Crested Gecko Burying Itself: Reasons and Solutions

If you have a crested gecko, you might notice that sometimes they enjoy digging and hiding in their bedding.

It might seem strange, but it’s actually a normal behavior for these reptiles.

They usually live in trees, but they can also burrow to stay hidden.

In this article, we’ll look at why crested geckos bury themselves and what you can do about it.

Let’s move on…

Key Takeaways:

  • It is a female who is getting ready to lay her eggs.
  • It is too hot and is trying to thermoregulate in the cooler substrate.
  • It is stressed and wants to hide from potential threats.

Reason 1: Staying Just Right

Crested geckos bury themselves mainly to control their body temperature.

Unlike mammals, these reptiles rely on the outside world to stay at the right temperature.

If it gets too hot or too cold, they can get stressed, which isn’t good for their health or behavior. Burying in the bedding helps them escape extreme temperatures and find a comfy spot.

The bedding acts like a cozy blanket, keeping them warm or cool when they need it.

To make sure your crested gecko stays comfy, set up a temperature range in their living space. Have a warmer area and a cooler area so they can pick where they want to be.

You can use a heat mat, a ceramic heat emitter, or a dim light to create a warm spot, but be careful not to make it too hot or bright.

Keep an eye on the temperature with a thermometer and make sure it stays in the right range.

If your gecko keeps burying itself a lot, it might be a hint that the temperature isn’t right, so make adjustments as needed.

Reason 2: Keeping Things Humid

Another reason crested geckos like to bury themselves is to maintain the right levels of humidity and hydration.

They thrive in a humid setting, where the air is moist, ranging from 60% to 80%.

This humidity is crucial for their skin, eyes, breathing, shedding, and egg development.

Unlike other animals, crested geckos mainly get their water from the air, plants, and their own skin.

They don’t usually drink from a water bowl but prefer licking droplets from their enclosure or themselves. Burying in the substrate helps them hold onto moisture and avoid getting too dry.

The substrate works like a sponge, holding and gradually releasing water.

To make sure your crested gecko stays comfortably humid:

  • Use a substrate like coco fiber, peat moss, or sphagnum moss that can keep moisture.
  • Mist the enclosure every day or use a humidifier to create a damp environment.
  • Keep an eye on the humidity levels using a hygrometer, and maintain it within the recommended range.

If your gecko often buries itself, it might signal that the humidity is too low, and you need to increase it.

Also, offer a shallow water bowl and change the water regularly in case they want a sip.

Reason 3: Breeding and egg-laying

Crested geckos are egg layers, which means they lay eggs instead of giving birth to live babies.

They can reproduce in two ways: sexually, with both a male and a female, or parthenogenetically, with just a female.

They lay up to two eggs every four to six weeks and can store sperm for several months, allowing them to produce multiple batches from one mating.

Burying in the substrate helps them find a good spot to lay their eggs, keeping them safe from predators, parasites, and environmental factors.

The substrate acts like a nest, creating the right conditions—temperature, humidity, and oxygen—for the eggs to develop.


Q: What are some of the best substrates for crested geckos?

Some of the best substrates for crested geckos are those that can retain moisture, support burrowing, and prevent impaction.

Some examples are coco fiber, peat moss, sphagnum moss, orchid bark, and paper towels.

You should avoid substrates that are too dry, too dusty, too hard, or too small, such as sand, gravel, wood shavings, or cat litter.

Q: Is it normal for Crested Geckos to bury themselves in captivity?

Yes, it’s normal behavior for Crested Geckos to bury themselves, especially if they feel the need for security or if the enclosure provides opportunities for digging.

Q: Should I be concerned if my Crested Gecko buries itself frequently?

Occasional burying is generally normal, but frequent burying might indicate stress, improper habitat conditions, or health issues.

Monitor your gecko’s overall behavior and adjust the enclosure if needed.

Q: Should I disturb my Crested Gecko if it buries itself?

It’s generally best to minimize disturbances when your Crested Gecko buries itself.

They might be seeking privacy or adjusting to their surroundings. Observe from a distance to avoid causing stress.

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