Living With Geckos (cicak)

One of the last geckos taken out of our home.

Most people consider geckos as being cute little creatures, having been made famous by the Geico Auto Insurance commercials. They may be considered cute, as long as they don’t jump / fall on you, don’t run across your feet, or leave their droppings in your spoons as they sit in the dish strainer!

Geckos are a normal part of Indonesian life, with almost every home having several of those creatures as resident guests.  Most Indonesians homes have open ventilation with no screens, and doors are almost always left standing open. This allows geckos, and any other creature, to come and go as they please. Those in the middle or upper income class will at times use screens.

When being chased geckos will release their tails, which will then wiggle furiously. This wiggling tail hopefully will distract the predator and the gecko can escape with its life (the tails do grow back).
The gecko in this picture had recently passed away… Prior to having done so it released its tail hoping to escape its predator–it didn’t work.

In our home, P. has declared war on cicaks. She said they are beautiful creations of God…which were created to live outside, not in her home!

Many people say, “Oh, cicaks are helpful, they eat roaches and mosquitoes.” P. says, “There are no mosquitoes or roaches in my home, so there aren’t going to be any cicaks either!”

A gecko walking across our ceiling.

Even though we have a home that is sealed as tight as we can possibly make it, somehow those cicaks still make their way in. As of now we’ve ushered 109 cicaks out of our home and into their eternal rest (and yes, we do keep an accurate count).

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