Leopard geckos are one of the forever rising favourite pets in the reptile world. Their bright, exotic colours make them very pleasing to watch and admire throughout the day. But are leopard geckos poisonous?
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Throughout life, I have always been told that the brighter the insect or reptile is, the more likely they to be poisonous. And for many cases this is true, from tiny Poison-Dart Frogs, to the Blue Malaysian Coral Snakes, with the striking blue colours of their body in contrast to their aggressively red coloured heads and tails. But does this continue over to geckos. Are leopard geckos poisonous?
The answer… NO.
Luckily for you, leopard geckos are not poisonous. Nor are they even venomous. So they are completely safe to have in your household, with no threat to your health or the health of friends and family.
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Okay, not poisonous, but do they bite?
Like any other animal with a mouth, yes leopard geckos are capable of biting you. However, whether this will hurt or not is completely up to your own personal pain threshold. These small reptile are known to be very gentle and rarely have any aggression towards other geckos or humans. So with this in mind there are only a few occasions when a leopard gecko may react and bite you. These are;
- If they feel frightened or threatened
- If they are hurt or injured
- And during feeding
Frightened or Threatened
Leopard geckos are very small in size, therefore they are commonly quite high up on other predators menus. However, what they lack in size, they make up in pace. Leopard geckos are fast runners. When there is an element of threat around, they will quickly scurry away and hide before ending up as somethings dinner.
Running and hiding is a leopard geckos first thought then threatened. But housed in an enclosure, they may not have anywhere which they feel is safe to hide. So in this instance, as a last resort, they will literally fight for their lives which will involve biting.
Hurt or Injured
Again this is very similar to the previous paragraph. Like I said before, a leopard geckos most common reaction to danger is to run away. They scare easily and will always want to run and hide to avoid any confrontation.
However, if they are hurt to injured, then running away may not be an option. So as a last attempt to scare off any predator or threat, they will become aggressive and put up a fight which will involve biting.
This last point is probably the most common you will come across as a gecko owner, and it’s all over food (like most common household fights). Feeding time is the best time of day for any reptile. Their excitement levels go through the roof and they become very erratic. So it’s not uncommon for them to get a little excited and mistake your finger for a large worm.
They will soon realise that humans taste nothing like their usual food and will let go soon after.
Will a leopard gecko bite hurt if it’s not poisonous?
Leopard gecko bites are thought to be painless. They have the tiniest of teeth with can barely be felt by humans if they do every bite you. Their jaws aren’t that strong either, so the power in which they bite is minimal in comparison to other reptiles.
It’s for this exact reason that leopard geckos are one of the world favourite reptile pets, specially families with young children. Many people say a leopard geckos bite is “cute”, so just from this statement you can gauge the pain is pretty much non existent.
Treatment for a leopard gecko bite…
In all cases, if you are ever bitten by a leopard gecko, you should thoroughly wash the affected area with warm water and antibacterial soap. It is likely that a leopard gecko will never break through human skin as it is commonly very tough. However in some cases it has been known.
Leopard geckos can carry some potentially harmful bacteria. So treating this as soon as possible will hopefully eliminate the threat of spreading any bacteria.
Are they good with kids?
This is one a the most common questions we hear from parents who have young children. They’re always asking “Are leopard geckos a good pet for children?”.
And my answer is always the same. YES.
Leopard geckos are an amazing first time reptile owners pet. They are playful and energetic. They are easy to care for and look after. But most of all, they are super friendly and love to be handled, plus they are damn cute.
They are not a violent reptile at all and are commonly very loving and approachable. Obviously this will take a little time for your gecko to become familiar with your smell and presence. This won’t happen over night, so will need to be worked on every day. But soon enough they will become completely relaxed with your presence.
Handling a leopard gecko for the first couple of months should be kept to maybe 5 – 10 minutes at a time. This process can be very stressful for a young leopard gecko as they will not be used to the interaction with a massive scary looking human.
Over time they will begin to relax and after a few months you should be able to handle your gecko with full confidence from both parties. They will like to explore and will commonly find a high point to observe from. This is completely natural behaviour, so don’t be surprised if it runs up your arm and sits on your shoulder. They just like to be up high and on a level surface.