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Archive for July 7th, 2012

We had to deploy Trap-A-Roach Hoyhoys last week to deal with those 4″ long tropical flying cockroaches that have been making their presence all too known. These glue traps are the best option to chemicals and they actually work. Only problem is, on occasion, other lil’ creatures check them out. I’m guessing the geckos, who eat bugs, are trying to get to the ones that are still alive, caught on the trap.

This morning when I looked at the Hoyhoy I had in the hall closet, I thought a leaf or something had gotten caught in it. But after a double take, I realized that the something was breathing. It was a Mourning Gecko, otherwise known as Lepidodactylus lugubris.

Emergency surgery performed today without a license. Patient: 3 1/4″ long, brave and cold blooded.

There was only ten minutes before I had to leave to help with a surf lesson. Here’s my think-quick play-by-play solution (accomplished #1 and #2 before I left and the rest upon return):

Items needed: scissors, water, tweezers, coconut oil, towel, small bowl and plate.

Time: Approximately 30 minutes.

1) Cut the cardboard of the glue trap just around the gecko.

2) Place gecko in tepid water (or hold her* and place portions of her glued body in the water. Avoid getting her head wet). This will soften the cardboard and make it easy to seperate from the glue. (She may also be thirsty. Allow her the opportunity to drink – though my gecko was not interested.)

3) Pour an ounce or two of coconut oil onto a small plate or bowl and dip gecko in it. As my gecko was getting free, she got more squirmy. I held her and lightly massaged the coconut oil into the affected areas, dripping more oil on stubborn spots. She seemed to like the belly rub and relaxed. Be careful to keep oil out of their nose, glottis (they can suffocate) or their eyes (they don’t have eyelids, but clean their eyes with their tongue).

4) Be patient. The gecko’s skin is thin and you don’t want to tear it or remove limbs by pulling too hard (though yes, they will grow their tail back if they “drop” it). The coconut oil will start breaking apart the glue. I carefully used the tweezers to pull the glue off.

5) Remove excess oil before releasing her back into the wild. Since geckos breath from their noses, the coconut oil isn’t going to be a problem on their scaly skin, and their setae are self-cleaning, but it seemed better to rinse/towel off the oil, since it attracts dirt.

6) One kiss goodbye (not necessary for normal people).

Geckos are considered good luck in Hawai’i. Hopefully she’s having better luck outdoors!

*This species is parthenogenic, with no known males. Females engage in pseudocopulations to produce viable eggs. (Uh-huh, you go grrl!)

All clean.

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