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Lizard in the gas tank

OK, first this is not a car problem it is a riding mower problem. I watched in horror as a lizard that was napping in the nozzle of my “Safety can” ride the tide into the tank. Should I go to great trouble and expense to have the tank removed and flushed… Or should I keep the tank full as possible to dilute the reptile:fuel ratio and keep plenty of fuel filters handy?

I think the debris is going to cause you a problem unless your mower has a fuel filter. Does it?

Dead bodies in a gas tank does no engine any good.


I’m not sure about the great trouble and expense part. If you’re mechanically inclined and have some way to dispose of the contaminated fuel and don’t mind spilling a little gas in your driveway or garage I bet you could disconnect and plug the outlet of the tank and remove it yourself. As long as you’re not too squeamish I think you could get the tank out, cleaned of lizard remains and back on in an hour.

The lizard will probably only float for a while. Eventually it may cover the fuel outlet. If it covers the outlet without breaking up enough to go through the fuel line to be caught by a filter, your mower will starve for gas. Even if it does flow through, it will eventually plug the filter, probably over and over. On some mowers, like my Husqvarna, removing the tank requires removing what I’d have to call the body from the frame. It’s not an hour long task. The four gallon tank surrounds the back of the seat. I don’t think you need to worry about disposing of contaminated fuel. Once the fuel tank has been removed, straining the lizard remains out of the fuel by means of a rag in a funnel should suffice.

You might run it for a while, and see what happens. I think that’s what I’d do.

The gas will probably somewhat embalm the lizard and keep it from decomposing quickly, but it will eventually break up into soft, nasty residue that will clog everything. If it’s still mostly intact, maybe you can grip it and remove it with a small flashlight and one of those claw grippers. Otherwise, pulling the tank will likely save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Wooden shishkebob stick. Make small slice with pocket knife very close to end (think fish hook). Feel around and skewer lizard. Pull from tank.

@Captmatt…I don’t know what kind of riding mower you have but most riding mower gas tanks are extremely easy to remove (less than 5 minutes). I take both of mine off and clean them out once a year (Craftsman and Murray). It takes about 10 minutes to do the job for each.

CaptMatt Be careful using a non-specified flashlight around any kind of fuel. I know the military has those that meet a Mil-spec and probably cost us tax payers $100+ each.

It would be helpful to have a picture of the fuel tank in question, or a Google pic of a similar model. I know the tank on my mower is molded to the contour of the machine. All I can see at the filler neck is about 2" of the tank, and it holds four gallons. No way you’re going to snag a lizard out of that one with a skewer.

This one is similar to mine."+&gs_l=img.1.1.0i24l10.1248.12184.0.21762.…0…1ac.1.32.img…0.14.1187.lL6hhc4afhs#facrc=&imgdii=&

See where the fuel cap is? The big plastic tank is under that.

Explosion proof flashlights:…0…1ac.1.32.img…0.14.1872.QtFkVKEBVDQ#facrc=&imgdii=&

Get a pickup tool and you can pull it out through the fill. They are sold just about anywhere.

I’d simply strain the fuel through a kitchen colander from the dollar store. Immediately. Before the li’l fella starts to fall apart. You might be able to drain the fuel via a hose and pick the li’l fella out with one of those grabbers with the spring loaded prongs.

Thanks for the comments! We are all mostly in the same frame of mind I think. The fuel tank is NOT easily removed from this model, that was my firs thought. Also I tried to tilt the mower (after removing the 54" deck) to drain the tank twice to no avail due to a multi teared tank. It is protected by a fuel filter of course and I have already ordered a half dozen to get me through this and the last of the lizard as well… RIP little fella.

I have to remember back to my 89 toro, would die after 15 min, no info on brass filter in gas tank, after 2 carb rebuilds, decided to dump the tank, and saw the little filter in the tanks.

OK, I’m new here (duh…) but how do I reply to an individuals reply? MG McAnick and a few others may have some personal insight. A open letter reply to my original question is not polite or efficient. I must just not see a tab or button… sorry for dumb question, wife says I’m also clutterblind.

I don’t believe the software this forum runs on has that capability. We’re all going to see any replies!

OK, Well I have a Husqvarna LGT54 and if there is a way to get the tank out without bending the metal “body” I would love any help that is out there. And “MG McAnick” seems to have some serious knowledge of this type of unit. Sorry to put the rest of you though my drama… unless of course you are on the edge of your seat of how I take care of this little problem. By the way, I have already ordered the little 4-prong grabbing tool also suggested.

In the upper right hand corner of the forum page you’ll see a red “New Discussion” button. We use that to initiate a thread about a new and/or different problem. These threads can get lengthy, and starting a new thread prevents inevitable confusion.

Having said that for future use, have you tried the Husqvarna website? I just looked, and they have detailed “exploded view” drawings of all their products, and I’d guess that if you identified your mower there you’ll see a detailed drawing of how your assembly is put together.

@Captmatt Did you notice the vendor shipping the pick up tool in knfenimore’s link?

Another thought. Since the tank is white plastic, can you get to it with a bright enough light to sort of “x-ray” it to locate your lizard? I’ve never looked under mine to see what I might see. It is a very similar model to yours. My guess is that you will find your lizard near the very bottom of the tank in a few days. I don’t think the fuel outlet is large enough to put the grabber up through.

I have not looked at Husqvarna’s website to see what help it might offer for removing the “body” from the frame. I think that’s a good idea. It almost looks like just about everything has to come off to get to it. I’ve had no issues with mine, save having to buy it a new battery a couple of times, oil and filters. It takes me about 45 minutes to mow my little acre of paradise. I probably won’t have to do it again until April.

Is there any chance the lizard scampered away and did’t go into the tank? Them critters is fayst…

As expensive as gasoline is, I hope the lizard didn’t drink too much before he croaked. I wonder how the lizard got into the tank in the first place.

Fish the lizard out.