How To Catch A Lizard? (Safe & Fast Methods)

Lizards are fascinating reptiles, but they are also very fast! Maybe your pet lizard found its way out of its terrarium, or you have seen lizards roaming around on your porch recently, and you want to get a closer look.

Whatever the case, you are in the right place! In this article, we tell you the best approaches to catching even the speediest of lizards! Keep reading to learn more.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Butterfly Net
  • Foam insulation tape
  • Water Bottle
  • Scissors
  • Live Bait
  • Papaya or melon
  • Dental Floss or Grass Blade
  • Stick
  • Tape
  • Sponges
  • Cardboard Box

Note: You don’t need all tools above. The tool you need is based on the method you choose below.

5 Ways To Catch A Lizard

5 Ways To Catch A Lizard
Image Credit: markuskivela

Catching lizards is a lot of fun and is also known as helping!  However, when catching a wild lizard, knowing what kind of lizard you are dealing with is essential.

Before you handle a lizard, you want to ensure that it is not an aggressive breed or, even worse, venomous.

Luckily, there are only three kinds of venomous lizards: The Mexican beaded lizard, the Komodo Dragon, and the Gila monster.

Don’t try to catch venomous lizards, and if you have a problem with one, it is best to contact wildlife authorities to safely capture the lizard, so you don’t get hurt.

Common lizards found in North America are green anoles, brown anoles, blue-tailed skinks, and chameleons. All of these breeds are friendly and docile and are perfectly safe to catch!

After you have made sure there are no dangerous lizards in your area, get ready for the fun part. Listed below are the best methods for catching a lizard.

1. Use A Sponge

You may be wondering how you could possibly use a sponge to catch a lizard!? Sponges work great to catch lizards by allowing you to quickly slap your hand down on the lizard without harming it.

The sponges create a cushion, allowing you to create enough pressure to hold the lizard in place but not enough to hurt it.

Just cup two sponges in your hand, and lay your hand down on the lizard as quickly as possible. Again, just make sure you don’t slam your hand down hard as if you were squashing a bug.

2. Use A Net

Use A Net
Image Credit: 88_yologecko

Just make sure the outer lining of your net is lined in something soft, so you don’t harm the lizard.

The hard edging around a neck could break the lizard’s neck or even kill it if you accidentally hit it down at the wrong time, so it is best to stay on the safe side and just line your net.

You can use something such as foam insulation tape, or you can cut sponges in strips and tape them around the hard edging of the neck.

Alternatively, you can use some kind of thick cloth such as a towel or rag; it can be anything as long as it is soft.

It is also a good idea to opt for a net with a longer handle vs. a shorter one. A long handle gives you a longer range, so it is easier to catch a lizard that makes a run for it.

You always want to make sure you aim the center of the net on the lizard when trying to catch it.  This is the safest way to ensure the lizard isn’t harmed.

3. Use A Lizard Noose

Another method is to create a lizard noose. It doesn’t sound like it wouldn’t harm the lizard, but it is perfectly safe.

The best part is you can make one out of dental floss or a long blade of grass and a long stick. People commonly use a fishing pole, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

It isn’t recommended to use a fishing line for this method unless you have a lot of experience catching lizards, as fishing lines can potentially hurt the lizard.

First, tie one end of the dental floss or grass to the end of a stick. You can tape it in place if you can’t get it tight enough or you just want extra security. Next, tie the loose end of the floss into a slipknot.

Make sure the secondary knot of the slipknot is loose so that the noose doesn’t pull too tight around the lizard’s neck, potentially killing it.

To use the lizard noose, simply dangle the noose carefully in front of the lizard’s head, slowly slipping it over the top of its head. Pull it gently enough to tighten the rope, and you have successfully caught the lizard.

4. Set A Trap

If you would rather set a trap for a lizard, you can make one using a piece of cardboard from a cardboard box and a few other materials and tools.

Alternatively, you can just use a water bottle. Just cut the top of the water bottle off right at the point where the bottle starts to funnel. Next, turn the top of the bottle upside down so that the water bottle opening is inside the bottle.

Next, put bait inside the bottle. You can use live bait, such as bugs, or fruit, such as melon or papaya.

Now, set the trap on a flat surface. When setting a trap, make sure you set the trap in a shady area away from the sun. You don’t want the lizard to get trapped in a hot, sunny area, as this can expose the lizard to extremely high temperatures and possibly kill it.

Check on the trap every 30 minutes or so to see if you have caught a lizard!

5. Take Advantage Of A Tree

If you have a very slim tree, you may be able to catch a lizard by forcing it up the tree. You can set out bait close to the tree trunk and wait for the lizard to appear. Now, move toward the tree and get ready to grab him.

When the lizard senses your movements, he will begin to climb up the tree and will always remain on the opposite side of you.

If the tree is slender enough, you will be able to tell where the lizard is, even when he is on the other side of the tree, you can see him, but he doesn’t think you can. Now, simply swoop your hand around the tree and scoop the lizard up.

This is probably the most tricky to do successfully, but under the right conditions, it is a great way to catch a lizard without harming it.

If it is your pet lizard, you can do this with some type of stand, such as a tripod, coat rack, or microphone stand.

Set The lizard Free

Set The lizard Free
Image Credit: carspindola

Lastly, after you are done observing the lizard, it is time to set it free! Make sure you do not hang on to the lizard for too long. If you are keeping it in a box or cage temporarily to observe it, don’t keep it longer than two to three hours, and make sure to supply a wet sponge for it to have water.

Extended Tips

  • While it is not recommended to keep wild lizards as pets, if you do enough research and have all the right materials, there is no reason why you can’t keep a wild lizard. Just make sure you have a big cage for it to have enough room to wander and other supplies such as food, water, and other items to make the lizard feel as much at home as possible.
  • Never grab a lizard by its tail! You can pull its tail off quite easily, and although some lizard’s tails grow back, some of them don’t.
  • If you have never caught a lizard before, it may surprise you if it freezes still when you catch it! No, you have not hurt it. This is a defensive move to protect the lizard from dangerous prey. The lizard is just playing dead.


There you have it! With the right tools, you can catch a lizard quickly and easily while maintaining the lizard’s safety. We love all animals and don’t want to see them harmed. We hope you found this article helpful in catching your lizard.

If you have any questions or comments, let us know in the comments section below! We love to hear from our readers!

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