What do garden lizards eat? Attract these into your yard!


If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides to fend off pests in your garden, consider attracting garden lizards to do the work! Garden lizards will eat those tasty bugs so that they don’t infest your flowers and vegetables.

In Australia, there are five prominent families of lizards: skinks, geckos, dragons, legless lizards, and goannas. Most lizards found in the backyard would belong to either the skink or gecko family.

So what do garden lizards eat that makes them attractive to the garden ecosystem?

Garden lizards eat:

  • Gastropods like snails and slugs
  • Insects
  • Caterpillars
  • Spiders
  • Slugs
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Worms and ants
  • Termites
  • Fruit and vegetables

As you can see from the list, lizards and skinks are excellent natural guardians against garden pests. Let’s look at how we can create a garden landscape that lures lizards into the yard.

Creating a lizard lounge

Lizards require shelter to hide and sleep. Stones, rocks, hollow logs, and broken terracotta pots can all be used to make shelter. Place bricks and flat stones in the garden bed as lizards like to warm up on these surfaces during the morning. As cold-blooded reptiles, they need to warm their bodies before hunting for food.

Lizards shed throughout the year, so place pieces of rough stones or tree trunks for them to rub against. Provide a hydration hub for the lizards by placing a shallow bowl of water in a protected spot. Keep the water clean by replacing it with fresh water and keeping the bowl clean.

Some plants and shrubs to attract lizards include:

  • Native Violet
  • Mat Rush
  • Purple Coral Pea
  • Grasses such as Wallaby Grass, Kangaroo Grass, and Weeping Grass

Create veggie compost from your veggie leftovers. The compost will attract insects and snails into the garden, which are food for your lizards.

Mulch plants around the garden bed will conserve moisture in the soil and provide hiding places for lizards and their prey. Include some vines and creepers to cover fences and walls. This will allow them to maneuver around easily.

Here’s a short video on how to build a lizard lounge by Gardening Australia:

Now that you’ve got your lizard lounge set up, let’s take a look at the species of lizards likely to appear.

Blue-tongue skinks / Blue-tongue lizard

Blue-tongue skinks are the largest of all skinks and can grow up to 60cm (11.8 inches) long. Their bodies are usually grey with brown stripes across their back and tail.

Their most distinguishing feature is their blue tongue. The skinks use this to fend off predators. The use of bright colors often signatures to predators that it’s toxic or distasteful. This is called aposematism. As the blue-tongue skink has short stumpy legs, it cannot always run away from predators; so it flicks out its tongue as its first line of defense.

Blue-tongue skinks are omnivores; they eat a mix of insects and vegetables. They consume insects such as crickets, worms, snails, slugs, caterpillars, and beetles. They can eat small pieces of watercress, bananas, carrots, pear, apple, bananas, sprouts, tomatoes, and parsley with vegetables.

The Garden Skink (Lampropholis Guichenoti)

The Garden Skinks are also known as Penny Lizards. They are small, brown or grey, and can grow up to 8 to 10cm (4 inches). They can have distinctive markings and stripes, depending on the species. The Garden Skink can be found in the suburban backyard across Australia.

The Garden Skinks are great for the backyard as their quick movements make them excellent hunters of insects. Attracting the Garden Skinks in the garden will help control crickets, moths, and cockroaches. Create a natural habitat for them by placing rocks, logs, sticks, and leaf litter around for them to hide.

The diet of the Garden Skink includes larger invertebrates such as crickets, moths, slaters, earthworms, flies, caterpillars, grasshopper, cockroaches, slugs, tiny spiders, lady beetles, and many other small insects.

They can also feed on fruit and cooked vegetables. Skinks love bananas and strawberries. It’s important not to leave citrus fruits around as it will make skinks very ill.

Garden skinks utilize their quick speed when hunting. They will hide and wait for prey to come before they catch their pretty and shake it vigorously to kill it. They typically only prey on one meal per four or five days.

Final words

Garden lizards make excellent natural pest controllers around the house. You can attract these by building lizard lounges or keeping logs and rocks around the garden. Once you’ve got the lizard habitat laid down, you can depend on the lizards to take care of those pesky bugs in the garden.

AskthePlantician

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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