How To Get Rid of Skinks

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Skinks may appear gross and scary, but they are far from it. While these small garden lizards aren’t dangerous, they are still a nuisance and can be quite annoying to deal with. Many homeowners understandably struggle with how to get rid of skinks.

The best way to get rid of skinks is to clean your porch and remove vines, leaves, and dense plants that attract them. Patch the cracks in your porch so skinks can’t use them to nest, and avoid turning your porch light on. Spray the perimeter of your home with insecticide to kill the bugs that skinks eat, so they are less likely to stay around your house.

It also helps to use ultrasonic repellent devices and hang bird feathers on your porch because they can scare skinks away. Avoid planting fruits and vegetables near the entry doors to your house as they will attract skinks. Follow along as we explore how to get rid of skinks.

What Attracts Skinks To Your Yard?

Skinks are attracted to the bugs in your yard. They are also attracted to plants like native violet and purple coral pea. Skinks also love ground cover such as leaves and vines in your yard and on your porch.

They often nest and lay eggs in old, moist tree stumps. You are likely to find skinks if your yard is messy. Overgrown vines and grass attract skinks, especially if you live in a humid climate. They are also attracted to standing water in dishes, gutter spouts, and potted plants.

How To Keep Skinks Away

1. Clean Your Porch

I had a problem with skinks until I cleaned my porch. Skinks repeatedly got into my house through the front door. It wasn’t until I cleaned up my porch and got rid of the mess of vines that I stopped seeing them.

Skinks find comfort in dense piles of vines, grass, and leaves. Regularly sweep your porch and cut back the vines so skinks can’t nest in them. This will greatly reduce the chance that skinks will make their way into your house.

2. Exterminate Bugs

Skinks only hang out in your yard because they are hunting bugs. You can get rid of skinks if you exterminate the bugs they feed on. Spray the perimeter of your house with an insecticide at least twice per year to keep bugs away.

In some cases, you may need to spray your home as often as every 90 days to effectively get rid of bugs. The skinks will eventually migrate somewhere else when they cannot find any bugs to eat. Not only will this get rid of skinks, but you won’t have to worry about pests like cockroaches and moths.

3. Scare Them

It may sound mean, but scaring skinks is the only way to get rid of them in many cases. You shouldn’t harm them, of course, but you can easily scare them away with several simple tactics. For example, you can scare skinks away if you hang bird feathers on your porch and throughout your yard.

Birds are natural predators of skinks, and skinks run away at the sight of them. You can’t count on birds to circle your yard all day, but hanging feathers is the next best thing. The skinks won’t stick around long enough to notice that there isn’t a bird there.

You can also scare skinks away with an ultrasonic repellent device. These devices produce noises that scare away everything from insects and deer to skinks. They cost between $8 and $20, and it only takes 1-2 of them to get rid of skinks in most cases. However, it’s worthwhile to put a couple in your front and backyard for the best results.

4. Fill In Cracks

It’s normal for a porch to have several cracks, so it’s worthwhile to fill them if you have a problem with skinks. Skinks love to burrow into cracks and divots in the ground, tree stumps, and even porches. This gives them the perfect space to hide and wait for bugs to eat or simply sleep at night. Fill in the cracks in your porch so that skinks are less likely to hang around your yard. They may still be on your property, but you won’t have to worry as much about them getting into your house.

5. Use Fewer Lights

It’s no secret that bugs are attracted to lights. Many homeowners leave a porch light on at night, but that can turn into a nightmare when your porch is flooded with moths. This will attract skinks that are searching for food.

Fewer bugs will come to your porch if you turn off a light or two or simply don’t use lights at all. This will cause skinks to go somewhere else to find bugs to eat. While this is only helpful at night, the skinks will eventually learn that they will have better luck finding food somewhere else.

6. Choose Plants Wisely

While it’s rewarding to grow fruit and vegetables, they can attract skinks. Skinks primarily eat bugs, but they eat fruit as well. It’s okay to grow fruit and vegetables, but you may want to carefully consider where you plant them.

Not only do skinks like to eat fruit, but fruit also attracts bugs that will also keep the skinks around. Avoid planting fruit and vegetables near any entry doors to your home. That way, the skinks will be less likely to try to get into your house.

7. Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water attracts skinks, and it also attracts insects like flies and mosquitoes. Regularly dump out any standing water in your yard to help get rid of skinks. They will eventually move to another spot to find a source of water.

Skinks don’t drink a lot of water per day, but they still like to stay in areas with a steady water source. They are also attracted to the insects that hover around standing water. Dump standing water into your plants, so you don’t waste it.

Is It Good To Have Skinks Around Your House?

In many ways, it is good to have skinks around your house. They are especially useful if you have a big problem with bugs getting into your home. Skinks regularly eat bugs like crickets, cockroaches, moths, slugs, and spiders.

While it can be annoying if skinks get inside, it’s useful to have them in your yard. You can encourage skinks to hang around your yard if you place rocks and vines on the ground, as they love to have cover. They are mostly active during the day, and that’s when they eat insects. Luckily, skinks aren’t dangerous to humans.

Summing It Up

Clean your porch and remove dense vines and leaves to get rid of skinks. Hire an exterminator or spray the outside of your home with an insecticide to kill the bugs that skinks eat, so they go away. Dump out the standing water in your yard so skinks must go somewhere else for a water source.

You can scare skinks away if you hang bird feathers on your porch. Skinks are naturally scared of birds, so they will avoid the area. Ultrasonic repellent devices can also scare skinks, deer, and bugs away from your house.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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