I never imagined that I could have a reptile as my pet until I saw a cute Crested Gecko at my friend’s place. After that, within a few weeks, I got myself one little Crested Gecko which bit me a couple of times during its initial period with me.
Since I didn’t know much about Gecko bites, I researched a lot and talked to other Gecko owners.
So, why Crested Geckos bite and is there anything you can do about it? Crested Geckos bite mainly as a defensive move when they feel threatened or are stressed. But their biting don’t tear up the skin and isn’t harmful. To prevent Gecko biting, you need to handle them carefully and keep the touching part to a minimum until they get used to your touch.
Crested Geckos are quite popular when it comes to pet lizards. It is not only because they are pretty much friendly and docile creatures, but also for the fact that they are really easy to care for and are low-maintenance pets.
Though Crested Geckos can bite, these reptile creatures don’t do that often. And even if they bite, it is not something to be worried about. To know in detail about the reasons why Crested Geckos bite and what you can do about it, keep on reading.
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Do Crested Geckos bite often?
Crested Geckos can bite and do bite if they feel threatened in any way. Generally, Crested Geckos are well-behaved reptiles and are ideal as pets. Especially when it comes to beginner keepers, Geckos are great lizard pets.
However, whenever they are aggravated they tend to bite. But, you must remember that it is quite rare. Biting is not a behavioral or temperamental outburst for Crested Geckos and they only bite in defense.
It is unknown to many that Crested Geckos even bite because they are very much docile and calm species.
Occasional biting from them can be considered as a sign of overhandling them. We explain how much handling is okay in this article here!
Why exactly do Crested Geckos bite?
Crested Geckos are mostly very calm creatures. After proper acclimatization and taming, once they become tolerant of your touch, they turn out to be laid back pets.
However, sometimes they can be aggressive as well and bite you. Below are some of the reasons which can make your Crested gecko bite you:
- A Crested Gecko bites generally when provoked.
- During the initial days in captivity, trying to handle them excessively or touching them too much can make Crested Geckos feel threatened or stressed which leads to bites.
- Your Crested Gecko may not like living in the tank the way you have kept it. Remember, they prefer coverage and lots of it. If you have kept the terrarium open it can make them feel exposed which can turn them into aggressive little reptiles.
- Grabbing Crested Geckos at the wrong time in a wrong way can also lead you to get bitten by them.
- Aggravating Geckos or agitating them in any way can also result in them biting the offender.
- Geckos in their early years can be a little unpredictable and can bite mistaking your finger as food.
- Bringing home an adult Crested Gecko may have a chance that it had previous experience of mistreatment or mishandling. In such cases, Crested Geckos can show aggressiveness towards their new owner out of their previous traumatic experience.
- Gravid female Geckos are more inclined to biting as they feel protected about the eggs they are carrying.
- Not being able to use their natural hunting instincts can also be the cause of your Geckos biting you. If you don’t feed the Geckos enough or any live bug it eventually can feel aggressive
- If a male Gecko is kept with one or more male Geckos, then there are chances of them fighting with each other, biting each other. During this time if you try to touch them they may bite you too.
- Having another Gecko at home can also make your Crested Gecko territorial and aggressive as a result. Since they can smell the presence of other Geckos, hence when they smell your hand during feeding or handling them, they can bite you.
- Over handling crested Geckos during mating can also agitate them and lead them to bite you.
- Even having health issues can cause your Geckos to become aggressive and bite you. In such cases, it is ideal to get your vet to have a look at your Crested Geckos.
Do Crested Geckos have teeth?
Like many other Gecko owners, you may have noticed that your Crested Geckos lack one of the most crucial animal features, i.e. their teeth. However, unlike what it seems, the truth is that Crested Geckos do have teeth and the number of their teeth is 177.
The reason for not being able to see them always is that the teeth are very small. Yes, the teeth of Crested Geckos are so small that they can’t be seen easily with naked eyes and remain hidden even when in plain sight.
Crested Geckos are not only born with just teeth but with fully formed ones. As they grow, their teeth tend to get replaced and re-grown after every few months.
