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15 Smells That Repel Lizards? (Complete Guide)

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People fear lizards for two reasons – one, we believe that all reptiles are poisonous, and two, due to Ophidiophobia. Studies have shown that bites of lizards won’t kill humans, though pain, swelling, weakness, and in severe cases, blood pressure may fall but are nonvenomous.

Green lizard in a jungle

So Ophidiophobia is one of the primary causes we want to repel lizards. 1 in 10 American adults and 1 in 5 teenagers deal with phobia; Ophidiophobia is common.

Others may don’t like the presence of lizards. Whatever group you fall into, this article will present you with all the smells that would repel lizards without killing them + how to use them?

Smells That Proved To Repel Lizards (+How To Use Smells Effectively?)


In experiments conducted by individuals, it is uncovered that the strong citrus smell of lemongrass leaves and oil act as a lizard deterrent. Using Essential oil, Tea bags, or fresh leaves will make a huge difference in keeping away lizards.

You can spray the oil in lizard-prone areas or put some fresh leaves and tea bags around the house to witness noticeable effects while giving your home a refreshing smell everyone loves.


Place garlic cloves in different places in your home, yurt, or garden and forget it for weeks; as long as cloves are not rotted, the most common lizards will keep their distance due to the sulfur contained within garlic extract and the pungent smell.

However, I am not very fond of it because Indian lizards seem to have no problem with garlic, as some housewives mentioned. Thus I conclude garlic is a not-so-effective way, but it may work with smell-sensitive lizards – take it with a grain of salt.


Slices of onions in our house corners can become lizards’ hammers and tongs. The working behind onions mimics garlic due to sulfur components; it emits a strong scent that lizards hate.

You can travel an extra mile by blending a fresh onion and garlic and pouring water into it to make it sprayable. We can also mix equal amounts of garlic and onion powder in water. Now spray the solution over your plants in the garden or the corner of your home where lizards are often sighted.

This will help your beautiful outdoor garden be protected while not blocking its natural fragrance.


Photo by Diana Polekhina

Lizards avoid the multifaceted forest scent of eucalyptus that smells sharp. We can make a solution of eucalyptus essential oil mixed with water of about 10-16 oz. Now spray it in parts of your garden, backyard, and inside your house to deter lizards while enjoying the medicinal benefits of smelling eucalyptus oil.



Peppermint emits a camphoraceous and powerful minty fragrance that lizards hate. We can use this excellent plant in two ways: by planting it in the garden or near your window where sunlight can reach. Two, by extracting oil from its leaves or buying the essentials from a store.

Take 30ml of peppermint oil and 30ml of water, mix it well and pour the solution into a bottle. Shake it, and you’re ready to spray it in lizards’ entry points, near your doors, windows, under your bed and above your racks, on floorboards, over your plants, etc.


Credit: Rosana Solis

There are over 13 vinegar types that can be used to repel pests. Apple cider and traditional vinegar look promising as most folks find them successful. Depending on your situation, I can offer two ways – one for scanty lizard encounters, take a spray bottle and create a concoction by filling it half with apple cider vinegar and the rest with water. Now, shake it well and spray it in the corners, around the plants, or wherever in your house you sought lizards.

The final combination can be used in houses, gardens, or campsites where lizards roam more frequently; in a spray bottle, create a mixture of vinegar, lemon, and chili powder. This concoction will be more potent as it irritates the lizard’s skin, nose, and eyes while diffusing strong repelling scents will ensure that this reptile thinks twice before trespassing.


Credit: Sarah Chai

The distinctively clean scent of lemon contains an acid called citrus; citrus has three components – limonene, β-pinene, and γ-terpinene. However, limonene in citrus acid proved to be the main component responsible for the repellent activity.

To use the lemon effectively, squeeze 5-7 fresh lemons and mix the juice with 900 ml of water. Please put it on the boiler for an hour so that extraction can happen beautifully, don’t be mad to touch the hot pot; let it cool down. Afterward, pour it into a spray bottle and start spraying in different parts of your home, garden, and campsite. Make sure the formula does not touch any open cuts or eyes. Lemon is more than enough to repel house lizards.

Lavender Oil

Credit: Mareefe

You bet lavender has countless positive effects – from repelling mosquitoes and lizards to better sleep, reducing headaches, helping with mood, anxiety, and depression, lessening menstrual pain and reducing colin symptoms in infants, etc. [source: Cleveland Clinic].

To get all the benefits of lavender, including Detering lizards, you can implement either or all given practices for great results;

  1. If your location supports the climate needed for lavender, then you must grow it in your garden, buy a lavender vase, and put it near the windows for proper sunlight. The scent of lavender will not only repel lizards and other bugs but also make your house look more aesthetic.
  2. Buy lavender essential oil; mix 30-40 drops with 45ml water and put the cup containing this mixture near lizard entry points.
  3. You also pour the above mixture into a spray bottle by increasing the water-oil ratio to spray it on all the corners.

