Sunday, August 13, 2006

In the Kitchen

Have you ever gone into the kitchen, turned on the light, and seen, out of the corner of your eye, something scuttle across the kitchen floor? That's a pretty freaky feeling, isn't it? It makes you jump, or at least makes your heart jump..... Well, it happened to me tonight. But the good news is that it was just a baby lizard. Now, I don't actually know the scientific name for the little lizards around my yard here in Texas. They are small, probably the biggest one I've ever seen was maybe four inches long. This one was a real tiny baby. Could not have been more than an inch and a half long. And it was whitish because it was on my white kitchen floor. So I guess these lizards are chameleons because they adapt to the background color?

Do you know the best way to remove a lizard from your house? No, don't stomp on it. I could never kill one. I think they are cute, and they serve a useful purpose because they eat bugs (which I have no problem killing if I'm confronted). I learned this trick when I lived in Florida from a neighbor, because I used to find at least one a week in my house there. I've been in Texas for ten years, and this is only the second one that I've found in the house (although there are plenty around my yard).

Here's what you do to safely and humanely relocate a lizard. Grab a piece of paper and a small tupperware container (or other generic plastic container). Quickly put the container over top of the lizard. Hopefully, he's not moving, because if he is you won't catch him. Note: Do not worry if you catch his tail with the edge of the container and it comes off. This is a defense mechanism. The tail will continue to flop around for a few seconds..... but just leave it. As long as the rest of the lizard is safely under the container, he's just fine. Lizards regularly lose their tails to predators, but they grow back. The continued movement of the tail makes the predator believe it has captured the lizard, while the lizard has a chance to escape. Isn't nature amazing?

Once you have the lizard (with or without tail) under the container, slip the piece of paper underneath. Make sure the lizard is between the paper and the container, then lift both at the same time. You are now holding the paper tightly against the container with the lizard inside. Carry it outside, and let the lizard run off into the grass.

Your house is now lizard-free, and the lizard has found it's way back into nature.

Doesn't get any easier than that, does it?

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