HOUSE GECKO Caresheet
Common Name: Common House Gecko; Pacific House Gecko, Asian House Gecko,
Scientific Name: Hemidactylus frenatus
Origin: Native to Southeast Asia but with establish populations around the world.
Size: 3"-5" head to tail
Lifespan: 5 years
You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of breeding and caring for this species.
NOTE: In many regions, the house gecko has become an invasive species, out competing similar native animals for food and territory. It's important to keep your gecko securely housed to avoid escape.
In the wild, house geckos are an arboreal species, living most of the time in trees. So you want an enclosure that has some height to it and also hiding places that simulate tree hollows, like cork bark or bamboo. Live and/or artificial plants also make for a nice cover addition, but they should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the gecko.
Young should be kept in smaller enclosures so they feel safe. As the juevnials grow, they can be moved to a larger space
A single adult can live in 10 gallon glass aquarium (although bigger is better) or something like the Exo Terra 12" x 12" x 18" enclosure.
If you have more than one adult, 20 gallon high aquarium or the Exo terra 18" x 18" x 24" is more suitable.
Exo Terras screen enclosures can also be used, but you will spend more time keeping the humidity up in this enclosure.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
House geckos are hardy lizards. Being nocturnal, they usually sleep in the foliage or other hiding spots during the day and are active at night. UVB lighting is not necessary for these guys. You'll want to turn any daylight off at night. They are comfortable with day temperatures of 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer.
The easiest way to increase the heat in your enclosure is with a Exo Terra sun glo bulb or an Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pad (placed on the side of the tank instead of underneath). You always want part of the tank to be cooler so your gecko can regulate his own body temperature by choosing what temperature area to hang out in. Usually with a tall tank the hot part is near the top and the cooler part is towards the bottom. It's OK if the temp drops to the low 70s at night.
Misting the enclosure twice a day will usually provide enough moisture for your geckos. They like to lick water off the glass and foliage in the enclosure. Yet, also have a water bowl for them to use if they choose. Exo Terra's reptile fountain provides bubbling water, Flukers rock dish is a nice naturalistic non-porous water bowl, or you can use a Magnetic water/feeding ledge. If you live in the Southwestern United States where it's very dry--or in the Northern part of the United States where winter is very dry--you may have to mist more frequently.
House geckos typically eat crickets or mealworms. For extra calcium and vitamins, dust the bugs with a multi-vitamin, such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Reptivite with D3. You don't have to feed them bugs if you don't want but it does give them a nice source of extra protein. Especially while they are growing.
Depending upon the individual, house geckos can tolerate handling by its owner. Start slow with a new pet and gradually increase the amount of time you hold your gecko. It will get used to being handled.
Babies like to jump and they have little bursts of energy. To help calm a jumpy juvenile, use your hands like a treadmill. When your house gecko walks or jumps onto your hand, put the other one in front and repeat. The little guy will get tired and should calm down after a few minutes. Do this a few times and your gecko should feel more comfortable being handled.