Pine-Sol or Pine Scented Cleaners

While the scents lose their integrity entirely, they will effectively repel lizards until the aroma disappears. Pine-Sol proved to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away from individuals while camping and gardening; we can conclude that it will also help reduce lizard encounters because, till now, lizards have shown repellent qualities towards similar pungent scents.

To use pine sol, take a spray bottle, and fill it half with original Pine-Sol and another half with water. Spray it on your garden, parts of your house, patio, and furniture to keep lizards away. Pine-sol can also keep bears away.


Mothballs are made of pera dichlorobenze or nepthalene. Though, mothballs repel lizards due to their pesticide nature. But, National Pesticide Information Center does not suggest using it in an open atmosphere or even inside your house because whoever is exposed to fumes released by moth balls will laterally mean breathing in pesticide that could cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nose and eye irritation, coughing.

In severe cases, it could also lead to liver and kidney damage due to long-term exposures.

Now, you may ask why moth balls are on this list; it is a potential way to repel lizards by putting them near lizard entering points. Nonetheless, it is not an air-tight condition; you’ll end up inhaling the vapor, which might lead to the causes mentioned previously.


According to Volume 7, Issue 1, 2021, PP 01-09 of ARC Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AJPS), the essential oils present in citronella grass or lemongrass can be used as an insect repellent. The oil from these grasses has been utilized as a snake and reptile repellent by certain African and Asian countries.

As we learn in school, lizards are avowed as reptiles, so the citronella grasses and oils can be used to repel them. To use it effectively, take one cup of water and mix it with 1/4 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil; bring the concoction in a spray bottle. Shake it well and spray it on parts of your home or lizards prone areas.

Black Pepper

I hunch that spraying black pepper essential oil will irritate lizards due to its pungent, spicy smell that feels like burning.

However, I don’t have any scientific study to back up yet; in my experience, I had not seen even a single lizard when I used black pepper in preparing tea and meals because, when I use it, a hot spicy aroma surrounds my kitchen which seems to repel household lizards.

Either you can use the typical way of sprinkling some black pepper powder in meals and coffee/tea, or you can buy its essential oil; mix a good amount of it in water, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake it well and spray it around the house.

As the odor will diminish in a few hours to a day (depending on solution concentration), you must repeat the process for the method to work.


When we look at the surface, camphor and mothballs look alike – but when I tack camphor – it is an organic substance while mothball is a chemical pesticide. Organic camphor comes from camphor trees, which are essentially non-toxic to humans.

The best way to use camphor as lizard repellent is to take a handful of camphor balls in a pot and put it in lizard zones; not only it will repel the lizards for a few days, but it will also kill the bacteria from the air and science has proved extensive health benefits of camphor – that’s the reason why India actively burn camphor in religious worships (there are indeed spiritual benefits).

Note: Don’t forget to replace the balls every few days as the smell tends to disappear.

Burning camphor and letting the scent spread across your garden, campsite, and inside the home will keep the air refreshed, repel mosquitoes, lizards, and other bugs simultaneously.,

Coffee & Tobacco Powder

First of all, I wouldn’t say I like this method – moreover, I don’t want to write about it because it is believed that the mixture of tobacco and coffee powder kills lizards which I can’t stand.

Ok, some people may have lizard phobia, but if you keep your containers close, these are nonvenomous creatures; they won’t harm you if your fear is primarily household lizard (wild lizards are a different topic altogether).

In a nutshell, take tobacco and coffee power and make its balls using water. Place it near lizards, and if they eat, they will die.

But I oblige you not to follow this method unless your hose or garden is full of lizards in every square foot (which is unlikely))

Exterminators Lizard Repellent

I know what you are thinking – Michael, the product must be toxic. The Lizard Defense by Exterminator’s choice contains 0.26% peppermint oil, 0.13% clove, and 0.13% cinnamon oil. The application is simple – apply the spray anywhere in your garden, campsite, garage, etc., where you don’t want lizards and geckos.

However, it is advised not to use the solution directly on the edible plants. The repelling effect can last up to 2-3 weeks depending on weather conditions; once the smell fades away, reapplies the solution.

Consider reading the back of the spray to know detailed directions, cautions, and what to do if it goes into your eyes. Overall, if you don’t want to spend time preparing and testing natural smells mentioned in these posts, then Exterminator’s choice is the best organic bet you have.

Tabasco Sauce

Tobasco is a well-not hot sauce that emits a spicy smell, which is an effective way to repel lizards. Take two teaspoons of tobacco sauce in a spray bottle, pour some water and shake it well; if the solution is not thin enough, then add extra water so that it can be easily sprayed out in places where you want to repel lizards;

Just make sure not to apply it directly on edible plants and fragrance flowers as it may cut out their smell and change vegetables’ taste.

Read FAQs For Extra Lizard Safety

Do eggshells repel lizards?

No, it is a myth that eggshells repel lizards; maybe people have encountered occasions that lizards’ sight becomes less frequent when they have egg shells hanging around the house, but as per I confirmed with the local people who have tried it have seen no benefit in terms of eggshells as a lizard repellent.

Do spices repel lizards?

Not all, but most spices with a hot smell may repel lizards because lizards are not fond of pungent and overly spicy aromas.

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