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Do crested geckos smell or are they pretty clean?

Do crested geckos smell

Crested geckos (Correlophus ciliatus) have become increasingly popular as pets due to their captivating appearance and easy-to-maintain care requirements. As responsible pet owners, one common concern that may arise is the issue of odor. Understanding whether crested geckos produce noticeable smells and how to maintain a clean environment is essential for a pleasant living experience with these adorable reptiles. So, Do crested geckos smell?

You may also want to know why a crested gecko stares at you.

Do crested geckos smell?

Crested geckos are small, arboreal reptiles native to New Caledonia. They are nocturnal and primarily feed on fruit, nectar, and insects in the wild. In captivity, they thrive in well-maintained terrariums with proper humidity levels and a suitable diet.

Do crested geckos smell
Do crested geckos smell?

Factors That Contribute to Odor

Like any living creature, crested geckos can produce odors, but several factors influence the intensity and presence of these smells.

3.1. Diet

Crested geckos have specific dietary needs, and their food choices can impact their smell. A balanced diet that includes commercial crested gecko food, supplemented with fruit and insects, can help reduce any potential odor.

3.2. Terrarium Hygiene

Proper cleaning and maintenance of the gecko’s enclosure play a crucial role in controlling odors. A clean habitat will significantly reduce any unpleasant smells.

3.3. Stress

Stressed geckos might produce more noticeable smells. Stress can be caused by improper handling, loud noises, or changes in their environment.

3.4. Health Issues

Unpleasant odors could also indicate underlying health problems. Monitoring your gecko’s behavior and seeking veterinary care when needed is crucial for their well-being.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Environment

A clean and odor-free enclosure is essential for the well-being of your crested gecko. Here are some practical tips for maintaining a clean environment:

4.1. Proper Cage Setup

Ensure your gecko’s enclosure is appropriately sized and has suitable substrate, climbing branches, and hiding spots.

4.2. Cleaning Schedule

Establish a regular cleaning schedule to keep the terrarium clean and hygienic. Regular maintenance will prevent the buildup of waste and odors.

4.3. Spot Cleaning

Perform spot cleaning regularly by removing any visible waste or soiled substrate. This process helps to maintain a fresh-smelling habitat.

4.4. Deep Cleaning

Periodically, conduct a deep clean of the entire enclosure. Remove all items, clean them thoroughly, and replace the substrate.

Do crested geckos smell bad
Do crested geckos smell?

Controlling Odor Through Diet

Diet plays a significant role in odor management. Consider the following tips for controlling odors through your gecko’s diet:

5.1. The Right Foods

Provide a well-balanced diet that includes commercial crested gecko food, as it is specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs.

5.2. Avoiding Strong-Smelling Foods

Limit the consumption of strong-smelling foods, such as certain fruits or insects, as they might contribute to stronger odors.

Managing Stress Levels

To minimize stress-related smells, handle your gecko with care and avoid excessive handling. Additionally, create a quiet and comfortable environment for them to thrive.

Health Checks and Vet Visits

Regularly monitor your gecko’s health and behavior. If you notice any concerning changes or persistent odors, consult a reptile veterinarian promptly.

Dealing with Unexpected Odors

If you encounter sudden and strong odors from your gecko or its enclosure, investigate the cause immediately. It could indicate a health issue or improper maintenance.

The Natural Scent of Crested Geckos

It’s important to note that crested geckos naturally have a slight musky smell. This scent is normal and typically not overpowering.


Crested geckos are generally clean and odor-free when provided with proper care and a well-maintained habitat. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can enjoy a pleasant experience with your crested gecko companion without worrying about unpleasant smells.


1. Do crested geckos need frequent bathing to stay clean? Crested geckos do not require frequent baths. They are meticulous groomers and can clean themselves effectively.

2. Can I use air fresheners or scented products near my gecko’s enclosure? No, it is best to avoid using air fresheners or scented products near your gecko’s enclosure as these can be harmful to their respiratory system.

3. Is it normal for a crested gecko to have a slight musky smell? Yes, it is entirely normal for crested geckos to have a slight musky smell. This scent is part of their natural odor.

4. Can I use substrate to control odor in my gecko’s enclosure? Yes, using appropriate substrate can help control odors. Choose a substrate that is easy to clean and does not retain moisture.

5. Do crested geckos produce any defensive odors? Crested geckos may produce a defensive odor if they feel threatened. However, this is a rare occurrence and not a common issue for most gecko owners.

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