Leopard Gecko Misting: A Guide To Health And Hydration

Misting is a tactic reptile enthusiasts use to mimic rainwater. It has benefits such as assisting with hydration, shedding, and maintaining humidity levels.

In this article, we’ll discuss what misting is, why we do it, why it’s important, what benefits it offers, and how to mist safely, and how often your Leopard Gecko requires misting.

Whether you’re a new or experienced Leopard Gecko keeper, this article will provide valuable information on this aspect of reptile husbandry.

What Is Misting?

Misting is the process when you spray your Leopard Gecko or their enclosure with water droplets from a spray bottle or automated misting device.

Why Mist Leopard Geckos?

The reason we mist our Leopard Gecko is to assist in hydration, shedding, and humidity.

Hydration

You need to keep your Leopard Gecko hydrated and sometimes they don’t like drinking out of the water dishes we provide them.

A good way to combat their stubbornness is to mist them. We can mist their heads so the water droplets roll down their face which they’ll lick up. 

We can also mist their food before eating it, they’re insectivores and insects tend to be quite dry (believe me, I’ve tried them). By misting their meals, it makes them moist and in turn, helps keep them hydrated.

Keeping your Leopard Gecko is important, it helps prevent illnesses such as impaction.

Shedding

Leopard Gecko Shedding It's Skin Whilst Underneath A Rock

The shedding process is an uncomfortable one for reptiles, so we can help them through this by misting them.

By misting your Leopard Gecko regularly during the shedding process you help soften the skin and make it easier for the shedding skin to peel off naturally.

This is extremely beneficial if your Leo is suffering from stuck shed and needs extra help to get rid of the stubborn skin.

Humidity

Leopard Geckos need a humidity level of 30% – 40% and sometimes this can be hard to achieve in certain climates. A great way to increase the humidity in their enclosure is to mist the walls and hide spots.

I recommend misting their enclosure 3 times per week.

Remember to monitor the humidity levels in the enclosure regularly to ensure they remain at the correct percentage.

How To Mist Leopard Geckos

There are two forms of misting, manual and automatic.

Manual Misting

Manual misting is exactly as the name suggests. Below are the 8 steps you should take when misting your Leopard Gecko.

Step 1: Spray Bottle

Purchase an inexpensive spray bottle instead of repurposing an old one to ensure it’s free from chemicals and toxins that could potentially harm your Leo.

Step 2: Fill The Bottle With Warm Water

When filling the bottle with water, get it to the same temperature as the warm spot in their enclosure. This should be 90°F-92°F (32-33°C).

This is because they’re ectothermic and can not regulate their body temperature. Being misted by water that is either too cold or too hot can put your Leo into shock or burn them.

I recommend using purified water in the spray bottle to prevent chemicals or toxins that could harm your Leos skin.

Step 3: Check the Spray Settings

Before spraying your Leopard Gecko, it’s important to check the spray settings are set to a fine spray. Anything stronger will not only annoy your Leo but can also damage their eyes if sprayed directly into them.

Step 4: When To Mist

You should create a schedule suiting you and your Leopard Geckos lifestyle.

For example, you don’t want to mist in the mornings or after meal times. This is because they’ll be basking at these times to either start their day or digest their meals.

You’ll be able to determine when is best to mist your Leopard Gecko by observing their habits throughout the day. I recommend misting once they’ve moved away from the basking area.

Step 5: Remove Your Leopard Gecko From The Tank

To prevent raising the humidity in their enclosure too much, you’ll need to remove your Leopard Gecko before misting them.

Step 6: Place In A Suitable Spot For Misting

Any chemical or toxin-free tub is great for misting because the water that builds up on the sides and the floor will likely be licked up and used to hydrate them.

Step 7: Start Misting

The misting process when assisting with Leopard Gecko hydration:

  • Fill the spray bottle with temperature-suitable water.
  • Spray water droplets over your Leopard Gecko’s head until water droplets form.
  • Wait for the Leopard Gecko to lick up droplets.
  • Repeat the process until Leopard Gecko is no longer interested in licking the droplets.

The misting process when dealing with Leopard Gecko stuck shed:

  • Fill the spray bottle with temperature-suitable water.
  • Focus spray on the dry and rough patches of skin.
  • Repeat until skin visibly softens.
  • Leave the Leopard Gecko out of the enclosure for 10 minutes to allow the skin to soak.
  • Never pull the loose skin to avoid damaging the new skin underneath.

Step 8: Return To Enclosure

Now return your Leopard Gecko to their enclosure.

Automated Misting

The benefit of using an automated mister is that it is more convenient for you. You’ll no longer need to remember to do it as the system will mist to the schedule you program it to. 

They will monitor and regulate the humidity levels of the enclosure to the required percentages you’ve preset it to.

The only downside to these pieces of equipment is they’re expensive but they last a long time and make quality of life for you and your Leopard Gecko better.

How Often To Mist Leopard Geckos

Depending on the reason for you misting your Leopard Gecko. This will determine the frequency of you conduct misting sessions.

  • For enclosure misting I recommend doing so 3 days a week
  • For shedding maintenance I recommend daily misting sheddings throughout the process
  • For hydrating misting, I recommend 3 – 4 days a week depending on how frequently your Leo drinks from their bowl

Be mindful of overhydration when misting, a sign of this is diarrhea. If this happens, lessen the amount you’re misting your Leopard Gecko.

Not All Leopard Geckos Like To Be Misted

Sometimes Leopard Geckos don’t appreciate being misted. If your pet Leo is one of these, I recommend misting their food and enclosure to prevent causing them stress.

Summary

Misting is an effective method to keep your Leopard Gecko hydrated, assist with shedding, and maintain the appropriate humidity levels.

Remember not to mist in the mornings or after meal times and to not overmist the enclosure to prevent exceeding the recommended humidity.