Skinks are strange lizards that look as though they came from a different planet, although unfortunately these cool animals often overpopulate and annoy people on porches.
There are many routes that you can take to getting rid of skinks on your porch, all of which are non-invasive and usually do not result in killing skinks but relocating them instead.
Before setting up your plan to get rid of skinks, it is a good idea to get familiar with what you are working with. Skinks are a type of lizard that have very small legs or no legs at all, depending on the species of skink.
Skinks eat bugs and insects as well as vegetation, which is why if you are having trouble getting your plants to grow or thrive, it is possible that skinks are the guilty party.
As with most things in life, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing, and although skinks will cut the number of insects you have flying around, large numbers of the lizards might become destructive or annoying on your porch.
A typical skink enjoys humid conditions with an adequate supply of water, as well as many places to hide inside. These factors are what make your porch so attractive to skinks, especially if you have lots of objects on your property where a skink could effectively hide and live.
Skinks come in a variety of colors, depending on the region, and while they may look a bit strange, there is not one skink in the world that is poisonous or venomous, so do not be afraid of the little reptiles.
While skinks do have teeth, a bite from one of these critters is nothing to worry about, so do not worry about one attacking you.
1 – Get Rid of Food Sources
Now that you know what to look for when dealing with a skink problem, there are a few things to know about how to get rid of the skinks. Before resorting to traps or anything such as that, there is one measure to take that will often get rid of skinks right off the bat, which is getting rid of the food source.
Skinks love many insects, bugs, pests, and everything in between. If you have a garden near your porch or any type of greenery that attracts a large concentration of bugs or insects, this is probably one thing that is attracting extra skinks to your porch.
If you remove or change the location of these greens or other objects that are attracting bugs to your yard, your yard or porch will not support as many living organisms, including skinks. Check your porch and house in general for areas where you see lots of insects or where you suspect that insects are living.
Depending on your site, you will find different types of insects, although skinks enjoy eating all sorts of things including spiders, silverfish, flies, moths, and many more. If you want to efficiently get rid of skinks from your porch, you will need to get rid of the source that is bringing the skinks to you, which is insects and pests.
2 – Turn Lights Off
As with sea turtles that are attracted to lights on shore, skinks are attracted to lights on porches and in houses. Actually, insects such as flies like the light, which in turn makes your porch very attractive to skinks and other insect-eating creatures.
More pests and insects in and around your porch mean more generations of insects, which is a vicious cycle if you are trying to get rid of insects and thus skinks. The bottom line when it comes to limiting the number of insects that are living on your porch and the areas around your porch is that light attracts bugs, and bugs attract skinks.
There are some forms of light that homeowners easily forget about, most commonly porch lights and deck lights as well as security lights and picnic lights. Leaving these lights on through the night is a habit that some people have, although it threatens to invite skinks to your porch and wastes electricity.
At the end of the day, deciding whether you want to keep your outdoor lights on is up to you, although, as with insects, keeping your lights on will attract unwanted visitors in the form of bugs and skinks. Keeping lights on inside your house will also attract bugs, so be wary of that too.
3 – Block Any Water Sources
As with humans, skinks, and lizards in general for that matter, need food and water to survive. Unlike a skink’s food source, however, lizards such as skinks do not need much water at all — just a few drops on a leaf or a blade of grass.
If little puddles of water build up around your house or porch, try to get rid of them so that you limit the amount of water available to resident skinks. Other sources of water, including water fountains and birdbaths, are also havens for skinks to keep up their hydration and wellness.
Lots of bugs like to live in areas with reliable sources of water, and many plant their eggs and reproduce near water sources. Thus, water sources attract both insects and skinks, so getting rid of the former will get rid of the latter.
If you live in an area that does not receive much water, getting rid of any loose water will work especially well for you, as skinks will not survive very well, at least for extended periods of time. In wetter climates that receive consistent rainfall, this will be more difficult to control, although extra water is possible.
4 – Clean up Your Porch
If your porch has lots of plants and general debris on it, skinks will find it more comfortable to live in, so removing these items often helps get rid of the pesky lizards. Even small areas or cracks where skinks can hide will make skinks comfortable around your porch.
Even items that skinks do not like might attract insects and other animals that skinks enjoy eating, so keep a watchful eye over everything that you put on your porch. Some insects like garbage and the remnants of trash in waste bins, so try to keep this trash and objects in general to a minimum if you notice an unusually large number of insects around your porch.
Keeping your porch clean also includes sealing up any holes or cracks in your walls where insects could enter. This not only helps limit bugs on your porch but also inside your house, which is beneficial for all parties involved.
Skinks are able to slip through extremely small cracks, including door gaps and vents, so if you find some in your house, check around your house’s foundation for any way a skink could enter.
Even if the conditions outside your house deter lizards and skinks, if you have entry points in your house, a skink could still conceivably enter your house for water and shelter.
5 – Get a Cat or Other Natural Predator
If changing the conditions of your house and property do not get rid of your skink problem, there are other more direct ways to keep them away. Natural predators of skinks, such as cats and birds, will naturally eat or at least scare away skinks that hang around on your porch or in your house.
Both indoor and outdoor cats are good at keeping skinks and small reptiles in general away from your house. Since skinks have been prey for cats for thousands of years, it should come as no surprise that the lizards do not particularly like cats.
You can use this evolutionary trait to your benefit by letting your cat or other pet outside occasionally to fend off skinks and other little critters. Some birds also like eating skinks, or at least are interested in them, so you can use these on your porch if you have a screen where your bird will not fly away.
As long as your pet finds the skinks on your porch interesting and you let them out occasionally, any skinks that usually hang around will begin to sense your cat or dog’s presence and no longer come back as much. This varies from case to case, although natural guard pets will undoubtedly help fix your skink problem, at least to some extent.
An uncontrollable population of skinks on your porch is not an issue that you have to put up with, and getting rid of the little reptiles is actually easier than you might think.
Depending on your situation, there are a number of routes that you can take to make your porch undesirable for skinks, as well as lizards in general.
Once you find that you do, in fact, have a skink problem, the first way to solve the problem is by getting rid of skink food sources, mostly bugs. Blocking water sources and limiting light inside and outside of your house will also get rid of bugs, which will get rid of skinks.
Cleaning up your porch and getting a house cat or other pet will scare off skinks or limit the number of shelters on your property. Whatever you decide to do, never give up on getting your porch skink-free, as it is possible.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.