How to kill toads

How to kill toads

While it may be unbeknownst to some, toads are actually welcome additions to the garden. In fact, they eat many types of insect pests that affect garden plants. You should think carefully before deciding to kill toads or eliminate toads as they are an important benefit to the garden. However, too many toads could become a problem, or more likely a nuisance, but there are a few things you can do to get rid of garden toads should this occur.

Friendly Toad Control

One of the best ways to get rid of garden toads around your garden or landscape is to make it less attractive to toads. Generally, for toad control, if you remove their favorite hideouts and water or food sources, they will move elsewhere.

For instance, toads enjoy dark, damp places. Look for and remove pots, water containers, or ground-level birdbaths. Also, remove any wood, old lumber, or brush piles.

If you have pets, don’t leave their food outdoors where toads could have access to them. They find pet food quite inviting and since their secretions can pose a threat to dogs, it’s even more important to keep this food source out of their range.

If you have a pond or similar water feature, you could implement small fencing, which they cannot squeeze through, about a foot (0.5 m.) or so high around it. Also, ensure that toads cannot burrow beneath the fencing. In addition, you could add fish or a fountain, which encourages water movement and deters toad inhabitation.

When all else fails, physically removing them may be required. Simply catch the toads and relocate them to a suitable area.

Eliminate Toads Humanely

Some people choose to rid their gardens of toads by killing them. Be aware that in some areas, this is illegal and they are protected animals. Also, be aware that toad populations around the world are in jeopardy due to chemicals and pesticides. We do not advocate killing toads.

But, if you feel must, toads are very susceptible to toxic chemicals, like garden pesticides, which can be an extremely slow and painful death. Therefore, if you must kill toads, it should at least be done humanely.

The easiest method to eliminate toads is to get rid of their eggs and dispose of them by burying in the ground or leaving them to dry out in the sun.

The most humane way to kill toads is to put them into a sealed container (with air holes) and refrigerate overnight. This induces a coma-like state, which is not painful. Then freeze the toad(s) for a few days to ensure death has occurred and bury afterward.

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Toads are often highly beneficial to your yard and garden, eating tons of insect pests such as flies and mosquitoes. But sometimes they can be an invasive nuisance and need to be removed. There are actually a lot of simple changes you can make to your yard or garden to drive away toads and keep them from coming back without having to kill them. However, it’s possible to humanely kill toads in a refrigerator or using specific pesticides, especially if you’re dealing with invasive, poisonous toads like cane toads.

How to kill toads

How to kill toads

How to kill toads

Did you know?

Cooling the toads down slowly renders them unconscious without causing any pain.

How to kill toads

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Some homeowners love to see toads in their yards, while others hate them. Frogs and toads help to control slugs and insect pests, but certain species are dangerous to pets. One of the worst culprits is the cane toad, which exudes a toxin that’s irritating to human eyes and skin, and pets who eat the toads may die. You may also want to discourage toads from visiting your yard to avoid the burrows they dig when they hibernate in late fall.

How to Encourage Toads to Leave Your Yard

If you find that no matter how many times you remove toads from your yard and fill in the holes, the creatures return again and again, you may be inadvertently providing the conditions they love. Toads seek dark, cool places to hide, like under overhanging shrubs and among clutter and debris. To discourage them from seeking shelter in your yard, prune your shrubs so that none of their limbs hang close to the ground and remove piles of wood, tarpaulins, children’s toys and other discarded and forgotten items you find lying around.

Possibly the best way to keep cane toads out of your yard is to remove standing water. Toads need water at least every two days to survive. A pond is an obvious attraction, but even the water you leave out for your pet overnight could be encouraging toads into your yard. Pet food is another toad favorite, so take in your pet’s food and water bowls every evening.

Toads may also be entering your yard to eat the insects and moths attracted by outside lights. Turn off your porch light and any other outdoor lights when they aren’t required. If you find that after undertaking all these measures, toads continue to appear in your yard, it may be time to install a barrier. Cane toads cannot climb or jump well, and a smooth barrier at least 20 inches tall fixed firmly to the ground should keep them out.

Toad and Frog Holes

Toads and frogs that live on land escape the worst of winter weather by burrowing into soil. You may not notice a toad or frog burrow in your yard until spring, when the animal comes out of hibernation and climbs out of its little hiding place. Toads prefer to burrow into loose soil, moving the soil out of the way with their strong hind legs and backing into the hole until it collapses on their heads. They may burrow as deep as 1 or 2 feet below the surface in order to escape the frosts that are soon to arrive.

Toads may burrow into ant nests to take advantage of the already loose, crumbly soil, and they use existing mammal burrows. They also hibernate inside cracks in house foundations, in logs and under rocks and inside old tree stumps. To discourage toads from overwintering in your yard, cover up areas of bare, loose soil, fill in cracks in foundations and remove other inviting places for them to hide.

” > Beneficial Toads in Your Yard

Before discouraging toads from entering your yard, you may wish to check if they’re beneficial. As well as helping to control garden pests, some toads provide food for other wild creatures.

Toads you may wish to avoid removing from your garden include the American toad and the Fowlers toad. The American toad is about 3 to 4 inches long, has dark spots and is colored brown, reddish-brown or rusty red. The Fowlers toad is grayish-green and is not quite as long as the American toad.

When the enemy reached Australia’s largest state last year, the Kimberley Toad Busters knew the battle was on. But they didn’t expect that officialdom might strip them of their most effective weapon.

The enemy? The cane toad. The weapon? Plastic bags full of carbon dioxide — long considered the animal-friendly alternative to whacking the creatures with golf clubs or cricket bats.

But Western Australia’s Department of Environment and Conservation isn’t so sure that euthanizing Bufo marinus with carbon dioxide is the kindest way to go, and says further tests are needed.

Should the tests prove the toads are suffering, the carbon dioxide option could be banned across Western Australia. And that, the Toad Busters fear, would make the war against cane toads virtually unwinnable.

Keep on whacking them instead, says the government. But to many, that makes no sense.

“Oh my lord, what are they saying?” cried Lisa Ahrens, a veteran toad fighter. “That’s going right back to giving people a golf stick and telling them to go forth and conquer!”

This all may sound like a simple matter of bureaucracy and humane pest control, but cane toads are a 75-year-old Australian nightmare, and they amount to a cautionary tale about the difficulties that can crop up when humans try to reverse their environmental blunders.

Good intentions gone bad
The toads, native to Central and South America, were deliberately introduced to Queensland, on the other side of the continent from Western Australia, in 1935 in an unsuccessful attempt to control beetles on sugarcane plantations.

