the risk of diseases such as the West Nile virus.

In addition to not being poisonous, lizards can also benefit dogs in other ways. Many lizards are prey animals, meaning they are food sources for larger predators such as hawks and owls. By providing a habitat for lizards in your backyard, you may be helping to attract larger predators, which can help keep your dog safe.

However, it is important to remember that even though garden lizards are not poisonous to dogs, they may still present a danger. For example, if a dog were to bite or chew on a lizard, it could cause them to become ill. Additionally, some lizards can carry harmful bacteria or parasites, which can be passed to a dog if they are bitten or ingested.

Are Lizards Poisonous To Cats?

Are lizards poisonous to cats? Pet owners often ask this question with cats who have encountered backyard lizards in their gardens or home. The answer is no; lizards are usually not poisonous to cats.

Generally, lizards are harmless to cats, but there are a few exceptions. The most important thing to remember is that cats should avoid eating lizards, which can cause an upset stomach and vomiting.

Most lizards are harmless to cats, but some species can deliver a venomous bite. Species like the Gila Monster and Mexican Beaded Lizard have venomous bites that can be dangerous for cats.

However, these species are not usually found in suburban areas and are more likely to be found in the desert. Even if a cat is bitten by one of these species, the bite is not likely to be life-threatening unless the cat is allergic to the venom.

In addition to the potential danger posed by venomous lizards, cats may encounter other lizards that can risk their health. Lizards can carry parasites and disease-causing bacteria.

Cats can become infected if they eat a lizard carrying these organisms. While this is not as common as parasites found in other animals, it is still possible for cats to become infected if they eat a lizard.

Are Lizards Dangerous To Touch?

Are lizards dangerous to touch? This is a common question among homeowners considering whether to have a backyard lizard as a pet. Having a backyard lizard can be a great way to observe nature and to have an interesting pet; however, it is important to understand the risks of having a lizard in your backyard.

The first thing to consider is the species of lizard. Certain species, such as the Gila monster, have a venomous bite and should never be handled. Other species, such as geckos, are relatively harmless to humans and can be held without worrying about a dangerous bite.

Even if the species of lizard is not venomous, there is still a chance that a lizard can bite or scratch if it feels threatened. Therefore, it is important to use caution when handling any type of lizard. Another factor to consider is the environment in which the lizard lives. Many species of lizard are quite active and may move quickly when startled.

If the lizard is in an area with a lot of activity, such as a playground or a backyard with children, there is a greater chance that the lizard may become startled and bite or scratch. Therefore, if you decide to keep a backyard lizard, ensuring the area is clear of activity is important.

Finally, being aware of the health risks associated with having a backyard lizard is important. While most species are not known to carry any type of infectious disease, there is still a chance that a lizard can carry parasites or bacteria on its skin.

Are Backyard Lizards Beneficial To The Environment?

Backyard lizards are often seen as an annoyance or even a pest, but they can benefit the environment.

Lizards consume insects and small animals, such as grasshoppers, spiders, and snails. In doing so, they help to keep these populations in check, which can help to keep gardens, lawns, and other outdoor areas healthy and better able to support other wildlife.

They also help to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds, aiding in the regeneration of plants. In some cases, lizards may even help to reduce the spread of diseases among other animals, such as rodents.

There are a few important points to consider regarding the potential risks of having backyard lizards around. First and foremost, some lizards may carry diseases, such as salmonella, which can be passed on to humans if handled improperly.

Also, lizards may bite when provoked, which can be quite painful. Finally, lizards may attract other unwelcome guests, such as snakes, spiders, and predators.

Tips For Minimizing The Risk Of Having Lizards Around

Having backyard lizards around can benefit the environment but pose some risks if not managed properly. The key to minimizing the risk of having lizards around is to be aware of the potential dangers and take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips for minimizing the risk of having lizards around:

  • Seal up entry points: Ensure all windows, doors, and other openings are properly sealed to prevent lizards from entering your home or property.
  • Keep your home clean: Lizards attract clutter and dirt, so keep your home clean and tidy to make it less appealing. Regularly sweep, dust, and vacuum your home to keep it debris-free.
  • Remove food sources: Lizards eat insects, so keeping your home free of any insects or bugs that might attract them is important. Keep food in sealed containers and clean up any spills or crumbs that may attract insects.
  • Get rid of hiding places: Lizards like to hide in small nooks and crannies, so removing these hiding places can help discourage them from setting up camp in your home. Seal up cracks and crevices in walls and floors, and trim back overgrown vegetation around your home.
  • Use lizard repellents: There are several commercial lizard repellents available that you can use to discourage them from coming near your home. These products typically contain natural ingredients that lizards find unpleasant, such as peppermint or citrus oil.


In conclusion, having backyard lizards around can be risky, but the risks can be minimized with proper precautions and knowledge. It is important to remember that lizards are wild animals and can become dangerous if they feel threatened.

So, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and take proper safety measures. If handled correctly, backyard lizards can be great companions and can provide hours of entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it bad to have lizards around your house?

No, it is not bad to have lizards around your house. Lizards can help keep the insect population down, and some people even keep them as pets. However, you should always be aware of the potential risks of having lizards in your home, such as disease or injury.

Are lizards good to have around?

Yes, lizards can be good to have around. They can help keep insect populations down and be interesting to observe. However, lizards need a certain environment to survive, so it is important to research their needs before bringing one into your home.

Do lizards run away from humans?

Yes, lizards will typically try to run away from humans when they are approached.

Is it safe to have backyard lizards around?

Yes, it is generally safe to have backyard lizards around, although you should always be cautious when handling any type of wild animal. Lizards can help control insect populations, so having them around can benefit your garden. However, you should protect yourself and your pets from being bitten.

What kind of risks do backyard lizards pose?

Backyard lizards typically pose very minimal risk to humans. They are not known to carry any diseases that can affect humans, and they are not known to be aggressive. However, they may carry parasites that can be transferred to humans and other pets, such as ticks and mites. Additionally, lizards may bite if provoked or mishandled, so it is important to be cautious when handling them.

Are there any steps I should take to protect myself and my family from backyard lizards?

Yes, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from backyard lizards. First, keep your lawn and garden free of debris, as lizards may seek shelter in piles of leaves and sticks. Second, trim plants and trees near your home to reduce the number of hiding places lizards may find. Third, remove food sources, such as insects, from your yard. Fourth, use a natural repellent like peppermint oil to discourage lizards from coming near your home. Finally, keep doors and windows closed to prevent lizards from entering your home.

Are backyard lizards a threat to my pets?

No, backyard lizards are generally not a threat to pets. They are small, harmless animals that feed mainly on insects. They may be a nuisance if they enter your home, but they pose no threat to your pets.