If you’re looking for the best way to keep your gecko happy and healthy, you’ve come to the right place! To help you out, we have put together this guide on humidity. 

This article covers everything from what humidity is and how it affects your pet to tips on what kind of enclosure you should use to keep your lizard happy and healthy.

What Is Humidity, and How Does It Affect Pets?

An air humidifier blows steam in the air

Humidity is simply a measure of moisture in the air. It’s measured by evaporation at different temperatures and pressure levels. This is known as relative humidity because it compares the amount of water vapor in the air with its saturation level. 

Humidity affects our pets differently, depending on their species. When it comes to leopard geckos and other reptiles, humidity is critical for keeping their skin moist during winter months or for them to shed properly during those hot summer months. 

Why Do Leopard Geckos Need Humidity?

A key reason why geckos need humidity is to regulate the skin and prevent dehydration. Geckos have a special layer of skin called the epidermis, which acts as an outer barrier between them and their surroundings. When this layer becomes dry, it can cause cracks in your gecko’s body, leading to bacterial infections and even death if left untreated.

In addition to regulating their own bodies, geckos also need humidity because they shed their old skin regularly. When this happens, you’ll want to ensure that your pet has access to plenty of fresh air so they don’t suffocate under all those flakes! 

Leopard geckos are generally more sensitive than other species when keeping themselves hydrated. However, even though they tend toward being moist creatures overall (around 80% relative humidity), leopard geckos still require some form of misting once every few days. Frequency depends on how much water they get during feeding times.

What Is the Ideal Humidity for Leopard Geckos?

A leopard gecko on the sand with a plant beside it

Leopard geckos are picky about their humidity. They need a steady level of around 30% or less to thrive, but they can tolerate higher levels if they can reach that through daily basking sessions and other sources of moisture.

If you notice your leopard gecko shedding excess skin on its rear end, you may have a problem with too much humidity. If this is the case, and there’s no obvious source of low humidity in your home (such as an air conditioning unit), then you’ll need to adjust how often you mist your pet’s cage. You have to ensure that the tank doesn’t dry out completely before being misted again at night, and vice versa. 

How to measure the humidity in the tank/habitat? You’ll need a hygrometer (a device that measures relative humidity) or a glass of water with a drop of food coloring added to it. If the food color spreads slowly, then you have a room temperature that is equivalent to about 30% to 60% humidity.

If you have an electronic thermometer, place it near your water bowl and record its reading throughout the day. 

How To Lower the Humidity in the Tank or Habitat?

A person using a spray bottle on a black background

There are several ways to lower the humidity in your leopard gecko’s tank or habitat.

  • Use a water dish. Leopard geckos like to drink at least once a day, so it would be ideal to have a water dish in their tank. They can freshen up by swimming in it. If you don’t like leaving a water dish, you can place water in cool, damp spots where your pet can soak up moisture.
  • Use a water spray bottle. This is especially useful for smaller tanks or humidifiers that only provide misted air. You can use this method by adding some water into an empty spray bottle and spraying it over any surface where condensation is forming.
  • Adjust ventilation. One of the essential things to give your reptiles is fresh air. Some use a tank covering to keep them enclosed in their habitat. However, a fully covered enclosure traps all that humidity. Lower humidity by adjusting the ventilation. Place only half the covering. You may also replace the lid with treated wood or wet towels. You can improve the setup by placing the cover where the water dish is located. 
  • Change substrate. Some substrates, such as coconut and bark, can retain moisture, increasing humidity in the tank. While these substrates are suitable, you may need to replace them if increasing humidity becomes a persistent issue. 
  • Use a dehumidifier. Adjust humidity by using an electronic device, such as those found within most pet stores. These machines often come with two settings: one for low humidity levels, such as 40%+, while another offers higher humidity levels, such as 60%+.

How To Increase the Humidity in the Tank or Habitat?

A leopard gecko on the grass

There are a few ways to increase the humidity in your leopard gecko’s tank or habitat.

  • Change the water dish location. Sometimes increasing the humidity levels is only a matter of changing the location of their water dish. Just as placing the water dish in a cool area can help lower the humidity, shifting it near a heat source can also increase humidity in the tank. 
  • Mist often. You can also increase humidity in the tank by misting the enclosure more often. Invest in a misting bottle that you can easily use to keep your reptile happy. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to mist near or on the gecko when there’s a spike in temperature and humidity drops. 
  • Add plants. Plants are valuable for gathering moisture in the air. Adding a few plants to the tank can also increase humidity levels. Ideally, you’d want to choose plants that you can quickly move inside the tank or other areas. Once you have plants in the tank, you can mist them since they hold moisture better. This also helps increase humidity levels. 

What Are the Equipment/Items Used To Manage the Humidity in the Tank/Habitat?

Here are some items you can use to control the leopard gecko tank: 

  • Humidifier. This is a device that produces moisture from water and can be used to maintain proper humidity levels in your reptile habitat. You can use a standard humidifier, or you can get an automatic unit, which will automatically turn on when it senses that there’s not enough moisture in the air.
  • Dehumidifier. Another way to help reduce excess humidity is by using a dehumidifier, which forces warm air out of your reptile habitat while pulling cool, dry air into place (this process creates negative pressure).
  • Hygrometer. A hygrometer is an electronic device that measures relative humidity levels in the air, water, or other environments. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be purchased at most pet stores or online retailers.
  • Sponge. A sponge can be used as an alternative to a dehumidifier if you want to save money on electricity bills and don’t want any chemicals added to your pet’s habitat. 

It’s important not to get stuck with only one type of equipment because they all have their own pros and cons. Look at what kind might work best for your specific needs.

The leopard gecko is a beautiful pet, and you must give them the right conditions to thrive. Among the things you always have to be aware of is humidity. You want to provide them with the ideal humidity levels so they can grow as healthy as possible.