The toads bred rapidly, and their millions-strong population now threatens many species across Australia. They spread diseases, such as salmonella, and their skin exudes a venom that can kill would-be predators. They are also voracious eaters, gorging on insects, frogs, small reptiles and mammals, and birds. Cane toads are only harmful to humans if their poison is swallowed.

In recent years, Australians have held festive mass killings of the creatures, complete with sausage sizzles and prizes. Ahrens, of Cairns in Queensland, organizes the state’s annual “Toad Day Out,” when people gather to collect the creatures and either freeze them or expose them to carbon dioxide.

But the toads are constantly on the hop, and by early 2009 had migrated more than 1,500 miles from their original landing point in Queensland to the Western Australian border.

Lee Scott-Virtue, an archaeologist in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, saw it coming. Five years before the toads reached her state, she founded the Kimberley Toad Busters to mount a pre-emptive offensive across the border into the Northern Territory.

“We were confronted literally with walls of toads — tens of thousands of them. It was like watching a moving carpet,” she said.

Since then, the group’s thousands of volunteers have killed more than 500,000 toads, largely with carbon dioxide, which she says is fast and painless. By the time toads finally crossed into Western Australia, their numbers had been reduced to the point “where we’re only picking up handfuls.”

New tests next month
But the state Department of Environment and Conservation says it ran tests in 2008 that showed the toads regained consciousness after initially passing out. That, the department says, might violate the state’s Animal Welfare Act, which requires all killing of vertebrates to be humane.

Pending further tests scheduled for next month, the department advises people to go back to the freezing and clubbing options. “It’s quick, it’s effective,” said a spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with department policy.

**ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, JAN. 25** FILE- This March 29, 2009 file photo shows some of the thousands of cane toads caught by the residents of Cairns, Australia overnight and entered into the \”Toad’s Day Out\” program, awaiting euthanasia by freezing. When cane toads crossed the border of Australia’s largest state in 2009, the Kimberley Toad Busters knew the battle against the poisonous pest was on. What they didn’t know: that government concern over animal rights might strip them of their most effective weapon against the hated environmental menace. (AP Photo/Brian Cassey, File) Brian Cassey / AP

That suggestion has outraged the cane-toad-killing community, which believes clubbing is a far more painful way to end a toad’s life.

“For it to suddenly be dropped on us as the toad reaches Western Australia has been quite shattering,” said Scott-Virtue. “If you hammer a toad, you’ve got to be very clever and very quick to be able to kill it instantly.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agrees that a strike to the head is the best method — provided the toads are first chilled into unconsciousness.

But Shane Knuth, a Queensland state legislator who has suggested placing a 40 Australian cent ($0.37) bounty on cane toads, says freezing them takes too long. Besides, he said: “Mums and dads don’t want toads in their freezers.”

“We can go on and spend the next 50 years debating on how to dispose the toads — but in reality, they’re one of the greatest environmental catastrophes Australia has ever seen,” he said.

“The do-gooders need to see the painful death our native animals go through after coming in contact with a cane toad.”

How to kill toads

Where I grew up, I used to have quite a lot of frogs and toads visiting my garden (and often my home). They were not poisonous frogs and never bothered me. I actually quite liked them and they were not a problem for me. But some people find frogs problematic if there are too many of them. They become too noisy, or some people just don’t like them. So in this article I am going to explain how to get rid of frogs and how to use frog repellents to keep frogs away.

A Word About Poisonous Frogs

Some frogs or toads can also be poisonous and their venom is highly toxic to pets. Dogs and cats are probably most likely to come into contact with a poisonous frogs, and that venom can cause serious problems.

So how can you get rid of frogs naturally without using chemicals that can harm your kids, pets or the environment?

Well, controlling the variables of frog habitat is crucial in getting rid of frogs, and there are other extra measurements like natural frog repellents that you can take to deter frogs from your property.

How to Get Rid of Frogs by Controlling Their Habitat

Did you know that the easiest way to keep frogs away from your garden is to take their food and shelter? Here are a number of ideas that will make your garden less attractive to frogs.

Drain standing water in your garden

Frogs are amphibian creatures, which means that they live on both dry land and in water. So if your garden has a water source that is stagnant, such as a pond or water for birds or other animals, you will need to remove these water sources from your garden. This will encourage most frogs to find another place to lay their eggs and seek shelter at night.

Removing stagnant water sources will also repel mosquitoes and other insects that are used as food sources for frogs, making your garden even less attractive.

If you have water features in your garden that you still want to keep, such as a pond, add a fountain to circulate the water so it will attract less mosquitoes and other insects and decrease food supply for the frogs. Or you can surround the pond with mesh netting which starts at ground level and is tall enough to prevent the frogs from leaping over it.

Mow the lawn and remove weeds and debris from your garden

Frogs like to hide in areas where there are tall grass, piles of leaves, shrubs, clutter, pet food or any other environment that can create a damp hiding place for them.

Removing all these will move the frogs away as they will feel more exposed, which is something they try to avoid. De-cluttering your garden will also reduce insects, keep the area dry so the frogs are more likely to find another place. Keeping the lawn short is also one of the best natural ways to repel snakes.

Keep your garden dark at night

Since outside lighting attracts insects, which are the primary food source of frogs, it is recommended to turn off outdoor lights, deck or porch light, as well as closing curtains in your home at night to reduce insect population which will in turn move away the frogs.

Natural Frog Repellents

What’s good about these frog repellents is that they are all natural, so they will not harm your family or pets. For best results, use the following natural frog repellents but remember to also create less attractive habitat for frogs as well.

Spreading salt

Spreading salt near the entrances of your home or around your pond deters frogs, as the salt creates an unpleasant feeling in their feet and skin. If you use this method, take care not to spread the salt near plants, as it will destroy them.

Using salt will make the soil unsuitable for future plant growth so this method is more suitable for areas where you don’t want to grow anything for the long term, for example in pavement areas or where you have weeds (salt is one of the top 10 natural weed killers for your garden).

Spreading coffee grounds

Similarly to salt, spreading coffee grounds will cause the frogs discomfort and will deter them from areas where they gather. You can also use the coffee grounds to get rid of ants.

Unlike salt, coffee is often used as a plant fertilizer as it contains nitrogen which is an important component for growing plants. However if you sprinkle coffee near plants, keep in mind that coffee is also acidic, and sprinkling too much of it can destroy plants that don’t like acidic soil.

Use vinegar or lemon juice

Vinegar has a lot of household uses and you can also use it to deter frogs.

Here is a recipe for a vinegar spray that can help you to deter frogs: simply mix equal amounts of vinegar (or lemon juice) and water and spray around areas where frogs tend to gather. The vinegar mixture will cause a burning sensation on the frogs’ feet, and will discourage them from returning to that area.

Don’t spray it onto plants as this acidic spray will most likely kill them.

