Do Crested Geckos Bite?
The crested gecko, also known as eyelash gecko, is a native to southern New Caledonia. Zoologists almost thought this species was extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994 by a few people on an expedition.
The New Caledonian gecko species is a protected reptile, falling under the Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna category.
Nonetheless, it is one of the most sought-after exotic pets in some parts of the world for its peculiar appearance, friendly temperament, and easy-care requirements.
Why Does Your Crested Gecko Bite?
Crested geckos can bite if they feel threatened. They use biting as a defensive move when they are under stress.
However, a gecko’s bite is harmless as it does not tear the skin nor lead to potential health complications.
Handling your gecko with care and not touching them often can help them adapt to your presence and prevent them from feeling unsafe or threatened.
These pet reptiles are some of the most docile creatures you can own as a pet. As long as you provide proper care, a nutritious diet, and ideal living conditions, you do not have to worry about your gecko attacking you.
Even so, I would recommend against handling the gecko for too long or too often. The little lizard isn’t fond of being held and it can display signs of stress when taken out of its environment.
The degree by which the reptile will display stress depends on its level of familiarity with you and its unique personality.
All in all, geckos are happier and calmer when left alone for the most part.
Do Crested Geckos Have Teeth?
The fact that the Crested geckos have teeth is astounding even for longtime owners of this reptile.
It may seem like they are toothless. However, they have 177 extremely small teeth. Their miniature size prevents them from being seen by the naked eye.
The geckos get new teeth once every few months. Gecko’s teeth regrow every couple of months to help them chew and swallow their food easier.
This is useful seeing how the reptile’s diet consists of a lot of fruits and insects, making for a pool of foods different in texture and size.
As is the case with most reptiles, geckos also swallow their food whole. They do not have aligned teeth for slicing, grinding, or shearing the food they eat.
These little creatures use their teeth mainly for catching or seizing insect prey and not for attack or protection.
So, you shouldn’t worry about the gecko using its teeth to attack you.
Signs That Warn That Your Crested Gecko Is About to Bite
As mentioned earlier, these are calm and docile creatures, but they can get defensive if they feel angry, stressed, or threatened.
Knowing the signs of stress or fear can help you prevent a bite from your reptile friend.
The following are some compelling signs to watch out for:
- If you find your gecko twitching or flicking their tails with their mouth wide open, it shows they are under stress.
- Movements alongside squeaking or clicking noises are another warning that you should not touch your crested gecko.
- Crested geckos keep their mouth open when in the mood for biting. Some geckos also bark or chirp when they are about to bite. If these signs are visible, do not approach them for a few hours.
- Crested geckos can get aggressive during their feeds, causing them to jump around whenever you try to touch or feed them. Just place their food in their terrarium and leave them alone.
- If you find the gecko closely following the movements of your fingers, it may be a warning that they are ready to attack.
- Some crested geckos refuse food or have an increased appetite. Both lack of appetite and increased hunger are signs of aggression in crested geckos.
If you notice these signs of agitation in your geckos, leave them be and refrain from touching them.
While their bite is harmless, some geckos can latch on quite firmly, which can be painful.
Do Crested Geckos Bites Hurt?
While reptile bites can lead to serious health consequences, that is not an issue with crested geckos.
Gecko bites are not harmful, and you can barely feel them. You can hardly feel their bites due to the reduced size of their teeth. However, try to avoid circumstances where a gecko can potentially bite you.
If your gecko bites you, it may be because they are under stress.
You can minimize or even prevent the reptile’s stress levels by providing optimal living conditions, a nutritional diet plan, and quiet and peacefulness.
Avoiding handling the gecko too often falls on the same list. Mishandling geckos and stressing them out can cause them to act out and even lose their tail in the process.
This would be unfortunate since crested geckos don’t regenerate their tails as other lizards do.
A gecko’s bite does not tear up the skin nor does it cause bruising or bleeding. Geckos do not have a firm biting capability like most other reptiles.
It is also why these little creatures can only eat overripe, moist fruits, aside from the taste predilections. A gecko bite usually feels like a pinch or nip on the skin.
So, it’s safe to say that they can’t hurt you, but that’s not what should concern you about the gecko’s bite.
What should concern you is the lizard’s state of mind when biting. If the gecko decides to bite you, that tells a lot about its state of mind and current predisposition.
So, you should always dig into the reasons leading the gecko to attack you and try to avoid them moving forward.
How To Deal with Aggressive Crested gecko?
Geckos are generally peaceful animals and won’t display unwarranted aggressiveness.
That being said, some circumstances can bring out the worst in your gecko and you need to be mindful of those.
If your gecko exhibits unwarranted aggression, consider it may exhibit discomfort with its new environment. This is common behavior for geckos when moving them from one habitat to another.
To prevent the problem, give them the time to adapt to their new home. Once they get acquainted with their new habitat, feeding habits, and the people in your home, your geckos will regain their friendly demeanor.
