Guest phobia of geckos, nonstop messaging me

Level 2
Surat Thani, Thailand

Guest phobia of geckos, nonstop messaging me

My listings are on a tropical island in Thailand. I’ve been hosting here for 5 years, and this week have had my first experience with a guest who is petrified of geckos (very small lizards with sticky feet who sometimes show up on ceilings and walls). It is a single woman who booked for 1 month. In her first night she messaged me that there is a big problem, there’s a lizard in her house. I went to look. Yes, in fact a 2 cm gecko on the ceiling of her porch. Personally I love the geckos because they eat mosquitoes. But I understand someone being afraid of them.


A few days later, she messaged me at 1045pm. She was scared of another gecko inside. I told her very nicely he’s your friend, he doesn’t want to go near you, etc. She proceeded to send 30 messages over the course of 5 minutes, freaking out. I happen to live just in front of this listing, so I went over with a net to try to catch the gecko, and ease her mind. The geckos are not in intimate places, like bed or toilet. They stay high up to catch other pests. 

Here is my dilemma: The human in me wants to make her as comfortable as possible and go over right away to help. The practical person in me says that is unsustainable. How often is she going to message late at night, and what about when I am traveling, or have my cohost who does not live nearby managing? This is a tropical island, the listings are at ground level, and spiders, geckos, the occasional flying beetles are unavoidable, even indoors, even in a 5 star hotel.


Does any host have experience with this? How to manage guest expectation of, and reaction to unavoidable tropical creatures? Thank you. 

6 Replies 6
Level 10
Sintra, Portugal

Sawadeekap @Sarah5206,


Wait until she encounters another local resident on the islands of Thailand: a snake on her porch door.
Seriously, this is something to think about when traveling to Thailand. Geckos are everywhere, and you can't avoid them, no matter how much you try.

Two things to consider:
1. Prepare a special note or add to your house manual a short paragraph about geckos and how they are not dangerous and they try to avoid any contact with humans as much as they can. Use a cute drawing of one instead of a photo, as a photo won't look good. Do not add this to your listing description, because you will be the odd one out.
2. Another thing to consider is to bring her insect and gecko repellent, just to show that you are considerate.



Level 2
Surat Thani, Thailand

Good suggestions thank you. I gave her gecko repellant today. 

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Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

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Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Sarah5206 I would advise, for the future, that you put in the description or 'other things to note' that Geckos may ever the property and are harmless to humans.


Now in your case I would have a discussion with the guest along the lines of 'nowhere except an hermetically sealed hotel will be Gecko free'. If you/she has Netflix or the internet suggest she googles 'Murder in Paradise Gecko scenes' to show how lovely and loved these creatures are. She must watch to the end of the clip though as Geckos do not jump on humans

Ha ok I watched those gecko clips. Thanks for the suggestions. 

Level 10
Balearic Islands, Spain

I can't help but chuckle. We have geckos everywhere. Most guests find it charming. 


In this case, either the guest is incredibly naïve, or is seeking a refund opportunity. 


Worse yet, it's probably regarded as a serious host safety violation by Airbnb outsourced support. Worthy of a full refund? Probably.


Sigh. Go over there, pick up the geckos by hand - while the guest is watching  - and take them down the road to a safe place and let them go.