Picture this: you’re sitting on your porch, enjoying the warm, summer weather. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you spot something slithering close by.
You jump and scream, fearing the worst. You’re thinking, “Could it be a snake? A baby alligator? Worse?”
You dare yourself to take a peek. Only, it isn’t big or scary; it’s just a skink.
Breathing a sigh of relief, you get down from the chair. You’re relieved it’s not something more sinister. Still, having a skink anywhere near your home is the last thing you want.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read our guide on how to get rid of skinks on your porch. We’ll also share some preventative tips to make sure they never come anywhere near your home.
Let’s dive right in.
What Are Skinks?
Skinks are a type of garden lizard. They’re known for their bright colors and tiny legs. Their limbs are so small, sometimes they get mistaken for snakes.
These small-sized invertebrates are commonly sold in pet stores. So, if you spot them in your yard, they may have escaped from their tanks.
Another reason is that sometimes, owners get tired of caring for them. They just decide to release them into the wild, otherwise referred to as their backyard.
Their only advantage is that they play an important role in insect control. They eat almost all types of insects, including crickets, cockroaches, and beetles.
How to Get Rid of Skinks On Your Porch
Skinks are generally non-aggressive reptiles. If you spot one on your porch, they’ll be more afraid of you than you are of them.
They may be slinky and slimy, but skinks don’t pose any real threat. The only danger is they may take up residence on your porch, hiding away in little nooks and crannies. That can quickly turn into a disaster, especially during their breeding season.
So, now we’re all in agreement that skinks must be shooed off the porch as quickly as possible. Check out some of the most common ways you can use to get rid of skinks on your porch.
1 – Spray Essential OIls
You’ve probably heard of using citronella oil to ward off mosquitoes and eucalyptus oil to repel flies. However, have you ever heard of spraying essential oils to deter skinks?
The great news is that these oils will create a beautiful aroma around your home. Plus, you’ll be reptile-free. It’s a win-win!
Here are some of the oils that work best on skinks:
- Lavender oil
- Onion oil
- Basil oil
2 – Other Aromas Skinks Hate
Besides essential oils, there are other items you can use to help get rid of skinks on your porch. Luckily, they’re all things you likely have around your house. So, you won’t have to pay extra to chase these pesky reptiles away.
Some can be placed in a bowl near the porch entrance. If you prefer to hang them, you can place them in a hanging basket and place them strategically around the porch.
Others you’ll need to put in a spray bottle, like the hot sauce and cold water. Then, when you see a skink, splash it directly or near it to scare it away. You can also spray the entrance of the porch as a precaution.
Check out the following:
- Garlic cloves
- Freshly used coffee grounds or coffee powder
- Mothballs, also known as naphthalene balls
- Hot sauce mixed with some tap water
- Cold water
3 – Eliminate Food and Water Sources
Skinks feed on insects and other pests. Therefore, the best way to get rid of them is by getting rid of potential food and water sources around your home. Keep in mind that skinks love areas with vegetation. They also enjoy humid conditions.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Remove or relocate plants or shrubs next to your porch known to attract bugs
- Turn off porch lights to keep flies and moths away, which, in turn, will keep skinks away
- Get rid of any form of standing water, such as puddles, birdbaths, or water fountains
- Place garbage bins far away from the porch
4 – Hang an Electronic Repellent
Don’t worry, these repellents are completely safe for humans. Although, insects, rodents, and lizards hate them!
Why are they so effective? The science behind it is they transmit high-frequency ultrasonic sound waves. The good news is our ears can’t pick up these frequencies, so we don’t hear anything.
Even better, the annoying critters can, and they can’t stand it! Hang one of these on your porch and they come within a mile of your home.
Now, here’s where modern tech lends a helping hand; there are apps on both Google Play and the app store you can download on your smartphone. You can keep pesky reptiles away with the press of a button.
5 – Get a Cat
This only works if you’re a cat person. Yet, it’s such a reliable method that we couldn’t leave it out.
Cats have been hunting lizards for thousands of years. So, it’s only natural that these predators will work their magic and help you keep skinks off your porch.
Having a cat around is so effective that when a skink senses their presence just once, it won’t bother coming back.
An Ounce of Prevention
It was Benjamin Franklin who once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, preventing skinks from popping up on your porch is easier than trying to get rid of them.
Here are a few ways that can stop skinks in their tracks and keep them away for good.
1 – Declutter Your Porch
Skinks, or garden lizards, are naturally shy. They’re good at burrowing and finding good places to escape.
Go take a look at your porch. Is it full of clutter and all sorts of stuff lying around? Then, you’ve got the perfect hiding spot for these reptiles to stow away.
They also thrive in humid conditions, which is why they’re more common in coastal areas. If left disorganized, your porch will be humid and damp, with lots of places to hide. That’s exactly what they’re looking for.
The best way around this problem is to always keep your porch clean and clutter-free. You’ll have a nice space to sit with friends and family, and the skinks won’t find a place to sneak into.
2 – Seal Up Any Openings in the Porch
You now know skinks like burrowing and hiding. So, it’s safe to assume that if your porch has cracks or rifts of any kind, they’ll definitely use it to their advantage.
One way to deter these pesky reptiles is to block off any holes they can climb in and seek protection. Check both the porch’s interior and exterior. You want to make sure you’re not missing any openings that could cause problems later on.
Don’t forget to check the windows and doors, as well as vents and utility pipes. If you prefer, you can always call on a professional to take a look and make sure you haven’t missed anything.
3 – Regularly Maintain Your Yard
Like any creature, skinks are drawn to places where they can find shelter, food, and water. Chances are your yard has all three.
Now, what if your yard has areas with stagnant water and edible plants? Then, you’ve got year-long tenants living in your yard.
By regularly maintaining all sections of your yard, you’ll be able to eliminate most of these. Therefore, skinks won’t find any incentives to live in your yard or congregate on your porch.
4 – Grow Inedible Plants
Fruits and vegetables are part of a skink’s diet. So, if you live in an area where skinks are frequent visitors, it’s better to hold off on that vegetable garden you’ve been dreaming of.
Why not grow an indoor vegetable garden instead? Some people grow veggies in containers in their kitchens. Other people set up small-sized greenhouses in their backyard. If you’re keen on having a vegetable garden, there are many other options to consider.
The point is to remove any edible plants currently in your yard to help prevent skinks from popping in for a tasty snack.
5 – Hang Bird Feathers
Like cats, birds have also been natural predators of lizards for many years. Though, not many people can have birds flying around their porch scaring away skinks. So, we’ve come up with the next best thing: hanging bird feathers on the porch.
The trick is to hang them low to the ground. When the skinks think there are birds nearby, they’ll quickly run away for cover.
You can always try to make beautiful wall hangings with feathers. This way, you’ll have no pesky skinks while, at the same time, enjoy some stylish artwork on the porch!
Learning how to get rid of skinks on your porch is vital for the safety of your home. While these little critters don’t pose any danger or threat, they’re considered a real nuisance.
Use our how-to guide to chase them off your property once and for all. Then, once they’re gone, keep them away for good by making sure your yard and porch are always clean and well-kept.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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Saturday 20th of November 2021
great article ..it's really informative.