Despite having an abundant number of teeth present, Crested Geckos swallow their food instead of chewing them as their teeth are not capable of chewing.
Yes, just like other reptiles, Geckos swallow their food as a whole. And this is the main reason behind their teeth not being aligned for slicing, grinding or shearing. Crested Geckos use their teeth only for catching or seizing their insect prey, crushing and killing them.
Signs showing that your Crested Geckos is about to bite
Since Crested Geckos bite when angry or stressed, knowing the signs of feeling threatened or agitated can help prevent a bite by not touching them during that time. So here are some of the signs which shows that they are about to bite and are feeling threatened:
- Usually, when they are stressed or angry, they start twitching and flicking their tails along with widely opening their mouths. (However, if your Crestie’s mouth is open all the time, you should read this article!)
- Sometimes, such movements can also be accompanied by squeaking or clicking noises. (You can find more reasons for squeaking in our article here)
- Before biting one, Crested Geckos tend to show their open mouth.
- They, sometimes, even bark or chirp while approaching to bite.
- They turn aggressive during feeding and starts jumping around whenever you try to touch them or feed them.
- Following the movements of your fingers and watching all your moves.
- Refusing food and increased appetite are some of the other signs of aggression in Crested Geckos.
Anytime you notice these signs of agitation and feeling of being scared or threatened in your Crested Geckos, it’s best to leave them alone and not try to touch them in any way.
When over-aggressive, they can not only bite but latch on too and quite strongly, though such instances are very rare.
If you are not sure why your Crested gecko is aggressive, read our article: 11 reasons why your Crested gecko is aggressive!
Does the bite of a Crested Gecko hurt?
You must be aware of the fact that reptile bites can cause serious trouble. But, when it’s about Crested Geckos, know that their bites are not at all harmful and are rarely felt.
Crested Geckos do have teeth. However, when it comes to biting, they rarely bite. It is only when they feel threatened or stressed that they bite. But the bite of Crested Geckos doesn’t hurt.
Yes, it is due to the very small size of their teeth that being bitten by Crested Geckos doesn’t hurt that much or isn’t counted to be as something serious. However, it doesn’t mean that you, as a Gecko owner should always try and get bitten by your pet lizard.
When bitten by Crested Geckos, in most cases, you won’t probably even notice the bite. Secondly, as Geckos don’t have large teeth but really small ones, their bites don’t tear up the skin. Geckos also lack the biting power that most of the other reptiles possess.
And this is also the reason for Geckos not being able to eat hard fruits.
The bites of Crested Geckos feel more like a pinch or nip on the skin and unable to cause the skin to break. The bite of a Crested Gecko is more like the bites of little fish when you insert your hand in an aquarium.
How to stop your Crested Gecko from biting
The best and only way to stop Crested Geckos from biting is by letting them adjust to the new environment as well as you before you start handling them. Especially, when you bring home a new Crested Gecko it’s ideal not to start touching and handling it excessively.
Instead, allow it to settle in its place for the first couple of weeks and regularly feed it.
Once you start handling your Geckos, make sure the handling sessions are short and not more than 4 to 5 minutes. Trying to forcefully handle your Geckos, especially the baby ones, can cause them to get injured.
Remember, being non-aggressive and laid back, Crested Geckos are easy to tame and handle only if you give the right amount of time to adjust itself to its new habitat and surroundings.
Below are some easy and quick tips for better handling your Crested Geckos which can prevent suffering from a Gecko-bite:
- When handled once in a week for cleaning or monitoring health, the Geckos do just fine; they neither bite nor become aggressive.
- Handling Crested Geckos is easier during the day than night as during the night time they are most active, always alert and can run whenever you try to touch them.
- Replacing the food and water in its aquarium should be done during the late afternoons to help Crested Geckos adjust with their surroundings, especially during their settling period. Because during late afternoons Geckos tend to fall asleep.
