Are house lizards highly poisonous and can a salt and garlic mixture ward them off?

By July 4, 2023 Culture, Education

We came across the following post on Facebook:

According to the post, house lizards are highly poisonous, having caused numerous deaths by falling into uncovered food or drinks. The author also offers a solution for preventing lizards from entering houses, stating that mixing salt and garlic and placing them in different corners of a room will repel them from homes .

The house lizard, also known as the common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a gecko native to South and Southeast Asia. No doubt familiar to most Singaporeans, the house lizard is ubiquitous in warm, urban landscapes, climbing walls of houses and other buildings in search of insects attracted to porch lights.

When we did a quick search on the toxicity of lizards, we surprisingly found a peer reviewed journal articlefrom the International Journal of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences dedicated to what they describe as the myth of house lizard poisoning.

According to the article, aimed at “dispelling myth and instilling confidence”, the common belief that the house lizard or gecko is poisonous is negated by the fact that it does not produce any venom or toxin. Among reptiles still in existence, only two lineages are known to have developed venom delivery systems, the advanced snakes and the helodermatid lizards (Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard).

Salt and garlic to repel lizards?

Moving on to the second part of the claim, that salt and garlic can repel lizards from a home, we found an article from West Africa based fact-checkers Dubawa looking into this claim.