Wondering why crested geckos bite and how to stop it? This guide is for you!
Crested geckos are some of the easiest reptiles to keep because they are considered gentle and docile. Once they acclimate to your home and its peculiarities, they easily settle in and become good pets.
This is why many beginners start with crested geckos as their first reptile pets.
Crested geckos can, however, bite when they feel threatened. Though this bite is not dangerous, you should take measures to discourage it from happening. The best way to do this is by being gentle, respectful, and responsible for your pet. Handle him properly and ensure that his living conditions are correctly set up.
Although cresties are considered ideal pets, they get irked when certain things don’t go their way. For example, a crestie feels stressed when he is moved to a new location.
As such, you need to allow this animal time to adjust to its new home before attempting to handle him.
Also, be keen on his body language when you start handling him. Then, you will realize that your gentle reptile dislikes being handled excessively.
Can Crested Geckos Bite?
Crested geckos can bite because they have teeth – actually, they have about 177 of them! So your crested gecko’s teeth are already fully formed at birth.
These teeth are constantly being replaced because of their high rate of wear and tear. So a crestie will have a brand new set of teeth every few months.
However, these teeth are so tiny that it’s not easy to spot them with the naked eye. Indeed, these teeth are so small that your gecko does not use them for chewing.
This animal prefers to swallow its meal whole instead of chewing it. This is because the teeth cannot slice, grind, or shear.
It is for the same reason that a crested gecko’s bite is inconsequential. You are unlikely to get a major injury from this animal’s bite.
How Often Do Crested Geckos Bite?
A crested gecko becomes aggressive when threatened. Although a bite from a crestie is not dangerous, it is a good sign that this animal is under stress.
As such, seeing your crestie attempting to bite you means you need to change his circumstances.
Likely, this animal does not want to be handled and should be left alone. But, on the other hand, it could also mean there’s something about his nutrition or living conditions he doesn’t like.
An attempted bite by a crested gecko should be a wake-up call. It should alert you to look more closely at your pet’s situation and circumstances.
Crested geckos don’t typically bite as part of their everyday behavior. Your crestie resorts to this behavior in self-defense.
Also, it could be a protest sign against being over-handled.
Does a Crested Gecko’s Bite Hurt?
Some reptiles can cause serious harm with their teeth. However, a bite from a crested gecko is considered harmless.
Although your crestie has multiple teeth, they are too tiny to inflict serious damage. Although, crested geckos are not typically aggressive, and only resort to biting when they feel threatened.
A crested gecko does not bite unless in self-defense or to ward off unwanted attention.
All the same, you should discourage your pet from attempting to bite you all the time. Actually, you should take it as a sign that things aren’t right every time your gecko tries to bite you.
It could signify that your pet is stressed, and you need to identify and eliminate the stressor.
You may overlook your gecko’s bite when it happens because it leaves no visible impact.
However, if you are keen enough, you may feel a little pressure on your skin – like a nip or a pinch – when your crestie bites.
You actually don’t need to seek medical intervention for this. However, it is a good pointer that you need to pay closer attention to your gecko’s needs.
Can a Crested Gecko Bite Hurt a Child?
Generally, crested geckos are not likely to bite any human being. This is because these animals instinctively know their bites are not strong enough to inflict any real damage on human skin.
All the same, a crested gecko’s bite is a signal that this animal is irritated. If you don’t do something to make him feel better, he may drop his tail to run away from you.
This is why it is essential that the handling of cresties be left to adults and older children. Unfortunately, a small child may not be able to know how to handle this pet properly.
Also, they may be unable to read the signs that the gecko is irritated and should be put back in the enclosure.
Your small child may not understand why the gecko should not be pulled, pinched, squeezed, or mistreated.
In this context, a small child is likely to be more dangerous to the crestie than the reptile would be to them.
While a gecko’s bite may not harm your child, the same cannot be said of the child hurting the gecko.
Are Crested Geckos Hostile?
Crested geckos are not even mildly aggressive, leave alone hostile or violent. However, they may show some level of irritation when upset or stressed.
They usually do so when threatened and feel the need to defend themselves. But even so, crested geckos often choose to flee than fight.
This is why they are so good at dropping their tails when they sense danger.
