Reptiles, Candles And Incense



Q. Are things like incense and candles harmful to reptiles and amphibians? Are there any other household things you wouldn’t normally think of that are harmful?
Nathanael Johns
via the Internet

A. I checked with my partner, Dr. Geraldine Diethelm, a veterinarian certified in holistic veterinary medicine. She uses aromatherapy and incense in her daily practice.

She said that she is unaware of any studies in reptiles, but she did offer some advice regarding birds. If something is safe or unsafe around birds, you can reasonably assume that the consequences may be similar in reptiles.

In general you have to be very careful using any aromatic compounds around birds. Scented candles, room-freshener sprays, essential oils and Teflon have all been reported to be lethal to birds. Other items dangerous to birds include agricultural (outdoor) sprays, insecticides, mothballs (naphthalene), household products containing phenols and creosols, denture-cleansing solutions, and cigarette butts and smoke. If you are in doubt about a product’s safety, don’t use it.

Categories: Habitats & Care