Friday, August 26, 2011

Leaping lizards!

For the record, I hate house lizards.

Well, I hate all types of lizards but the other kinds don't enter my home uninvited so they don't bother me. Some of you might say, "no big deal, I don't like them either." But you see, I REALLY hate those lizards, ie they terrify me to the point of temporary paralysis. The phobia is so bad that I can't sleep if I know there's one in my bedroom. I'm paranoid that it will crawl on the ceiling and drop on me.

At home, Kenneth is known as the Lizard Killer. There's always a bottle of Baygon (to stun them) and a rolled up newspaper close at hand. He has to be quick cos those darn geckos are trickily fast. He jokes that he should put up a chart chalk-marking the number of lizards he has demolished, as a warning to all their kin.

Don't tell me that killing lizards is a sin as they eat mosquitoes and other insects. I've seen those lizards, most of the time, they're not quick enough to catch the mozzies. Instead, they've adapted to the lazy Singaporean lifestyle by coming out at night to feast on leftover crumbs of food. In other words, totally useless. Don't count on them to eradicate dengue any time soon.

I'm not sure how this phobia came about, I suspect I was traumatised when young. I lived in an HDB flat teeming with lizards and since I slept on a mattress on the floor, I came into close contact with them. I guess it didn't help that my parents merely laughed at my fear. In fact today, I still have a long recurring nightmare that I'm precariously perched on a piece of furniture while the room is swarming with the disgusting reptile.

I'm pretty sure part of the reason for my fear is that lizards simply look grotesque. They're bug-eyed with misshapen heads, and feet that cling creepily onto anything like stubborn blue tack. They even drop body parts at will, for Pete's sake!

We've tried everything from lizard traps to old wives' tales like leaving out lavender, egg shells and pandan leaves (I think the last one is more for roaches though). We've also put gauze over the bathroom window. Don't laugh but in a very extreme measure, we've even taped up our back door (we don't use it lah, obviously) since we discovered it was a major lizard highway to our kitchen.

I'm happy to say for the most part, our home is now generally lizard-free, except for the occasional rogue one. I'm a little apprehensive about moving to a larger place on the ground floor at the end of the year. I'll have to figure out how to lizard-proof it. Meanwhile, I'm keeping the Lizard Killer close to me.


MrsCheng said...

This topic is really close to my heart. I have a couple of nasty encounters when i was young including one where i found a lizard at the bottom of a half-eaten loaf of bread. I'm in my most unmotherly self when i spot lizards, even tiny ones. I would scream and became hysterical. My hubby blames me for my kids' fear for lizards. At least you have a lizard killer at home. My hubby refuses to kill them. When he grudgingly obliged cos' i was getting on his nerves, he would take ages as he could not bear to kill them. Not to scare you, but i do think ground floor houses tend to have more lizards. I always see lizards crawling on the walls outside our condo's ground floor units. And if you stay near parks and reservoir like me, chameleons are a common sight though i'm not sure if they enter houses.
Mrs Cheng

monlim said...

MrsCheng: I totally empathise. After this post, I discovered lots of friends with the same fear! I hate it when people say things like, "don't be silly, they can't hurt you." That's not the point, it's irrational, that's why it's called a phobia. Doesn't mean it's not real!

I know you get lots more lizards on the ground floor, sigh. Will have to figure out how to deal with them!

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

I'm scared of lizards too....baygon don't kill big lizards, it only make them giddy. So I spray "Ridsect lizard repellent" on the areas that I don't want lizards to come.
The spray doesn't kill lizard but it will deter the lizard's ability to cling onto the surface and each spray lasts for 6 weeks. You can get them from supermarket like NTUC or carrfour. Or you can get "Scent King", 2 in a box costs S$5, you can get them from The Big bookshop at Tampines st. 81 above Prime supermarket. It gives out fragrance which can drive away all insects including lizards. I find these 2 repellents very useful, at least I see less lizards in my house now....but I can't spray the whole house or stick "Scent King" all around my house, thus, can't help it if lizards still managed to crawl in from window. My husband said my scream scare him more than the lizards and my 2 boys scream like me too each time we see lizards!!!


monlim said...

Steph: Wow, thanks! I bought the Ridsect lizard repellent too and sprayed it around my door but it didn't work as well as the masking tape :P

Will check out Scent King, thanks!

Tin said...

I hate lizards too and is terribly terrified of them.

Unfortunately, adventures with lizards continued even as we shifted to our new house few months ago. I was so looking forward to a fresh start---life without lizards!
But things just didn't work that way.

Everytime I dream about lizards, they'd come and greet me the very next day. It's that mystical and creepy! It was rather unfortunate that I seemed to dream about horrifying lizards very often recently. Sigh! But in a way, the dreams helped me to be on high alert.

By the way, I have tried very hard to keep the house lizards-free. Other than religiously cleaning the house and eliminating lizards' food source, I've also tried:

1. hanging empty egg shells near windows;

2. mixing TABASCO sauce with water and sprinkling them all over the house - err.. lizard-frequent spots, that it;

3. using PEST-STOP 5000 - electronic pest repeller that uses ultrasonic technology to chase lizards away; (this one is supposed to scare away cockroaches and mosquitoes as well)

4. Non-toxic RIDSECT repllent - deters the lizards ability to cling onto the surface and therefore prevent them from going back to the same spot; (I'm pretty sure this one works, cos' the other day I saw this little lizard that dropped to the floor after passing through the sprayed spots and it had to hop out of the house.. tsk tsk tsk, already told u not to come in!)

5. And finally, the rubber door seal to prevent lizards from crawling into the house. (The same tiny lizard mentioned above apparently resided in the corridor. It loved to visit me. It has came into our house a few times through the main door, despite being chased outside by a stick. I had quite an adventure with it. Now with the rubber door seal, I hope it will not come into the house again.)
Anyway, I'm not sure which of the above "smart technology" works best. Cos' it seems like I've used them all almost at the same time. Too smart. *shake head*

The last thing I tried recently was to install magnetic screen on my windows. They are like mosquito nets and work best preventing LIZARDS from getting into the house - Try it :)

monlim said...

Tin: That is seriously impressive!! I've just bought the Pest-stop, hoping that will work. I've also tried the Ridsect repellent, that seems to work for a while but it's only temporary. Gotta keep spraying, which is troublesome.

I've heard about the egg shells and tabasco sauce but not tried them cos I felt funny leaving food around :P I've also read that you can spray hair spray at them to slow them down, before you whack them. Kenneth is thinking of trying this next.

Would be great if you could report on what works best!

Aishwarya Ananth said...


Victim of the same thing here. Did the pest stop 5000 work? I have bought it and am hoping it works. I hate those lizards crawling over the floor like they own it!!

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