How To Protect Your Pet From Poisonous Toads

The two most common toads found in the U.S. that are dangerous to pets are Colorado River Toad (also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad) and the Giant Toad (also known as the Marine Toad or Cane Toad).

Common signs that your pet has come in contact with a poisonous toad are foaming at the mouth, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, walking unsteadily, weakness or collapse, irritation to the eyes and nose and difficulty in breathing.

If you see your pet playing with a toad, or even if you suspect that it has been in contact with a toad venom, you should immediately flush your pet’s mouth with running water in an outward direction to prevent your pet from swallowing the venom and then contact your vet immediately.

How to kill toads

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Like many animals, frogs and toads are perfectly camouflaged to match and hide in their environment. When they sit absolutely still, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to see them, as their protective coloration patterns blend right into the background. While this survival technique typically works out well for them, it clashes strongly with power lawnmowers. Amphibians usually lose in technology vs. critter confrontations. Even if you’re not particularly fond of frogs and toads, you probably don’t enjoy dicing them up in your mower. A few extra minutes and a small measure of thoughtfulness on your part can save some of these little guys from urban tragedy.

Mow in the afternoon, when frogs and toads are less likely to be on your lawn. During daylight hours, these animals are most active early in the morning, before the sun gets cranking. It’s still cool and the grass is wet with dew, creating conditions the amphibians enjoy immensely. Once the grass dries and the temperature rises, the animals seek cool, damp spots for a midday nap, typically in secluded spots where you’re not likely to mow.

Mow your lawn regularly to keep it from growing too tall. Frogs and toads naturally migrate to tall grass to hide and homestead. Don’t give them the time and opportunity to set up house in areas you want to keep cut.

Use a manual push reel mower instead of a power mower. Your pace will slower, allowing frogs and toads more time to get away. Modern reel mowers are easier to use and far different than your grandpa’s heavy old dinosaur. Cutting your lawn only takes a little longer than using power mowers and gives you a light aerobic workout. Healthier for your lawn, push mowers scissor the grass blades cleanly. The cutting edges don’t shred and tear the plants, exposing them to pests and diseases as power mowers do. Manual mowers are quiet and don’t belch smelly fumes. Running a gas-powered mower blasts as much pollution into the atmosphere as driving the average car for about 200 miles.

Set the lawnmower height for at least 3 or 4 inches high. Raising the cutting height lowers the chances of hitting animals that live close to the ground. Frogs and toads hunker down and hug the ground during dangerous situations they cannot evade. This gives the little guys a shot at surviving the mower blades if you do happen to pass over them.

Make a ruckus in the yard to shoo frogs and toads from the area before you mow. Send the kids out to play in the yard and make commotion. Give them lawn rakes and tell them to chase amphibians out of harm’s way. Take a leisurely stroll around the area. Pick up any little critters in the line of fire and relocate them to safer spots out of harm‘s way.

Mow from the center of an area and work your way outward. This gives frogs and toads a wider range of escape routes in all directions, allowing them better chances of survival. Walk slowly to give critters time to escape. Their little legs are much shorter than yours, so it takes them longer to cover a given distance. Focus your eyes on the area immediately in front of the mower and be on the lookout for amphibians.

Peek beneath low-growing hedges and shrubs before you thrust the mower under them. Small creatures commonly seek refuge there. Shake or otherwise disturb tall grass or weeds to chase frogs and toads out of them. Chase the critters safely away, then mow or trim.

Allow grass clippings to remain on the ground for a couple of hours after mowing. The thatch provides safe emergency havens for frogs and toads to flee and hide as you continue cutting. Leave the clippings in place for several days, if possible. As the amphibians seek new undisturbed stomping grounds, the clipped grass shelters them from predators.

Leave a small out-of-the-way section of your yard unmowed, particularly if it is next to a wet or wooded area. This offers a safe haven for small wildlife. The animals will quickly learn to seek refuge there. Use a weed whacker to trim the grass no shorter than about 6 inches tall

Home » Guides » Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone – How to Beat The Toad Prince

How to kill toads

Hearts of Stone, the first major expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, introduces quite a few new things to the game, including a few dangerous beasts for you to slay. In fact, the adventure kicks off with you battling a rather powerful one in the sewers under Oxenfurt.

The Toad Prince is a fairy tale turned nightmare that devours any and everything that steps into its slime-covered lair. This huge, dangerous beast is your very first contract and will prove to be one of the most dangerous fights you will have encountered up until this point. But have no fear, we will help you get past this difficult foe.

Before stepping into battle, check to see if you have any of the Toad Prince’s weaknesses. He is weak to Yrden (the magic trap), Cursed Oil, Golden Oriole, and the Norther Wind bombs. If you’re using a save file that boosted you up to 32 so you can play Hearts of Stone immediately, chances are that you don’t have any of the items, but you’ll still do fine. Only thing is, the fight will just take a bit longer.

How to kill toads

When the fight begins, the Toad Prince will be standing in the center of the fighting area. He has four attacks you need to be aware of. If you’re in the area to the front of this beast, he will either shoot his tongue out at you (which pierces Quen and does a sizable amount of damage as well as stuns you), or he’ll shoot a small glob of poison at you. If you happen to be standing really close to this boss, he will also utilize a tongue whip which will strip you of Quen, but won’t do any more damage.

If you’re standing anywhere that’s not in front of the Toad Prince, the monster will send out 3-5 poison blasts from its back that leave small pools of toxins on the battlefield. They glow slightly so make sure not to step in them. The pools dissipate after about 15 seconds. Standing really close to the Toad Prince will cause it to jump, which removes Quen, does massive damage, and stuns Geralt.

Now that you know all of the Toad Prince’s attacks, it’s time to take down Hearts of Stone’s first boss. You’ll want to use Quen for this one. While it doesn’t bombard you with fast attacks, if it does manage to hit you, the Toad Prince packs a wallop. Luckily, Quen will take the poison damage for you instead of you immediately losing health if you step into a pool by accident. Any bombs that aren’t Northern Wind are completely useless, as are arrows.

Although it’s not on the Vulnerable Against list in the Bestiary, Axii is useful for slowing the Toad Prince down, and much easier to use than Yrden since you don’t have to get close and hope to pull it off before the boss jumps.

How to kill toads

Now that you have that situated, it’s time to dance. You will need to slowly circle around the Toad Prince as you inch closer. If you have any of the Northern Wind bombs, chuck one every now and then to help you out. Once next to the toad keep to its side. It will jump in the air a few times. Just roll when it’s about to come back down and you’ll take no damage. Get off two swings then back away or you’ll be hit by the next jump.

The Toad Prince’s weak spots are its cheeks, so make sure to keep at its side so you can continue to do max damage. If you get behind the beast, you’ll be able to do decent damage as well, but it will then jump across the fighting space leaving you to have to inch close to it once again.