A crested gecko’s tail wiggles a lot when it drops, thus capturing the attention of the predator and allowing the crestie to escape.
It’s easy to tame a crestie because of its docile, calm nature.
Juvenile and baby geckos tend to be more skittish and playful than older ones. As such, you should expect more unpredictable behavior from youngsters.
However, even these young ones will rarely bite unless pushed to do so. Most crestie owners have no record of their geckos biting them.
Those who remember being bitten also point out they caused that reaction from their geckos. This is your cue to handle your crestie gently and respectfully to avoid stressing him out.
Is a Crested Gecko’s Bite Venomous?
A venomous animal injects venom into another animal’s body with its fangs. A poisonous animal carries poison on its skin: coming into contact with this animal is dangerous.
A crested gecko is neither venomous nor poisonous. It doesn’t have fangs to deliver venom nor carry poison on its skin.
As such, your crested gecko’s bite is not painful. Actually, it is not even strong enough to puncture your skin.
Also, a crestie’s jaws are not strong enough to deliver an impactful bite to a human being. Therefore, they cannot hold on to your skin long enough to cause any damage or pain.
Your crested gecko’s teeth are small, blunt, and designed to hold and crush its food. They are not intended to break, tear, or shear.
All factors considered, humans are more dangerous to geckos than these pretty reptiles are to us. This should inspire you to use your power over this animal with love, care, and respect.
After all, your cute crestie pet looks up to you for its provisions.
Are Crested Geckos Dangerous?
Because crested geckos have such tiny teeth, their bite is not dangerous. Also, they don’t have enough jaw power to puncture your skin.
You should not be worried about your crested gecko’s bite if you’re planning to keep this pet. Cresties rarely bite unless they have been pushed to the wall.
Under normal circumstances, your crested gecko will choose to flee or freeze when confronted with danger.
However, if push comes to shove, this reptile will push back and attempt to bite you. So don’t worry as much about the bite as you should about its reason.
Focus on what has triggered your crestie to react this way. The important thing here is to resolve any conflict in your pet’s life.
Could it be that you’re handling him too roughly? Or is it that his nutrition and living conditions are not proper?
Although your crested gecko’s bite is harmless, it alerts you that something needs to be set right.
That said, wash your hands if a crestie bit you. Actually, you should thoroughly clean your hands every time you handle this animal.
Like most geckos, cresties are known to carry Salmonella, which can seriously mess up your health.
Maintaining high hygiene standards when handling animals to prevent zoonotic infections is always good.
Why Do Crested geckos Bite?
Response to Stress
Crested geckos are considered some of the calmest pets in the gecko family. This animal will choose to run away than bite.
However, if your crestie is left with no option, it will bite in self-defense.
Most bites emanating from this animal are triggered by stress or poor handling. Take, for example, that your crested gecko is shedding.
This is a susceptible period in his life. Your gecko will feel irritated if you insist on handling him at this time.
He may bite or attempt to bite you to say he needs to be left alone.
A crested gecko will also bite you if you mishandle him. If you have children in the house, teach them not to squeeze or pinch this animal.
A crestie bites in self-defense if the handler gets rough with it.
Response to Poor Living Conditions
A crested gecko becomes moody and may bite if the living conditions in the tank are deplorable.
For example, if the food is poor and the temperature and humidity are poor, your crestie will not be in a mood to be handled.
Consider the bite a protest – your crestie wants you to know he’s not happy at all. This is your cue to improve his standards in the enclosure.
Additionally, a crested gecko may not be too friendly when he’s new in your home. So don’t be too eager to handle him before he gets the hang of his new enclosure and surroundings.
Be content to observe your pet from outside the tank for about 10 to 14 days as he gets to know his new world better.
Gradually introduce yourself to him and let him know you at his pace.
You’ll eventually build a strong bond if you are consistently nice in your approach and feeding him. Otherwise, rushing things along could make your pet bite you in protest.
Gravid females are likely to bite in an attempt to protect their eggs. For this reason, avoid picking or handing these geckos unless it’s vital.
The same goes for mating geckos. Again, do not attempt to interrupt these animals lest they turn against you and bite you.
If two crested geckos are fighting, you need to separate them carefully not to be bitten. Likewise, crested geckos will fight if they are wrongly housed.
