View Full Version : My room smells like lizard

01-14-2003, 11:07 AM
Last night I fulfilled my 3 month long ambition to get a pet Leopard Gecko. I expected it to have a slight odor, which it did. I thought my window-mounted exhaust fan that I have for climate control purposes would do the job, but when I got back from class today I found that the smell has permeated the room.

What can I do to get rid of the smell short of taking my lizard back to petco? Things that mask the odor make my eyes water. I've looked up threads on air filters in the archive and found that filters are either prohibitively expensive or involve the sale of snake oil. Would an open box of baking soda next to the terrarium work? How about a bowl of water?

01-14-2003, 11:10 AM
How about putting it near a window and keeping the window slightly cracked. Would that work?

01-14-2003, 12:56 PM
A particularly sour odor to the gecko's stool can be a sign of sickness. Did it relieve itself sometime while you were gone? Also, if this is just natural odor (and reptiles and amphibians will often stink up a room) you may want to try cleaning the cage and possibly changing to a more odor-absorbing substrate. Do you have the gecko in a terrarium?

HyE thhis ees Parrker Munkrypans turrtlE hEe saayS i SMelll bUt Idonnt. Byye.

01-14-2003, 01:54 PM
I have something better than the window open a crack, there's a window-mounted exhaust fan going. It pulls the lizard smell towards it, but pulls the smell out of the room at the same time.

Putting the lizard near a window would be inconvenient for me in that I'd have to move a lot of furniture around and it would be inconvenient for the lizard in that it's cold by the window.

After a visual inspection of the lizard, it would seem that she's extremely healthy: her tail is fat, no bones are visible, her colors are bright, and her eyes are too. On top of that, I've had her for less than 24 hours and has only relieved herself once. However, the smell appeared before that.

Additionally, I may be a fool for believing this, but the book says that they won't smell if you clean the cage often enough.

I'm thinking about burning incense too, but I'm worried that it might irritate the lizard's respiratory tract or something.

Emperor Penguin
01-14-2003, 02:09 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of owning a lizard.

Monkeypants had some good advice. Stinky stools can mean health problems, due to poor diet, or parasites, etc. What exactly are you feeding him/her/it? Also, the cleanliness of the tank will definetaly affect how the room smells. In my tank I used a soil substrate, and usually my room just smells earthy. Pay attention to it's stools. As yucky as it may sound, it will tell you a lot about the lizards current state of health.

My bearded dragon, on the other hand, definetally has a particular odour. For me, it was just one of those things that I had to get used to. It isn't particularly foul, just very distinctivly lizard like.

Careful with putting them by an open window, especially during the winter months. Maintaing a constant tank temperature can be tough, and a constant cool draft can make it even harder. I f these little guys get cold, it increases their risk of getting sick.

Here (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1882770447/qid=1042571005/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-2074571-1723950?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) is a book that if you don't already have, it an absolute must get. It will answer many of the questions that you may still have. If you like, you can e-mail me as well. I have a male and female leopard gecko, as well as the aforementioned BEarded Dragon, and I also have taken care of snakes, skinks, and chinese water dragons.

Oh, and one more small word of advice. Never refer to the gecko as "your lizard", i.e "I have to go home and feed/play/clean my lizard". You will have people make comments, and yeah, that joke never got old, no matter home many times I heard it.... :)

The Surb
01-14-2003, 02:10 PM
I have two Leopard Geckos in a 30 gallon container and have no noticeable smell except when I don't clean their poop spot (they only poop in one part of the cage).

And even then there is almost no odor. What are you feeding them? Can that be the problem? The crickets I keep for food smell much worse that the geckoes ever do. Mostly it's the vegetation that I feed the crickets that gives off odor as it decays.

What substrate do you use? I find newspaper to be very easy to clean. It is not as visually appealing though. If you are using vermiculite, peat moss, or any "dirt type" substrate, the substrate could trap odors.

I have had Leopard Geckoes for about 6 years now. While they are not "exciting" they are very easy to care for. Just remember to remove the dead skin from their toes after a shed.

01-14-2003, 02:25 PM
I've been well versed and briefed on the subject of "Eubli's" health. The animal itself is quite lovely and the one crap she's made so far is tan, is firm upon visual inspection, and has a white spot like I'm told it's supposed to. I feed her live mealy worms coated in vitamin powder, and that might be the source of the smell, but they're in a smooth-walled dish and as such can't escape. All the same, I think that it's unlikely that the food is the source of the smell.

Again, I just got the lizard last night so she hasn't had time to make a mess of the tank. She's still adjusting so she's been lying in her hide box most of the time, but when I came to turn her light on this morning, she was out and moving.

I use calcium carbonate sand as a substrate, since the other stuff the store had smelled of treating chemicals and I didn't want to risk poisoning the lizard. The sand is designed to be digestible, and, based on her size and color pattern, I'd estimate that she's approaching a year old so I don't think her eating it would be a problem. On top of that, I coat her food with vitamin powder and keep a generous quantity of phosphorus-free calcium supplement in the dish with it.

I know this smell. 10 years ago we had an Iguana and we went the proverbial whole nine with its feeding and care until it became too powerful to contain and we gave it to some more dedicated herp hobbyists. Its enclosure smelled this way, as did the richly furnished atrium in its new owners' house where it was kept with one of its own kind.

01-14-2003, 02:35 PM
Also, the thermometer I have is reading just under 90 degrees, and I have a heat pad underneath the cage that goes partway under the hide box, so temp maintenance isn't a problem. She doesn't have any discharge from either her nose or her eyes, so she doesn't have a "cold" as it were.

The Surb
01-14-2003, 04:57 PM
Yeah my iguanas definitely had an odor as did the savannah monitors, they could be funky. That is why I'm a little perplexed about the Leopard Gecko as mine have no discernible odor. Of course that is my opinion, now I'm afraid to ask someoone else.

Oh and the guy that raised one of my geckoes and actually owned her parents (so he had a clue) said that mealworms are hard on a gecko's stomach, although I have seen other sell mealworms as gecko food. I feed them crickets and bee moths (wax worms) with the vitamin and calcium supplements.

Oh carbon for aquariums is also supposed to absorb odors. Maybe a breathable bag in/near the tank.

Sure sounds like you're on top of things. Good luck. Will you be breading?

01-14-2003, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by desdenova
Sure sounds like you're on top of things. Good luck. Will you be breading?

Nah, I got it as a pet. There's not much meat on one, anyway. :p

The carbon sounds like a pretty good idea, though. I might try that.

I've also learned of this stuff that you can put in a little bowl or some other receptacle and it will absorb odors. Anyone know what that's called?

01-15-2003, 11:02 PM
Recall that leopard geckoes live in drier regions. Too much moisture can contribute to malodorous stools.

01-16-2003, 05:41 AM
baking soda?

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