Handling Tips

Once you get your crested gecko, the first thing you’ll want to do is pet and cuddle it. How could you not, with those big eyes and that soft, suede-like skin? But moving to a home can stress a gecko out, so you need to wait 2 weeks before the cuddles begin. 

When you start handling your gecko, do it over a soft surface like a bed or couch. In the wild, cresties are surrounded by vines and branches, so they can do “leaps of faith” from great heights and just catch a new perch on the way down. That’s not the case in captivity, but that mindset is genetically programmed into them. So if your gecko tries to leap off of your hand, having a soft landing place ready can prevent injury.

Start your handling sessions at just 5 minutes long, every other day. It’s not a lot of time, but it gives your gecko time to recover and realize that you aren’t a predator. Once your gecko is consistently calm during handling, you can gradually extend the handling sessions to 15 minutes at a time. Even when perfectly tamed, try not to have him/her out for more than 20 minutes/day.

If your crestie is flighty, try something called treadmilling. While the gecko is perched on one of your hands, place your other hand in a cup shape 4-6 inches in front of it. When the gecko leaps, switch hands. Eventually s/he will calm down.

Another trick you can try with a flighty gecko is to handle them during the day. They will be sleepy at this time, so they move slower and are less likely to jump around.

Don’t forget to wash your hands before and after each handling session. And if a child is handling the gecko, be sure to supervise closely.

Do crested geckos bite?

Rarely. My geckos have never even tried. But according to breeders, a crested gecko bite feels like a quick pinch and rarely draws blood, so you have nothing to fear.

My crested gecko made a sound! What does it mean?

Occasionally, crested geckos vocalize to communicate. It’s very cute and sounds like a rubber duck! Depending on the situation, the gecko may be trying to woo a female, tell a male to “bug off,” or tell an intruder to go away.

Watch this video to hear it!