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Posted by: Flin Apr 13 2018, 07:46 AM
Asian House Geckos are spreading across Australia and into your home
user posted image

hey're creeping into lounge rooms across northern Australian — tiny house guests, who fight loudly and often, before disappearing into the cracks.

Experts say Australia's population of Asian House Geckos is booming in the country's north, as they slowly march southward.

The lizards with big unblinking eyes are the country's only introduced species of gecko.

It is most likely that they made their way here hidden in shipping containers, says Queensland Museum reptile expert Andrew Amey.

"There's quite a diversity of geckos in Australia but the ones you'll see most often, definitely these days, is the Asian House Gecko," Dr Amey said.

"They were seen in Darwin in the 1960s and they've been spreading slowly ever since.

"Now in Brisbane they're ubiquitous, they're everywhere — and in WA they've reached as far (south) as Karratha.

Concerningly creepy

The problem is, we don't really know very much about them, says Dr Amey.

Some people view them as helpful, as they eat insects.

But they could also be introducing new parasites.

"Some people feel that all they're doing is invading urban areas where people live … eating the pests that are attracted to our lights," Dr Amey said.

"But there's another school of thought that says there is evidence that in some situations they are invading natural bushland and displacing native geckos."

"They're more competitive, they're aggressive and there's also the potential that they're introducing pests, parasites and diseases."

"So the jury is still out."

"Personally, I think we should be taking a precautionary approach and considering them an invasive pest."
So should we kill them?

Dr Amey says there's not a lot we can do about our booming house gecko population.

"They're just going to keep coming in on shipping, despite the best efforts of quarantine," he said.

"They slip in [to] cargo really easily, they're good travellers, they've spread around the world pretty much."

Away from populated areas though, Dr Amey believes we might be able to make a difference.

"You see them on toilet blocks in national parks in the middle of nowhere … it's probably a good idea to get rid of them in a situation like that," Dr Amey said.

Before you whip off your shoe though he cautions the need to make sure it is not one of the more than 100 species of native gecko.
A close-up of a barking gecko on red sand.
Photo: The Barking Gecko is an Australian native species. One of 88 different native gecko species in Western Australia alone. (Supplied: Matt Swan/DBCA)

"There's many species of native gecko and some of them look very similar to the Asian House Gecko.

"Sometimes you see the two species on the same wall and it's quite difficult when they're running around on the wall to actually tell which one is which.

"You need to look at their toe pads really … they've more of a spatula shape whereas the native gecko has a rounded disc.

"You just have to catch them first!"

We have plenty of them. I never knew that they were feral. I was always reluctant to kill them but now that might change if I can positively identify them.
BTW, the green frogs enjoy them for an evening snack.

Posted by: charka Apr 13 2018, 11:09 AM
Always liked them Did you say they eat greens Good i will breed them

Posted by: Bill Apr 13 2018, 12:44 PM
Pauline did warn us - we are being swamped by them. Cute little critters though.

Posted by: scepo Apr 13 2018, 03:43 PM
Not so cute in my opinion. Noisy and aggressive little buggers.

They certainly chase the native geckos out. Kill them.

Posted by: charka Apr 13 2018, 03:46 PM
Yes but the eat greens Not as bad as cane toads

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