The Lazarus Lizards came to Cincinnati through the stepson of Fred Lazarus, George Rau, hence their name, the Lazarus Lizards. The Lazarus family was best known for their chain of department stores started in 1850. In 1950 George Rau was taken on a trip to Italy, where he found the Lizards. Rau was so taken by the lizards that he took a few and hid them in his sock. He then brought them back and released them in his backyard.
After they were released, they adapted to the environment, as it was similar to their home in Italy, and have invaded Cincinnati ever since.