If at any point the boss jumps and has its back against the wall, do not approach it. Instead, get really far to lure it towards the center of the area once more. It’s hard to dodge its jumps when the wall is to the beast’s back, so always avoid that.

Rinse and repeat the dance until the boss dies. It never changes its attack pattern as you weaken it, which makes this fight much simpler than it seems. But never get lulled into a sense of over confidence. While it may not be the most complex of battles, few monsters are able to dish out the damage as easily as the Toad Prince in Hearts of Stone. If you find yourself taking damage, don’t press on. Instead back up, heal, then go back in for some more action.

After a lengthy battle with a well armored toad, you will emerge victorious. The Toad Prince is slain, and Geralt is now a magical princess…okay well maybe not, but the plot thickens after your victory (something we won’t spoil for you).

How did you fair against Hearts of Stone’s towering monstrosity? Let us know in the comments below.

Up here, cane toads are as common as backpackers, hippies and property developers. Unlike these, we can actually kill cane toads. Should we? Well, they are an introduced species. But so is the dingo, technically speaking. Have they been here long enough to be considered locals? Probably not. They do have a huge impact on the native fauna though and have all but decimated native animal populations wherever they spread.

I don’t go out of my way to hurt them, but when I find them I have been known to shake their mortal coil. So I asked twitter, and here are some of the responses. Cane Toad Golf + Dettol Spray Bottles seem to be the most popular suggestions!

Apologies for the repeated question below, apparently embedded tweets don’t allow you to embed the reply only, and some don’t seem to render at all. Hopefully twitter will fix this.

@dnadigital_com Step 1 – identify them for sure. Could be a family of Peron’s tree frogs or or other natives!? frogs.org.au/frogs/species/… #AUSpol

@dnadigital_com CaneToad Golf! It is amusing as well as affective!

@dnadigital_com Also the corpses land in someone else’s yard!

@dnadigital_com Buy those cane toads in your backyard facebook shares, they’ll be out on the street in no time.

@dnadigital_com put little helmets on them and blast them outof a cannon, new circus act/tourist attraction.

@dnadigital_com @ozequitist Dettol in a spray bottle – direct spray toad gone to toad heaven!Or catch and freeze!

Even though frogs are useful when it comes to pest control, the sight of them in your garden could be a bit unpleasant. These fascinating creatures like water, so if you have a pond near your home or uncut grass, frogs and toads might start croaking through the night just outside the front door.

There is no need to be alarmed because I will share some tips that will teach you how to get rid of frogs in your yard in no time.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you shop through the links on YardThyme, we may earn an affiliate’s commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information, read full disclosure here.

How to Get Rid of Frogs in Your Yard

Frogs and toads are not dangerous, but the very sight of them could make your head spin, especially if they suddenly jump out of tall weeds. (by the way, we recommend you read our article on the best pet-safe weed killers for conquering the weed problem without harming your pets).

The easiest way to force frogs and toads to move out of your yard is to get inside their brains and figure out their basic needs. For instance, frogs and toads are always searching for food and a place to live. You simply need to remove the things that attract them.

Remove Grass and Weeds

Maintaining your yard regularly can prevent the frog infestation. However, all of us sometimes forget to cut the grass or pull out the weeds.

Tall grass is inviting to various types of bugs, such as spiders and grasshoppers. Considering that frogs love eating insects, they could quickly find the way to your yard. If you want to get rid of them, start by taking away their favorite food.

Additionally, frogs and toads prefer dark and shady hiding spots. Uncut grass is often their first choice because it will hide them from the sun. Once you mow the lawn, frogs will lose their favorite habitat as well as the food source.

Turning off your porch light at night is another useful trick. The lights draw in insects, and frogs usually follow after them. If you are wondering how to get rid of frog infestation without hurting the animals, these suggestions should work.

Draining the Water

Do you have a water source in your yard? Is the water dirty, muddy, or stagnant? Frogs are attracted to water since it is their natural habitat. They lay eggs in it and hunt mosquitoes that usually buzz around when the weather is warm and humid. Go ahead and drain or fill in the ponds in your yard.

If you want to keep the pond, invest in a filter that will circulate the water and keep it clean.

You could be wondering how to get rid of frogs in fish ponds since I haven’t mentioned it yet. A fish pond often has sentimental value, and it would be a shame to remove it from your yard. Unfortunately, they are not safe from frogs either.

The first thing you need to do is scoop up the algae from the surface of the fish pond. Then pull out the weeds or any plants growing on the edges of the pond. Frogs and toads will be left without the breeding grounds, and you will still have a lovely fish pond in your yard.

How to Keep Frogs Away from Pool

Frogs and toads simply can’t stay away from water, and your pool is no exception. They see it as a huge pond, with plenty of food and places to hide from the sunlight. Considering the number of bugs that hang around your pool, it is safe to say that frogs see it as a buffet.

The chances are you also have pool lights, and insects are drawn to them. Unfortunately, frogs are drawn to the insects so they could be claiming your pool as their own in no time.

Surely, frogs could be useful because they eat bugs, but there are a couple of reasons why you don’t want them anywhere near your pool. The first one is because they lay eggs in the water. They look like tiny clusters of black dots floating around the bottom of your pool. Pool owners may fish them out with a net easily, but that doesn’t solve the problem.

The second reason why you want to keep your pool frog-free is that they often die in the water. These creatures can’t tell the difference between a pond and a pool since it is all water to them. However, pools are hard to get out of, and frogs get trapped in them. They could swim around for hours without finding the steps and eventually drown.

A dead frog floating around your pool is not a pretty sight, so here are a couple of methods you could use. These tricks will save their lives and make them hop away in a different direction.

Protect your Pool

Before you begin the process of protecting your pool, cut the grass and weeds in your yard. This should reduce the number of possible hiding spots for frogs and toads. They love hanging out in tall weeds before jumping into a pool. A pool cover is your best option because it is easy to install and will keep things and animals from falling into the water.

Always make sure that the pool cover is well-fastened to prevent small kids from getting trapped underneath.

Putting a fence around the pool is quite a project, but it will keep the kids and pets away from the water as well. It can add an extra layer of security.

However, you need to select the right type of fence. For instance, frogs can easily jump through iron bars. A wooden fence could be the best solution. After all, it looks decorative, and frogs can’t jump through it.

How about a water feature?

Have you ever thought about revamping your pool by adding a water fountain or waterfalls? If you are dealing with frogs, these could be a lifesaver. Insects hate moving water because they can’t lay their eggs in it.

Therefore, a water fountain could play the role of an insect repellent. Bugs are the primary source of food for frogs and toads, so your pool will not be attractive to them anymore.

