I am always interested in ways to avoid using pesticides and to instead utilize natural methods of biological control. Well in Florida we have plenty of pest insects and it is hard to avoid spraying them occasionally. However I have discovered a wonderful ally in combating roaches in our friendly house geckos (see photo). No- this lizard does not try to sell you Geico insurance, but runs around on your walls at night and eats small bugs. This particular one (the Indo-Pacific gecko, Hemidactylus garnoti) is most unusual in that it is an all-female parthenogenetic species. In other words it lays small hard-shelled eggs resembling a very small chicken egg (see photos) without any fertilization by a male. This unusual breeding method is quite useful for an island-hopping species since it only takes one individual to start a population. The tiny hard-shelled eggs are well adapted for incubation in elevated sites away from the moisture that most reptilian eggs require. These geckos also have strange feet with many small projections that allow them to cling to walls and even glass by forces of molecular attraction, not by suction or any mucus.
So this is a very remarkable, exotic reptile that exists all around us in southern Florida and is highly beneficial. So encourage these tiny house-guests by minimizing use of pesticides and enjoy their beauty and strange habits.
Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA