Leaping Lizards! Where are they?

Photo courtesy mypetjoy.com
Photo courtesy mypetjoy.com

I’ve heard a lot about so many mosquitoes this year, which stands to reason with all the rain we’ve had! Standing water gives all those breeding skeeters a home base and even if you’ve tried to remove standing water, all you have to do is wait a day and the sky will fill you up again! Same this week through Thursday! More rain!

I blogged last year about all the brown anoles (lizards) vs the green anoles--it seemed like the brown ones had taken over having come in from the Caribbean, most likely in plants and potting soils. The green ones though were still around, just taking to the skies and finding safer refuge in tree tops. So that is why we didn’t see them.

Now it seems like they and their gecko cousins are all gone. A viewer, Maureen, asked me today:

Any idea why our gecko population has dried up? Did the freeze get them?

I contacted Briarcrest Veterinary Clinic over on Wilcrest Drive and according to Dr. Larry White the lizard and gecko populations were pretty well decimated by the freeze. But, he says, they will be back, it’s just going to take a while. Dr. Mark Peckham from Bellaire Blvd. Animal Clinic said “we have Mediterranean and Caribbean geckos and they can’t take the freezing weather.”

Lizard Diets

A lot of people think lizards eat those mosquitoes and, while they can and sometimes do, they much prefer roaches, crickets and small grasshoppers. Bats and birds are the go to mosquito-eaters. And dragon flies--dragon flies are definitely our friend when it comes to mosquito control.

Picture courtesy Donna Fernstrom

But geckos especially like those roaches! While the roaches like dark places and the geckos are more day lizards, they are willing to wait. And I have noticed my own cockroach population increasing this summer---they get in the house to escape the wet yards! We need our geckos back!

Picture courtesy of Donna Fernstrom

We’ll have to be patient before the populations build again, but they will.

In the meantime, if you’ve been waiting for the July Fry, that arrives this weekend. Get ready for a little heat with that humidity!

Frank

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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.