Summary

Now that you have learned how to get rid of frogs and toads in your yard, it is time to go out and try some of these tricks. Remember that you should use different tactics at the same time for the best results.

If you stick only one method, the chances are a couple of frogs will still be hopping around your yard. Always remember that frogs and toads are not poisonous, so if you see one in your garden or pool, simply pick it up with a long tool and place the frog outside the fence.

My name’s Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

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How to kill toads

Slugs and snails are very destructive pests that invade our garden. They tend to leave ragged holes in the leaves and consume the seedlings of our plants. Snails give birth to 420 eggs over periods of months. So if you have a snail problem, it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Other than the fact that they destroy our plants, they also carry germs and bacteria that can cause infection. There are many ways to get rid of these pests from your garden. Slug pellets are a famous way to get rid of them. But these can kill hedgehogs and other wildlife that eat them or the poisoned slugs. Other than the chemical ways of getting rid of slugs, such as yeast and stale beer, there is a natural way of getting rid of them.
A part of the wildlife food chain, frogs and toads are nature’s way of taking care of slugs and snails.

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Instructions

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Buy them:

You can easily buy frogs from the pet stores. They will not just get rid of your slugs and snail problem but they eat mosquitoes and flies too. Wild frogs are an even better option because of the great hunting abilities that they possess.

Lure them:

Frogs need ponds to breed. Introduce frog friendly features in your garden, such as a pond, log piles and compost heaps. Do not add fish to your pond as they feed on the spawn. If you do not have space for a pond, a shallow basin of water will also work. Remember to keep the basin filled and the water fresh.

Make conditions favorable:

Frogs breathe and drink through their skin. Chemical pesticides and insecticides are all poisonous for frogs and toads. Absence of such chemicals in the garden will make it a safer environment for the frogs and toads.

By: Angela Baird

After eliminating the toads, simply fill in their burrows with dirt.

Wear gloves before handling toads as they secrete unpleasant fluids when frightened, though very few species are actually toxic. While the cane toad’s toxin may cause a rash and significant discomfort if it gets into the eyes, nose or mouth, it is not lethal to humans.

While most toads are highly beneficial because they eat insects and slugs, sometimes they can become a nuisance–as in the case of cane toads, also known as giant or marine toads. Cane toads are twice as large as more commonly seen yard toads and secrete a toxin that can be fatal if ingested by small pets. Toad burrows are easy to eliminate if you are successful at the daunting task of removing the toads themselves.

Make your lawn less appealing to toads. Block access to or remove ready water sources like pools, ponds or puddles that toads use for breeding.

Remove pet food dishes that may attract toads. While they eat bugs, toads won’t turn down a kibble snack.

Turn off the porch light at night. Lights attract bugs, and bugs attract toads.

Spray insecticides to eliminate the toad’s food source.

Put up a fence around the perimeter of your yard. Bury the fence no less than a foot underground and at least 2 feet tall. Bend out a lip along the bottom before you bury it for added effectiveness.

Euthanize the toads you find by squirting a strip of benzocaine cream, such as for tooth pain, along the toad’s spine. Death may take up to 40 minutes. Place the toad in a freezer bag and freeze it for three days to ensure it is dead before disposing of it in the trash or burying it.

Ginny Beagan, Florida Today

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s that time of year again. Time for giant, ugly, toxic toads.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is warning Floridians to protect pets and children against cane toads, also known as marine, giant and bufo toads, which are starting to appear in Florida yards, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

The toads secrete a milky white, toxic substance called a bufotoxin – it’s their defense mechanism. If a dog or cat comes in contact with the toxin by biting or sniffing the slow-moving toads, the toxins could kill them within 15 minutes without emergency treatment.

Symptoms of toad poisoning in pets include drooling, loss of coordination, head-shaking and convulsions. If poisoning is suspected, use a hose and run water in the side of the mouth for 10 minutes, taking care not to flush the toxin down the throat– but out and away. Take a towel and wipe your pet’s gums and tongue and then get your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

The secretions are not good for people either, especially small children. The toxic substance may irritate the skin or burn the eyes. Cane toad eggs also contain the toxin and can be harmful to any animal that consumes them.

The rain and rising temperatures bring the poisonous, nocturnal invaders out. Official sightings have been reported in Lee, Collier, Okeechobee, Broward, Pasco and Palm Beach counties since March. In Palm Beach Gardens, one neighborhood was reporting an infestation of thousands of the poisonous toads.

Origin

Native to South and Central America, the cane toad was first introduced in Florida as a way of managing pests in the sugar cane fields in the 1930s, according to the University of Florida.

It is believed current populations are the result of pet trade escapes and releases in the 1950s and 60s. A part of the South Florida landscape since then, the pests have now spread to Lake Okeechobee and the Tampa Bay area, Florida Today reported.

Good riddance

The FWC encourages landowners to kill the invasive species on their own property whenever possible. They look very similar to the native and harmless southern toad, so be careful to identify them correctly before killing them. Basically, if the toad is more than 4 inches long, it’s a poisonous toad.

The toads are not protected by any conservation laws but toad hunters do have to abide by the state’s anti-cruelty law. The humane way to terminate the toads is to apply a small dab of Orajel or a similar numbing agent on it while wearing latex or rubber gloves. After a few minutes, place them in a plastic bag and freeze them for 48 hours. Then dispose of them.

Prevention

You can help make your property less attractive to cane toads by following these tips:

A red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas): more than one-third of all amphibians endangered. Photograph: Peter Lilja/Getty Images

A red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas): more than one-third of all amphibians endangered. Photograph: Peter Lilja/Getty Images

Widely used pesticides can kill frogs within an hour, new research has revealed, suggesting the chemicals are playing a significant and previously unknown role in the catastrophic global decline of amphibians.

The scientists behind the study said it was both “astonishing” and “alarming” that common pesticides could be so toxic at the doses approved by regulatory authorities, adding to growing criticism of how pesticides are tested.

“You would not think products registered on the market would have such a toxic effect,” said Carsten Brühl, at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany. “It is the simplest effect you can think of: you spray the amphibian with the pesticide and it is dead. That should translate into a dramatic effect on populations.”

Trenton Garner, an ecologist at the Zoological Society of London, said: “This is a valuable addition to the substantial body of literature detailing how existing standards for the use of agricultural pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers are inadequate for the protection of biodiversity.”

Amphibians are the best example of the great extinction of species currently under way, as they are the most threatened and rapidly declining vertebrate group. More than a third of all amphibians are included in the IUCN “red list” of endangered species, with loss of habitat, climate change and disease posing the biggest threats.

