Crested Gecko

Do Crested Geckos Smell Bad? Potential Odors & How to Prevent

We’ve all walked into a reptile room to catch a whiff of that odor. Most of the time we assume that the odor is coming from the reptile. While this may be true for some reptiles, crested geckos do not fall into that category.

Crested geckos do not smell bad naturally. The bad aroma in their habitat or room comes from badly maintained cages or tanks. It could be stale uneaten food, poop or pee that wasn’t cleaned up, or failure to clean out other matter that stinks up the room.

There are plenty of ways to prevent and combat the odor that comes with owning a reptile and not maintaining their environment. Keep scrolling to understand some of the best care practices for crested geckos.

Do Crested Geckos Have an Odor?

Crested geckos do not have a natural odor. The odor usually comes from fresh feces or urine. After a few days the feces dry up and take the odor with them. If you are absolutely sure that there is a bad odor coming straight from your gecko you should go straight to the vet.

Another reason your gecko may begin to have an odor is because of its diet. Many gecko owners have found that feeding their crested geckos insects, such as crickets, can produce an odor within the reptile.

Are Crested Geckos Dirty?

Crested geckos are not generally dirty creatures. They don’t make much of a mess of themselves or their habitat. That being said it is important to spot clean their habitats daily to prevent the build-up of bacteria or mold. Bacteria and mold generally grow from humidity or bad cleaning.

While crested geckos are not dirty creatures, they can carry some bacteria with them that can make them sick and start to smell. The most common bacteria they carry is salmonella, which is easily transferred to humans too. Your crested gecko may not even seem sick or dirty when carrying this disease. The best way to avoid this is a clean gecko home.

Bathing Your Crested Gecko

Your gecko will dislike bath time, but it is a great way to help prevent them from starting to smell. Fecal matter and urine can get stuck in between their toes and on their tail causing them to begin to stink. This is the best way to bathe your crested gecko. You should only bathe them when necessary because they do not like it and it causes them stress.

  1. Get a plastic tub and a lid. Poke holes in the lid for air ventilation and breathing purposes.
  2. Fill the tub with luke warm water and put a balled up paper towel in it. The towel should be soaked with water.
  3. Put your gecko in and close the tub.
  4. Leave your gecko in the water for about 15 minutes with supervision. Geckos don’t like bathing and can sometimes throw a tantrum or do dangerous things to try and get out of the water.
  5. Take out your gecko and remove and excess fecal particles from their feet and tail with a q-tip. Most of the time they will not just fall off into the water. Instead, the water softens up the poop so that you can remove it easily and without hurting your gecko.

How to Make Sure the Tank Does Not Smell

There are a few ways you can make sure your gecko’s tank and terrarium does not smell. The best thing that you can do is routine cleaning of the tank to make sure that the fecal matter, urine, and bacteria build up does not remain for too long and generate a smell.

Given the humidity of crested gecko habitats it is almost inevitable that moist substrates will grow different and create bacteria that smells. Their decomposition rates are also faster than other substances leading to more mold growth as well. The best way to prevent this is through proper ventilation to prevent mold and bacteria growth on these popular amenities.

Additionally make sure there is no uneaten food in the gecko terrarium. A gecko’s diet consists of fruit and insects, both of which rot quickly and release odors when doing so. Even if you have a more processed diet like powdered foods, they can still smell bad even before decomposing. Make sure to clean up any uneaten food before it starts to rot.

The third main reason a tank smells is from live plants rotting in the habitat. Plants eventually die and when they do so, release a certain odor. Some say that this smells reminds them of the forest, but others find it extremely unpleasant. Make sure to replace plants as needed to avoid the smell.

 Final Thoughts

Crested geckos do not smell. They have very little bowel movements, and that matter usually does not smell after drying out. If you find your room smelling bad it is most likely the environment that your gecko is living in that’s releasing those odors. The best way to prevent an odor is routine cleaning of your gecko’s tank and the occasional bath if needed.



Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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