Good Garden Reptiles: Snakes, Lizards and Toads, Oh My!

Beneficial garden critters include pest-eating reptiles and amphibians. These snakes, lizards, toads and frogs should be welcomed into your garden.
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Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image courtesy of TSTP.tv

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo By: Photo by Felder Rushing

Good Garden Reptile

There are several very beneficial reptiles that will help rid your garden of countless pests - if you can learn to garden alongside them!

Anole

Anole lizards, often called chameleons for their color-changing abilities, eat garden pests up high in the garden.

Skink

Skinks are small but fast ground-level lizards that eat countless slugs and other garden pests.

Lizard

Fast-moving lizards can outrun—and eat—most small garden pests.

Mediterranean Gecko

Geckos are night-feeding lizards with voracious appetites for roaches, crickets and other night-roaming pests.

American Toad

Toads can live in a garden for many years, eating countless slugs, crickets, sowbugs and roaches at night.

Tree Frog

Tree frogs,which sing and eat at night—are perfectly camoflaged to hide in foliage during the day—as this one has on a red tomato stake.

Bullfrog

Bullfrogs and other frogs love water gardens and help keep a lot of pests down as well.

Wildlife Habitat for Frogs

Keep a shallow pond going in spring for toad and frog tadpoles to reach maturity. Not true reptiles, they are amphibians, meaning they require water for part of their lives.

Ribbon Snake Living in Compost

Small ribbon and garter snakes often live in leaf piles and compost where they find lots to eat.Though not poisonous, they will fake a "bite strike" if threatened.

Harmless Snake

This full-grown Dekay's snake cannot bite people or pets—but loves snails and slugs. Note how small its head is, unlike venomous snakes with very large heads compared to their bodies.

Baby Earth Snake

When harmless earth or worm snakes hatch they are no larger than similar-looking earthworms.

Black Rat Snake

Nobody loves snakes in their garden—but we sure do like how they eat rodents. Be careful though—even these non-venomous snakes will bite to defend themselves!

Snakes Can Climb

Snakes often lurk in thick shrubs and trees, in search of bird eggs and other prey. Notice how this one's head is not triangular typical of poisonous pit vipers.

Speckled King Snake

King snakes—both Western Desert and Eastern Speckled—eat other snakes, including poisonous kinds—as well as rodents. Lucky gardeners who have these around!

Box Turtle

Terrapins, often called "box" turtles, eat small insects and slugs as well as lettuce and strawberries.

Welcome to All

All great gardens welcome wildlife, including reptiles and all those others we may not think of as cuddly!