Brühl had previously studied how easily frogs can absorb pesticides through their permeable skins, which they can breathe through when underwater. But pesticides are not required to be tested on amphibians, said Brühl: “We could only find one study for one pesticide that was using an exposure likely to occur on farmland.”

His team chose widely used fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. The most striking results were for a fungicide called pyraclostrobin, sold as the product Headline by the manufacturer BASF and used on 90 different crops across the world. It killed all the common European frogs used as test animals within an hour when applied at the rate recommended on the label. Other fungicides, herbicides and insecticides also showed acute toxicity, even when applied at just 10% of the label rate, with the insecticide dimethoate, for example, killing 40% of animals within a week.

The study, published on Thursday in Scientific Reports [will be live after embargo], concluded: “The observation of acute mortality in a vertebrate group caused by commercially available pesticides at recommended field rates is astonishing, since 50 years after the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring one would have thought that the development of refined risk-assessment procedures would make such effects virtually impossible.”

A BASF spokesman disputed the findings: “This study was performed under laboratory ‘worst-case’ conditions. Under normal agricultural conditions amphibians are not exposed to such pesticide concentrations. According to our knowledge, no significant impact on amphibian populations has been reported despite the widespread and global use of the fungicide pyraclostrobin.”

Brühl said the method, a single spray directly on to the frogs, sometimes at just 10% of the label rate, was a “realistic worst-case” scenario. He added that in the field, multiple sprays of a variety of pesticides was likely and that chemicals might run off into ponds where frogs lived.

Sandra Bell, Friends of the Earth’s nature campaigner, said: “From frogs to bees, there is mounting evidence that the pesticide bombardment of our farmland is having a major impact on our precious wildlife. Strong action is urgently needed to get farmers off the chemical treadmill.

“As well as banning the most toxic products, governments must set clear targets for reducing all pesticides and ensure farmers have safe and thoroughly tested alternatives.”

Earlier this month, the world’s most widely used insecticide was for the first time officially labelled an “unacceptable” danger to bees feeding on flowering crops, by the European Food Safety Agency. The agency had previously stated that current “simplistic” regulations contained “major weaknesses”.

“There is an urgency to address [the amphibian issue] as pesticides will be applied again soon because it’s spring, and that’s when we have all these migrations to ponds,” said Brühl.

“We don’t have any data from the wild about dead frogs because no one is looking for them – and if you don’t look, you don’t find. But the pesticides are very widely used and so have the potential to have a significant effect on populations.”

These giant, ugly toads are deadly for pets

Emilee Speck , Digital journalist

Another invasive species has leaped into the Florida ecosystem, wreaking havoc on native creatures and this time domestic pets are at risk, too.

Cane toads ooze a milky, toxic substance called bufotoxin, which is deadly to cats and dogs if they bite, sniff or lick the giant toads. The toxin is also dangerous for humans, and people should wear gloves and protective gear when disposing of the toads, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

There have been more than 600 confirmed cane toad sightings in Florida, according to a database and map by the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

What to do if your pet comes into contact with a cane toad

If your pet comes into contact with one of these toxic toads they could become very sick and die in as little as 15 minutes without treatment.

What to look for: Symptoms may include frantic or disoriented behavior, brick red gums, seizures and foaming at the mouth.

If you see any of the symptoms, follow these steps and act quickly. Wash the toxins forward out of your pet’s mouth using a hose for 10 minutes being careful not to direct water down the throat. Next, wipe the gums and tongue with a towel to remove toxins.

Meanwhile, get your pet to the vet ASAP.

How to prevent them from moving and get rid of them when the toads arrive

The best way to protect your family, including pets, is to make your yard less attractive to cane toads in the first place. The FWC recommends keeping your grass cut short, fill in holes where toads may burrow and clear away brush piles and debris.

Pet food scraps can also attract the toads. FWC recommends feeding your pets inside or cleaning up scraps from pet bowls left outside.

If you’ve discovered you have a bufo toad problem. It’s time to take action.

The FWC encourages landowners to kill the invasive species on their own property whenever possible. They look very similar to the native and harmless southern toad, so be careful to identify them correctly before killing them. The big give away is their size. If the toad is more than 4 inches long, it’s a toxic toad.

The toads are not protected by any conservation laws but toad hunters do have to abide by the state’s anti-cruelty law. The humane way to terminate the toads is to apply a small dab of Orajel or a similar numbing agent on it while wearing latex or rubber gloves. After a few minutes, place them in a plastic bag and freeze them for 48 hours. Then dispose of them.

There are businesses that specialize in cane toad disposal. Bufo Busters was founded by Jennine Tilford, a registered wildlife trapper with the FWC.

Why are they here?

Cane toads are native to South and Central America and first brought to Florida to manage pests in sugar cane fields in the 1930s, according to the University of Florida.

The current problem population is likely the result of pet trade escapes and releases in the 1950s and ’60s. Now cane toads are reported in Central and South Florida, usually south of the I-4 corridor. However, according to the University of Georgia map, sightings have been reported as far north as Gainesville.

Many nonnative species to Florida are brought here as pets.

Escaped or released pets are the primary source for nonnative species, according to the FWC. Pet owners who can no longer keep their exotic pets, including toads, can contact the FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program to re-home their pet.

Click on the icons below to see reported cane toad sightings in Florida.

Published on August 29, 2015

How to kill toads

When visiting a famous Hosta garden in central Iowa many years ago, I noticed that there was very little slug damage to the Hostas. I asked the owner, the late Russ O’Hara, how he controlled the slugs. Did he use the usual remedies, like copper rings, ammonia spray, saucers of beer? Or just what? He said he used none of those. What he did was ingenious: he paid neighborhood kids “a buck a toad” for each toad they brought him, which he then released into his garden. In a typical year he would get maybe 30 toads. Yes, I said toads!

And it worked! That was the only method he used, and it got rid of the majority of the slugs. Of course, these days, kids would charge a lot more to catch those toads. However, an even better strategy is to install a water garden and the toads will show up on their own.

Toads versus Frogs

The toad I am talking about is the American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) and its range is mostly eastern North America and eastern Canada. There are many other closely related species of toad that have similar predation habits of eating small critters, including slugs. The toad will eat anything that is alive and can fit in its mouth. Of course, the toad has to be able to catch it as well, so small invertebrates are its main diet.

How to kill toads Slugs are one of the favorite foods of toads.
What a great natural predator!

Toads are more of a terrestrial amphibian, unlike most frogs, which have to be near an area that is very damp to keep their skin moist. Toads do not have this requirement. Their skin can become somewhat drier, so they can be found in all parts of a landscape — not necessarily near water. The adult toads will be found in heavily mulched areas or vegetation. However, in order for toads to reproduce they must have water in which to lay their eggs, and the resulting tadpoles (I call them “toadpoles”) must have water in order to grow and find food. Toads lay their eggs in long, gelatinous strings that are usually wrapped around an underwater plant or something similar. Frog eggs, in comparison, are laid in one big, gelatinous mass. The toadpoles graze on the patina or biofilm of a pond.

