How to Catch a Salamander in Your Backyard in 5 Easy Steps

how to catch a salamander in your backyard

Salamanders are adorable creatures that are entirely safe for both animals and humans. They may make a wonderful pet, despite being delicate and one-of-a-kind. Handling a salamander may easily damage it; therefore, it is crucial to understand how to catch a salamander in your backyard.

You can catch a salamander once you have identified one, simply using net, funnel or sticky traps. Tossing the net trap into the water at a downward angle towards the water’s bottom while using a light as bait to draw salamanders into the net during this operation is a nice technique if you found it in a water body.

In this article we will tell you all you need to know to safely catch a salamander and take care of it.

About salamanders

If this is your first time catching a salamander, you need to familiarize yourself with it first. Knowing how they behave can aid you in catching them without injuring them.

Salamanders are slender amphibians with long tails and lengthy bodies. They have the appearance of a lizard crossed with a frog.

Salamanders come in various sizes and shapes, with some having four legs and others having just two. Some salamanders have lungs, whereas others have gills or breath via their skin.


The habitat of a salamander varies based on the species of salamander.

Because newts spend so much time on land, their skin is dry and rough. Sirens have gills and lungs, yet they spend most of their time in the water.

You’ll need a nearby water supply regardless of the type of salamander you want to catch. Every salamander species needs to keep their skin wet, and any progeny will be born in water.


Salamanders are nocturnal and prefer to be active when the weather is cooler. During the day, they hide beneath rocks or in trees to stay cool, then emerge at night to feed.

If you plan on catching a salamander yourself, keep this in mind. You’ll want to be there during active moments to have a higher chance of capturing one.


It’s conceivable that you’ll catch a pregnant salamander, albeit they only stay pregnant for a few days. While many species of salamander lay eggs, some give birth to live babies.

Salamanders have been known to live up to 55 years! Your salamander might be the perfect pet for you if you desire a long-term companion.

How to catch a salamander

If you have salamanders on your property, you should gently capture them and transport them to new locations.

Using pesticides in conjunction with glue traps or sticky traps around your house can help.

You may get rid of salamanders in your house in this manner without harming them.

The very first stage is to identify these animals correctly.

Step 1. Identify them

Salamanders are sometimes mistaken for lizards because they have similar body shapes and traits, but they are more distinct than you may think.

Salamanders are amphibians and are more closely related to frogs than lizards.

Salamanders are cold-blooded and have moist, porous skin, similar to frogs.

Lizards, on the other hand, have scales and dry skin.

Their body and tails are thin.

Salamanders typically have four tiny legs that protrude from their sides.

Their length varies depending on the species, but it is usually between 4 and 8 inches.

There are over 400 kinds of salamanders, all of which come in a variety of hues.

Some are multi-colored with stripes and spots (blue, orange, yellow, black, and so forth), while others are black or olive in hue.

Step 2. Look for them in the right places

Salamanders like cold, wet environments since they are cold-blooded and damp.

They may perish if they are exposed to dry conditions. They also deposit their eggs in damp areas or water.

If you suspect your home has salamanders, look for wet, cold, and lonely spots.

Salamanders like to remain damp on land and in water, such as under leaves, patio slabs, or just in water.

If you have a pond or some stagnant water in your garden, salamanders can be there.

What should you be looking for?

Look for adult salamanders or indicators of their presence, such as jellyfish-like egg sacs that they may leave on moist lawns.

If you reside in an area where salamanders are widespread, you should check for moisture issues in your home and reduce bug colonies, which are their primary food source.

Step 3. Set up glue traps to capture and relocate

Sticky traps are a cost-effective and efficient way to catch salamanders in your home.

These traps are simple to set up: simply peel the wax off the board and position it in active areas.

Paste adhesive cardboard under the basement door or at several other entry points throughout your property.

Black and yellow-spotted salamanders are likely to reach for the meal (bug) put on the glue board and become stuck.