For example, putting two male geckos in the same tank is a recipe for trouble. Being territorial, these males will constantly fight over dominance.
They can bite you if you touch them at this time.
How Do I Know My Crested Gecko is About to Bite?
Your crested gecko will likely bite when he’s agitated, irritated, or angry. As such, you can tell when he’s about to do this by reading his body language.
Because your gecko cannot talk your language, it communicates with you through body language. Study your gecko to understand what he’s trying to communicate at any given time.
An angry or stressed gecko opens its mouth wide while wildly twitching its tail. This signifies it is about to bite or drop its tail.
It may also squeak or make clicking noises to signify that things are not good. Your crestie may also produce barking or chirping sounds to indicate anger and irritation.
Take note of when your pet looks sickly or resorts to hiding more than usual. This could indicate that the animal is sick or is in a foul mood and may bite you if you attempt to touch him.
A crestie that refuses food or shows an unusual increase in appetite is also trying to communicate that all is not well.
These are signs of aggression and shouldn’t be ignored.
How Do I Stop My Crested Gecko from Biting?
Allow Your Gecko Adjustment Time
When your crested gecko is new to your home, he will be stressed for the first few days before he gets used to the hang of this.
Give him space to make this adjustment – about 10 days or so. Attempting to handle him too soon may earn you a biting.
During this time, feed him and ensure his living conditions are superb.
Short Handling Sessions
Once you start handling your crestie, make the sessions short and sweet.
Don’t in any way try to force-handle your crestie, as this may make him angry, agitated, and irritated – the kind of feelings that would make him bite you.
Your handling session should last 10 minutes and gradually increase to about 30 as you get to know each other better.
Avoid Grabbing Your Crestie
Your crested gecko should be handled with tender love and care. Don’t handle him from the top. Instead, allow your hand to approach him from the front, where he can observe its movements.
Teach Your Gecko to Hand-Walk
Hand-walking is a vital bonding activity with your crestie. You train it to move from one of your hands to the other.
This build’s your crested gecko’s trust in you, and it won’t be long before he starts exploring your upper arms and shoulder.
If you train him properly, he won’t ever have to bite you to pass a point across.
Be Patient with Your Pet
Don’t expect your crested gecko to embrace everything about you all at once. But, to avoid being bitten, handle him patiently.
Be gentle and loving in handling, cleaning, feeding, and playing with him.
How Do I Treat Bites from a Crested Gecko?
In most cases, a crested gecko bite does not break your skin. So unless a gecko bite draws blood, there’s no need for medical attention.
However, you must clean your hands thoroughly whenever you handle a pet. This prevents transferring cross infections between pets and avoids contracting zoonotic diseases.
Should your gecko’s bite puncture the skin, gently wash it with warm soapy water and apply an antiseptic.
Cover the wound with a bandage to protect it from dirt and parasites.
Also, be careful that the bite doesn’t shock you to the extent of causing the crestie to fall.
You may pull your hand back so fast that your crested gecko may lose balance, fall to the ground, and get injured.
Ensure that your gecko is not hurt by this encounter. Unfortunately, if your pet drops its tail, there’s nothing much you can do about it.
Keep a close eye on him as he heals. It would be advisable that you separate him from other pets at this time until he’s better to return to the common enclosure.
Tips and Tricks to Prevent Biting
- Ensure your crestie is stress-free
- Feed and house your pet under proper conditions
- Be keen on your crested gecko’s nutritional needs
- Avoid handling your geckos when they’re mating
- Be keen on handling your geckos when they’re fighting
- Ensure your crestie is aware of your presence
- Don’t handle this animal from the top
- Wash your hands after handling other pets before touching your crestie
- Don’t touch your crested gecko when he’s sleeping
- Give a new crestie room to acclimate before you handle him
- Avoid handling a shedding gecko
- Be gentle and tender with a sick leopard gecko
Crested geckos rarely bite. But when they do, there’s a good reason behind it. Your crestie bites you to communicate something important about what’s happening in its life.
It could be that this animal does not feel well fed, handled, or housed. The good news is that your crested gecko’s bite is unlikely to harm you.
Take it as a pointer to the improvements you need to make in the relationship with your gecko.