They are eating surface algae and the critters (bacteria and invertebrates) that are found in the patina.

A Distinctive Voice

Most people, when they hear the song of the male toad, think it is being made by frogs. It is one of the first songs made by amphibians in in the spring. It is a beautiful time of the year, so that is what I think of when I hear the song. On a rainy night there can be so many toads hopping across the landscape to get to the water garden that the grass is alive with toads on a mission.

How to kill toads

Fish do not normally eat toadpoles — at least from what I’ve observed. The toadpoles and the adult toads have a toxin in their skin called bufotoxin that, while extremely mild compared to other poisonous amphibians, can supposedly irritate some people’s skin. This toxin does somewhat protect the toad and toadpoles from being preyed upon by some predators. I’ve seen animals attempt to eat toads and then spit them back out.

Growing Up Green

How to kill toadsThe toadpoles will metamorphose into baby toads in one to two months, depending on food and water temperatures. They then abandon the water, only to return to reproduce in the next year or two. I have read that they can live and come back to your water garden for 20 to 30 years. Now that’s a long time! In the interim they are in the landscape, eating all kinds of pesky critters like slugs. You will find them under mulch, heavy vegetation or just loose dirt.

What a great natural predator in the landscape…a valuable ally in natural pest control. One that will show up on its own to reproduce in a water garden, if there is one. Most predators around a water garden are focused on eating the fish and are, of course, not wanted. Not this one! We finally can welcome a predator that only eats small, pesky critters like slugs. As a bonus, the toad’s song is a harbinger of spring — one that I always look forward to.

By Nicky Phillips

The most humane way to kill cane toads is to put them in the freezer alive, Sydney researchers have found.

The once-popular method was used to kill millions of the poisonous pests until it was banned 20 years ago because animal ethics committees considered it inhumane. It was thought cane toads’ toes would freeze while their brains remained warm enough to register the pain.

It was once thought the brain of a cane toad remained warm enough to feel pain while the rest of their body froze. Credit: Parks and Wildlife

But cane toad expert Rick Shine wanted to know if the theory held true.

“It’s hard to tell [when an animal is in pain because] you can’t ask them directly. There’s a danger that it’s feeling pain but it’s just not registering,” said Professor Shine.

Professor Rick Shine has shown the most humane way to kill cane toads is to freeze them.

His team at the University of Sydney implanted small data-loggers into a handful of toads’ forebrains to measure their pain responses as they froze to death. “It’s cutting-edge stuff,” he said.

After keeping the toads in the fridge for a few hours to cool their bodies enough for their brains to shut down, they were placed into household freezers. Throughout the process the data-loggers did not register pain signals.

Professor Shine said it appeared the cane toads’ bodies were going into a state of unconsciousness and their brains no longer functioned by the time their skin and organs began to freeze.

“The effect of cold on cane toads’ nerves is very similar to local anaesthetic in humans,” he said.

“We can feel pretty comfortable that it isn’t experiencing any dramatic pain.”

The results offer communities in northern Australia, who are attempting to control large populations of the pest, a simple and humane method of killing them. Current ethics regulations recommend that the public kill cane toads by hitting them on the head with a hammer.

“But a slight misjudgment may result in severe pain for the toad, and a splash of toxic poison up into the hammer-wielder’s eyes,” Professor Shine, whose research is published in the journal Biology Letters, said.

“Popping toads into the fridge for a few hours to cool down, then moving them to the freezer beside the ice-cream is kinder and safer for everyone involved,” he said.

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Cane Toad (Rhinella marina)

Image: Jodi Rowley
© Jodi Rowley

If you’re Australian, you’ve got an opinion on Cane Toads. Chances are it’s not a positive one. But did you know some Australian animals have developed a taste for toad?

Only 85 years since its introduction to Australia, the much-maligned Cane Toad (Rhinella marina) has spread throughout a whopping 1.2 million square kilometers of the country. In that time, it’s made short work of many native species that mistake toads for frogs, try to eat them, become poisoned and, in many cases, die. But there are some Australian species that are much less affected by the toads’ poison than you might think, and other pioneering predators that have figured out workarounds for the toxin problem.

Cane Toad (Rhinella marina)

Image: Jodi Rowley
© Australian Museum

Of the Australian animals that can safely kill and eat Cane Toads, some of the most interesting are snakes. The Keelback Snake (Tropidonophis mairii), a non-venomous species native to northern Australia, can eat Cane Toads without lethal effects, whereas many other snake species would be killed. The reason the Keelback can eat toads seems to be that its ancestors were some of the most recent snakes to arrive to Australia, having evolved in Asia. There are toads with similar toxins to those of the Cane Toad in Asia, and so the Keelback Snake has the evolutionary advantage of being ‘pre-adapted’ to life with toads.

The more familiar Red-bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) doesn’t have this evolutionary quirk, but has done some rapid post-crisis adaptation; populations of this species in areas with many Cane Toads appear to have developed a higher resistance to the toxins and some avoid eating toads altogether. But most interesting is that in some areas, these snakes have evolved smaller heads, which physically prevents them from eating large (and therefore more poisonous) toads!

Keelback Snake (Tropidonophis mairii).

Image: Jodi Rowley
© Jodi Rowley

You’ve probably heard of some crows flipping toads on their backs to eat from their soft, non-poisonous bellies, but there are lesser known stories of other birds developing a taste for toads. Black Kites (Milvus migrans) and Whistling Kites (Haliastur sphenurus) eat the tongues out of roadkill toads. There’s even a case of an Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) killing a Cane Toad, extracting something through its mouth, and feeding it to chicks.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

Image: Koshy Koshy
creative commons

There are many other native animals surprising us with the ability to eat Cane Toads through tolerance and ingenuity, from insects to mammals. The Rakali, or native Water Rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) made headlines recently after being discovered making careful incisions into toads’ chests and removing the non-toxic heart and liver to feed on.

While this is undoubtedly good news, it’s important to remember that responses to threatening processes vary hugely among species. Cane Toads remain a significant threat to biodiversity in Australia, and it’s incredibly important to keep studying their impact, especially as they continue to spread to new areas.

Timothy Cutajar, Australian Museum Research Institute.

How to kill toads

Along with Arizona’s monsoon season comes the Sonoran Desert toad, a seemingly harmless toad that can grow up to 7.5 inches long with smooth, leathery skin. This olive green toad is far from harmless, however. In fact, it is killing more dogs than rattlesnakes.