Refrain from touching your crested gecko for a couple of weeks after bringing them home.
Allow the gecko to settle down in its terrarium and feed it regularly. Help your lizard develop a routine to help them feel more at ease and less threatened.
Once your geckos are comfortable in their new home, you may touch them. You must limit the handling sessions to less than 5 minutes a day.
Refrain from holding your gecko against its will or forcefully, as it can cause your little friend to suffer injuries.
You need to be extra careful when handling baby geckos since they are even more vulnerable and sensitive than adults. Any gecko can behave aggressively if you do not give them time to relax and adapt to their new setting.
Once you understand your gecko and its feeding, sleeping, and playing habits, you will find them to be one of the friendliest creatures.
How To Handle Your Crested Gecko Safely?
The week you buy a new crested gecko and bring it to your home, you must have a careful strategy.
It is usual for the reptile to feel disoriented, out of place, and confused in a new home. Your gecko can act defensive during this period out of fear.
Give your pet at least three to four weeks for the gecko to adapt to its new surroundings.
Around the 5th week, you can handle them gently once or twice a week. You can gradually increase the weekly handling sessions to three to four times.
Here are a few other tips for handling your crested gecko safely:
- The ideal size for handling a gecko is 3 inches in length. If your gecko is smaller in size, you might want to hold your urge to handle your pet for a little longer.
- Keep its cage in a controlled environment free from distracting sounds and noises. Store the terrarium in a room that is free from distractions. For starters, if you have other pets at home, it might be a good idea to enter the room with the gecko alone to prevent them from feeling scared or threatened. Sudden noises can startle them and cause them to behave aggressively.
- When you want to handle your gecko, place your hand inside the enclosure and lower it with your palm facing upward. Bring your palm towards your pet and wait for your gecko to climb onto your hands. Refrain from trying to catch or hold them. If your gecko does not climb onto your hands, try it again the next day. After a few weeks of repeating the same routine, your gecko should gradually begin bonding with you.
- While most Geckos are friendly, some may feel reluctant to bond with you regardless of how long they have lived with you. In such cases, do not grab or scoop them from the terrarium. Trying to handle them forcefully can cause them to see you as a threat and behave aggressively. In such cases, do not touch the gecko unless it is medically necessary.
- Crested geckos are more docile during the day than at night. Geckos are active at night and can run away from you when you place your hand in their terrarium. Schedule your handling sessions during the day for a better bonding experience.
- Geckos, in general, fall asleep during the afternoon. You may use this time to replace their food and water. It is also a safe way to clean their environment and refill their feed without getting bitten. Regardless of how tempted you are, do not touch a gecko when it is asleep.
- Crested geckos enjoy hand walking. It is also an excellent way for the little reptile to bond with you. Hand walking refers to letting your gecko run or jump from one hand to another. You may try hand-walking them once every other day. With any luck, you should be able to increase this to 15 minutes a day over time.
While these are a few ways to handle your geckos safely, do not attempt to touch your pet too often. They do not like too much touching or petting.
Remember to be patient with your approach to feeding, cleaning their terrarium, handling, and playing routine. Being patient with your gecko is the only way to stop them from biting you.
What To Do When You Get Bitten by a Crested gecko?
If your Crested gecko bites you, do not panic. Gecko bites do not penetrate the skin and are generally harmless.
Reptiles, in general, do not carry any contagious virus. So don’t worry about contracting any disease from your little friend.
However, if your crested gecko bites you hard, wash your hands thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap.
Some Geckos can be a source of Salmonella bacteria and you can get infected if the reptile’s tiny teeth penetrate the skin somehow, even shallowly.
Your crested gecko can seem perfectly well and not show signs of illness and still carry these bacteria.
Washing your hands 2 to 3 times with an anti-bacterial soap can protect you from potential infections.
Also, do not encourage your children to handle geckos as they have a less developed immune system than adults.
If your child gets bit by a gecko, wash their hands several times after touching the reptile.
Why Do Baby Crested Geckos Keep Biting My Finger?
If a baby gecko is new to your home, it may bite you in an initial couple of weeks.
Also, be patient until your gecko grows at least 3 inches in size before you can handle it. Touching or holding a baby gecko against its will can cause severe injuries for your little pet.
Besides, if your baby gecko bites you, it may be because they are not ready for handling yet.
Give your little pet some time to get acquainted with its new home before you can touch it.
Do not worry about getting bit by a gecko. If you plan on buying a gecko, go ahead and get one without a second thought.
These may be one of the friendliest and docile reptiles to maintain a pet. They do not have demanding feeding requirements or living conditions, making them the best pets for those with busy schedules.
Remember to handle your gecko minimally and only for cleaning, monitoring health, and occasional play sessions.
Also, patience is the key to being a great gecko parent. Give it some time, and you will find the two of you easing into each other like old buddies.