You can toss them out once they’ve been trapped.

Step 4. Set either a funnel trap or a net trap outside

If you can catch the salamander using a funnel trap or a net trap, you may be able to relocate it outside.

Option 1:

You’ll need to put some work on a funnel trap option.

You can prepare a funnel trap at home if you have the right tools.

If you don’t want to make your funnel trap, you may buy one ready-made.

The good news is that you may leave the trap out overnight to check if any animals have been caught.

Option 2:

The net trap is advised for anyone who prefers to catch it on their own rather than using a trap.

Just make sure you don’t hurt them while you’re doing so.

You’ll need the following items to make a net trap:

  • A net was used to catch the salamander
  • A container to keep them in (similar to the first choice)
  • An outside light can be used as a lure to attract salamanders, while it is not required

Net traps in the same regions, rather than funnel traps, are a fantastic choice if you want to catch a salamander actively.

Toss the net into the water at a downward angle towards the water’s bottom.

You may need to use an outside light as bait to draw salamanders into the net during this operation.

Transfer any salamander you catch to the jar for translocation.

If you wish to venture within the water to capture the salamanders in the pond, make sure you wear waterproof pants or waders.

A few pointers on setting salamander traps

  • Because salamanders cannot thrive in dry conditions, they are usually found near water bodies.
  • If you have a pond, it could be the greatest spot to keep an eye out for them.
  • During the winter, place your trap at the bottom of the water body.
  • If it’s summer or spring, set the trap in a woody area with nearby stagnant water sources.
  • Check to see whether you’ve captured one every 24 hours.
  • If you don’t see any salamanders in your trap, leave it alone and keep an eye out for them.
  • Carry a plastic bag with you when you check to catch them and securely transport them to a remote site.
  • You may also release them back into the wild if you have caught something else.

Step 5. Check its health

Before you take the salamander home, make sure it’s healthy. You’ll want a healthy salamander that won’t die or spread illnesses to the other salamanders in your collection (if any).

Here are several signs that your salamander is in good health:

  • Plump (not bloated)
  • No visible rib, abdominal, or hip bones
  • Clear skin without any discolored patches or cuts
  • Alert and clear eyes
  • No secretions
  • No inflammation

What makes salamanders dangerous?

Salamanders are generally harmless to people, provided they are not handled or touched.

To put it another way, all salamander species emit deadly poisons that can be dangerous if touched or swallowed.

The glands surrounding their bodies produce this poison, which is especially useful when in danger or intending to pursue prey.

Even the salamanders you can buy at your local pet store are dangerous, so don’t touch them with your bare hands.

Although they contain less poison than those found in the wild and will not kill you if you put your hands in your mouth after touching them, they can make you sick if you put your hands in your mouth after touching them.

Do salamanders bite?

Yes, they are capable of biting. The bite of a salamander, on the other hand, is usually not toxic.

These cautious creatures generally bite their food.

They can bite you if you try to feed them or put your hands in their mouth, mistaking your hand for food.

Because the venom released by most salamanders’ epidermis is distant from the creature’s mouth, the bite of a salamander is not lethal in and of itself.

It’s like being poked by a swarm of tiny needles.

Prevention tips to keep salamanders away

After you’ve eliminated all of the spotted salamanders from your property, you need to take precautions to prevent them from entering your home.

Examine every inch of your home, both inside and out, for any gaps, fissures, damaged fences, or fractures. Those are the spots where they may gain access to your yard or home.

Repair and seal all of the cracks, holes, and expanded fences.

Also, make sure there aren’t any more gaps. It will keep salamanders and insects out of your home.

By avoiding overwatering your garden or with a lot of water, you may reduce leaf residue and address moisture concerns in your yard.

I also recommend that you get pesticide treatment for your home and yard.

This will keep insects away while also ensuring that nothing tempts salamanders to return to your home.

