Geckos help get rid of insects
WHEN you hear chuck-chuck-chuck on your bedroom wall or window ledge tonight, don’t dive under the sheets – your visitor is only the little Asian house gecko who is cleaning up your cockroaches, mossies and spiders – and possibly copulating in between to swell his numbers.
The big wet seems to be driving more of the 11-centimetre critters indoors as they search for mossies and insects, also being driven out of the drenching weather.
“It could be that this rain is driving the Asian house geckos indoors as insects are coming in also from the wet,” Patrick Cooper, curator of reptiles at Qld Museum, confirmed yesterday.
“Other reptiles, including lace monitors and eastern water dragons, which also live in your region, will tend to shy away from this wet weather and hide until it blows over.”
The house gecko is the only introduced gecko in Australia and is Australia’s most successful invasive reptile.
“The first report we have of them in Australia comes from 1845 at Port Essington,” Mr Cooper said.
“They were first sighted in Darwin in 1964 and Brisbane in 1983, around the wharves area, so they probably came in a shipping container.”
House geckos, which many Chinese people believe signal good luck, are a pest, Mr Cooper says.
“They brought in mites and have blood parasites, which are harmful to our native geckos.
“They are also more vocal than our native geckos, which is why they make that chuck-chuck-chuck call.”
Mr Cooper says many people do not like the geckos because they eat the cute white-striped native skinks that also enjoy our homes.
“And they have been known to set off burglar alarms and short circuit air-conditioning units,” he said.
The Qld Museum is currently running a web survey to suss the distribution of these little geckos through Qld.
Go to www.qm.qld.gov.gecko.au and click on the gecko survey.