- Avoid too much handling of your Geckos at once initially. Rather, when you clean the enclosures, make sure to start handling them slowly and not by grabbing them but by putting them on a branch or a piece of cardboard.
- Hand walking Crested Geckos can be another great way to slowly bond with them and prevent Gecko-bites. In hand walking, you let your Gecko run or jump from one hand to another. Start hand walking them once or twice every other day and gradually increase this around 15 minutes a day.
Remember, taming down a Gecko can take around a month and in some cases, more than a month. Being patient with all your approach of feeding, cleaning, handling, and playing with your Crested Geckos is the ultimate key to stop them from biting you.
How to handle your Crested Gecko safely
Bringing a Crested Gecko in your home for the first time needs a careful approach and attention as the little lizard may feel disoriented and confused initially in a new home. Your Gecko can initially be extremely defensive out of fear to come to a new environment.
However, giving it three to four weeks to get used to its surroundings and making your presence felt, start with gently handling it and then increase the weekly touches to more frequent ones leading to regular playing.
It’s best to avoid picking a Crested Gecko up until it reaches a size of at least three inches. Plus, keeping your Gecko in a controlled environment that is free from distracting sounds and noises can also help your pet to adapt to its new home more easily.
When you try to become familiar with your Gecko for the first time after 3-4 weeks, it’s better to bring its terrarium in a room free from distractions of any kind; so that when you open the lid it doesn’t feel threatened or scared and run away.
Then put your hand inside the enclosure, lower it with your palm facing upward, slowly bring your palm towards your pet to reassure it that you’re no threat or predator and wait for your Gecko to walk into your hands.
In case your Crested Gecko doesn’t walk into your hands, make sure to try again later or the next day. While after three to four weeks Crested Geckos tend to start bonding, but for some Geckos, this might not be the case and they can never get friendly.
Still, avoid grabbing them or scooping them from their terrarium, as it gives a sign of hostility towards your Crested Gecko.
What to do when you get bitten by your Crested Gecko
If you get bitten by your Crested Gecko when handling it, know that there is no need to worry unnecessarily. First of all, the bites of Geckos don’t penetrate the skin or tear the skin.
And secondly, there’s no risk of any virus of any kind being transmitted to you as reptiles don’t carry any contagious virus.
In some cases, however, the only thing you should be worrying about, if bitten by a Crested Gecko hard, is about fungi and bacteria. Yes, Geckos can be the carrier of fungi and bacteria which can pose a threat to human health.
Salmonella bacteria are one of the most common bacteria of which the Geckos can be a source. Getting bitten during handling your Gecko can transfer these bacteria to you. A Crested Gecko that shows no sign of any illness and seems perfectly healthy can carry these bacteria.
Therefore, after handling your Gecko or if you think it has bitten you, it is strongly advised to wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap.
As children do not have a completely developed immune system, they tend to be more vulnerable to fungi and bacteria invasion than adults.
Therefore, it’s advised to supervise their handling of Crested Geckos and always make the children wash their hands with antibacterial soap immediately after handling Geckos or in case the children get bitten by it.
In case, the bite of Gecko causes you any injury, which is very rare, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention. Especially, for those who suffer from some kind of issues with their immune system, opting for professional medical advice is always suggested.
Do Crested Geckos get lonely when left alone? Since most of the reptiles tend to be solitary animals, the same goes for Crested Geckos as well. They neither long for companionship nor feel lonely when left alone. When forced to cohabit, Geckos can end up brutally fighting with each other. However, some Geckos may tolerate another Gecko.
Is it possible to bond with Crested Geckos? Crested Geckos are unlikely to develop a deep bond with humans like the other household pets. The best you can do is, make the Geckos comfortable in your presence and tolerate your handling by letting it slowly acclimatize to you through feeding them frequently from your hand, handling them gently.
Can Crested Geckos make noise? Yes, Crested Geckos can make noise and are very much able to vocalize, unlike other lizards. From chirps to barks and clicks, Geckos use different sounds from communication. However, it is mainly during two situations, one is mating, and the second is when they feel threatened, that they make noise.