Caring For Your Salamander

New salamanders should be left alone

Any new salamanders should be quarantined for a couple of weeks if you have other salamanders. Even if you’ve previously looked for indicators of a healthy salamander, there’s no assurance it’s free of illness.

You may make sure it’s healthy before exposing it to others by quarantining it. Fungal infections in salamanders are unfortunately widespread and often lethal.

If feasible, keep isolated salamanders in different tanks.

Salamanders should not be handled.

While you may be tempted to pick up and hold your new pet, you should only do so when essential. Because salamanders have extraordinarily absorbent skin, perspiration, salt, and heat from human skin can hurt them.

If you must handle the salamander, properly wash your hands in hot, soapy water. To avoid injuring the salamander, thoroughly cleanse any soap residue from your hands.

Place in habitat

After a few weeks, if your salamander appears to be in good condition, it’s time to relocate it to its new home. Keeping it clean and exciting can help it survive for up to 20 years!

The following is a list of features that should be included in the new habitat:

  • A clean aquarium (you’ll need one big enough to hold all the salamanders if you have more than one)
  • Line the tank with cleaned plants and 2-3 inches of cleaned gravel (make sure you wash them first to prevent transferring diseases)
  • A source of sunlight
  • A water filter
  • A lid

To keep your salamanders healthy, you’ll want to maintain the environment clean. Bacteria and fungus may swiftly take over their cages.

To maintain the salamander’s tank clean, you’ll need to perform the following:

  • Although you should replace the water regularly, you may use a water filter to clean the water between deep cleans.
  • When you see the aquarium is beginning to get unclean, properly disinfect it with hot, soapy water. You should repeat this step every couple of weeks, if not more frequently, if it becomes dirty rapidly.
  • Rinse the tank thoroughly to ensure that no residue harms your salamander.
  • If you’re cleaning the salamander, make sure you put it in a holding tank until you’re through.

Feeding the Salamander

Salamanders are carnivores of all kinds, yet they devour their food slowly. The prey that salamanders consume varies depending on their size. Larger salamanders will require larger prey, but smaller salamanders will survive on fewer pieces of food.

Here are some meals you might want to give your salamander:

  • Centipedes
  • Crayfish
  • Crickets
  • Earthworms
  • Fish
  • Frozen brine
  • Mice
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Shrews
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Spiders
  • Wax worms

Frequently asked questions

What is the origin of the name “fire salamander”?

Many people believe that salamanders can breathe or survive in fire (as believed in dragon salamanders).

Although not possessing any supernatural firepower, the fire salamander lives up to its name thanks to its very poisonous skin.

They also have glands behind their eyes that may shoot extremely irritant chemicals into a predator’s eyes or mouth if they feel threatened.

If my dog eats a salamander, what will happen?

A dog’s licking or eating of the salamander can be highly hazardous and lead to poisoning.

If you believe your dog accidentally bit, licked or ate the salamander, you should take them to a local clinic for treatment right soon.

Is there a difference between salamanders, skinks, and lizards?

Although they have similar body forms and traits to skinks and lizards, salamanders are not the same.

Salamanders are amphibians with wet permeable skin, whereas lizards and skinks are reptiles with dry skin.

Final Thoughts

If you have the correct equipment, catching a salamander in your garden is easy.

This can help you get rid of salamanders and keep them away from the perimeter of your home.

However, if you have a significant tiger or fire salamander infestation, hiring a pest management specialist is preferable rather than attempting to catch and repel the salamanders yourself.

You’ll want to complete your study before learning how to catch a salamander in your garden. Although we included some salamander information, you may wish to read more about the species that are native to your area.

If you follow the methods outlined above, you should be able to enjoy your new pet.

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Emma Olsen
I’m a gardener and blogger with over 20 years of expertise writing about and cultivating fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. I have extensive experience in organic and sustainable gardening, perennials, annuals, and sustainable and urban farming. I’m a nature freak and I enjoy bird watching and swimming with sea creatures.