One question I get asked many times by new leopard gecko owner’s is: “Do leopard gecko bites hurt?”
From my own experience, I have never been bitten deliberately by one of my geckos – the only times I have ended up being chewed on is when they have gone to strike at an insect in my hand, and have completely missed and got my hand/ finger instead.
This has never been painful in the slightest (my leopard geckos are both adults now, so should almost be fully grown) and they have never broken the skin. All have ever been able to feel is a very slight pressure, almost like pinching myself very gently. Having said that, make sure you always wash your hands after handling your geckos ESPECIALLY if you’ve just been bit, as you don’t want a possible infection caused by bacteria.
So… how big are leopard gecko teeth?
As you can see from the photo above (thank you to my Instagram follower @apollosnek for permission to use your picture) the teeth on leopard geckos are tiny, and couldn’t inflict a lot of damage on human skin (yes – those tiny little dots on the gums are the teeth!)
All geckos behave slightly differently, however attacking is not their go-to defense mechanism. As prey, they prefer to flee rather than fight, so they will either run off to hide somewhere, or they will wiggle their tail as a distraction to any perceived predators. The tail can be completely ejected if they feel like they’re going to be attacked or grabbed by it, and it will continue to move around like a decoy while the gecko makes its escape to somewhere safe.
Making sure you don’t get bitten in the first place…
If your leopard gecko is exhibiting any of these behaviours, it is better to leave them alone for the time being, as to lose a tail is stressful and can be a very draining experience for them to grow back (all their spare fat and energy is stored in their tails) plus you run the risk of it getting infected.
If your gecko consistently seems to feel threatened by you, then you need to work on taming him/ her. Which I have written about in a separate post.
Please see my posts here on How I Tamed My Leopard Geckos in One Week and Handling Nervous Geckos