Leopard Gecko Digging: What Does It Mean?3 min read
Is your leopard gecko digging non-stop? This can start to trouble you and you should know that this may mean something is not right in their little world. To learn more about this leo activity, read on.
Why do They Dig?
Digging is a natural instinct for these animals. Leopard gecko digging is a normal part of their lives in the wild. Their front claws are actually designed for such purposes. They do this for a number of reasons: to get away from the sun, to hide from predators, or to hunt for food. If your substrate is deep enough, it isn’t strange to find your lizard digging paths underneath the ground. Most substrate depths won’t allow this though. Should the digging just keep going on, try to get to the reason behind it.
Tank is Too Hot
This is one of the biggest reasons behind digging. If the tank is too hot, they will attempt to escape the heat somehow. The quickest solution is to bring the heat down. However, the best solution is to get a proper sized tank that can have two areas of temperature. Leos are happy in temps of about 90 degrees but they sometimes need cooler temps to cool down their bodies. An area that remains in the low 80s or mid 70s should be maintained in any lizard habitat. Check your temp and make sure you have two distinct areas. Getting an accurate thermometer is crucial and is well worth the investment if you want to keep your lizards happy.
Lack of Hideaways
This is another reason behind constant digging. Your leos are nocturnal and they prefer to stay out of the light during the day. To duplicate their natural habitats somewhat, many keepers employ hideaways. These can be constructed out of simple plastic containers with holes cut into them so the lizard can get in. You’d also want some humid hide boxes just in case your lizard has problems with shedding.
Sometimes your lizards can get irritated by the sand you use as a substrate. This can make them do unpredictable things. Make sure your sand is not too rough or too thick. Also, some keepers suggest staying away from sand as there are many alternative substrate materials out there. Although sand is easy to clean and use, it causes many problems including sand ingestion and sand impaction. This occurs when the lizard eats too much sand and their digestive systems start to get clogged or even damaged by rough sand. This can be a dangerous situation for your lizards so make sure you have the right kind of sand or use alternatives like newspaper, pea gravel, paper towels, or even the bare bottom of the tank.
Should the digging continue, you may have to check other areas of your lizard’s lifestyle. Check anything that may be causing stress that could lead to unpredictable behavior. However, if the lizard maintains a healthy diet and is normal the rest of the time, you might just have to give him some time to adjust.