The Sonoran Desert toad, also known as the Colorado River toad is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Neurotoxins containing 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin seep from the toad’s pores and head, causing dogs and cats to foam at the mouth after licking the frog, suffer seizures, and experience high fever, dilated pupils, and a rapid heartbeat. It can also lead to death if not treated immediately.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually appear within a few seconds of an encounter with the Sonoran Desert toad, and may include the following:

  • Crying or other vocalization
  • Pawing at the mouth and/or eyes
  • Profuse drooling of saliva from the mouth
  • Change in the color of membranes of the mouth – may be inflamed or pale
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Unsteady movements
  • Seizures
  • High temperature
  • Collapse
Treatment

A pet owner’s quick response is a dog’s best chance at survival. If you suspect your dog or cat has come in contact with the Sonoran Desert toad and is suffering from toad toxicity, use a garden house to flush your pet’s mouth – as long as your pet is conscious – and try to get as much remnants of poison out as possible. Seek veterinary care immediately.

Video. Toxic toads leap across Australia.

Biology, Ecology, Geography, Physical Geography

Watch the video above, and then answer these questions.

What are some predators of the cane toad in Australia?

The cane toad has almost no predators in Australia. The toads are poisonous to almost all potential predators—even the saltwater crocodile. Human beings are the most powerful and effective predator of cane toads in Australia!

In the cane toad’s native habitat of Central and South America, it has many natural predators. Caimans (a relative of the crocodile), snakes, birds, and even fish prey on the cane toad.

Cane toads excrete a toxic substance that makes their skin poisonous. Where are the glands that excrete this poison?

The poison is spread from glands on the cane toad’s shoulders.

What do cane toads eat?

Anything that fits in their mouth!” according to one biologist.

The toads do not limit their diet to living things. According to another naturalist, cane toads will even eat marbles and golf balls!

Cane toads are not native to Australia. Why were they introduced?

Cane toads were introduced as a pest-control device. Farmers hoped the amphibians would eat insects that damaged sugar-cane crops.

Did the introduction work?

No! According to the video, the “toads ate everything except the insects they were brought in to kill!”

an animal able to live both on land and in water.

animal (amphibian) native to the Americas and considered an invasive species in Oceania and islands of the Caribbean.

reptile native to parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

to discharge a substance from the body.

person who cultivates land and raises crops.

group of cells that secretes a chemical useful for the body to function.

type of animal that breathes air and has a body divided into three segments, with six legs and usually wings.

person who studies the natural history or natural development of organisms and the environment.

process of removing unwanted species (pests) from a specific geographic area.

substance that harms health.

animal that hunts other animals for food.

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How to kill toads

Invasive Species

An invasive species is an organism that is not native to an ecosystem, and thus has no natural predators in that environment. This lack of predators often causes some wicked problems in the place it colonizes. With no predators, these invaders can out-compete local fauna and flora, and then disrupt the balance of the ecosystem. You might be wondering, how do these species get to their new location? Well, some are introduced purposely by humans, such as the European hare which was brought to Australia in the 1830s, and some are introduced by accident, like the emerald ash borer, which has wiped out native ash trees in the Midwest and the Eastern United States. Explore the new worlds of these alien species with this collection of resources.

How to kill toads

The Continents: Australia

There are seven continents on Earth. Test your knowledge about Australia with this Kahoot!

How to kill toads

Australia’s Deadliest

Travel to the MacDonnell ranges, and meet some of Australia’s most dangerous wildlife including the continent’s largest lizard and deadliest snake.

How to kill toads

Losing Their Eucalyptus

Within 250 years, the number of eucalyptus tress along the east coast of Australia has decreased by nearly 66%, bringing Australia’s koala population to its lowest extent in centuries.

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How to kill toads

Invasive Species

An invasive species is an organism that is not native to an ecosystem, and thus has no natural predators in that environment. This lack of predators often causes some wicked problems in the place it colonizes. With no predators, these invaders can out-compete local fauna and flora, and then disrupt the balance of the ecosystem. You might be wondering, how do these species get to their new location? Well, some are introduced purposely by humans, such as the European hare which was brought to Australia in the 1830s, and some are introduced by accident, like the emerald ash borer, which has wiped out native ash trees in the Midwest and the Eastern United States. Explore the new worlds of these alien species with this collection of resources.

How to kill toads

The Continents: Australia

There are seven continents on Earth. Test your knowledge about Australia with this Kahoot!

How to kill toads

Australia’s Deadliest

Travel to the MacDonnell ranges, and meet some of Australia’s most dangerous wildlife including the continent’s largest lizard and deadliest snake.

How to kill toads

Losing Their Eucalyptus

Within 250 years, the number of eucalyptus tress along the east coast of Australia has decreased by nearly 66%, bringing Australia’s koala population to its lowest extent in centuries.

Just when you think you’re making progress against the reptiles, here come the amphibians.

On Tuesday, the South Florida Water Management District announced the capture of the 1,000th python by hunters working to eradicate the invasive reptile from the region.

But as soon as that milestone was reached, officials began warning us of the dangers posed by the cane toad.

These large, ugly creatures — their population boosted by recent rains — secrete a poison that can be deadly to pets and toxic to humans.

When seen, cane toads should be killed, the experts agree.

But this is where it gets crazy.

To humanely euthanize a cane toad, we’re told we should capture it, rub a 20 percent benzocaine gel on its belly, then freeze it.

Capture it? Should I put on my hazmat suit first?

Rub its belly? Is this a deadly toad or a puppy?

Freeze it? Hey honey, should I put this benzocaine-coated live toad next to the ice cream or the pizza in the fridge?

Oddly enough, you can find recipes for sauteed cane toad legs on the internet. I don’t care how dangerous — or tasty — cane toads might be, my wife would let 100 of them hop around our yard before she’d allow one in the freezer.

How about this? When I see a cane toad, I’ll stab it with a frog gig. That spear-like device used for — you know — gigging frogs.

Or maybe I’ll shoot it with my kid’s pellet gun. One shot, back of the head. The toad won’t feel a thing.

I don’t mean to sound heartless, but sometimes we get carried away in our struggle to be humane.

A toad certainly would be more distressed to be picked up and handled by a human than it would be to be quickly dispatched.

The toad experts probably think they’re providing a measure of comfort for the most empathetic animal lovers among us — and let’s face it, it’s difficult to conjure up empathy for a cane toad — by describing the frozen benzocaine method of eliminating them.

I ascribe this superfluous advice to political correctness. Authorities have to say something to pacify the handful of people who worry about the last moments of a toad’s life.

Simply saying, “Do it quickly, don’t be cruel about it,” isn’t enough. We must provide step-by-step instructions that will never be used in real life.

The South Florida Water Management District has put a lot of thought into how to deal with the pythons captured on district land under its eradication program.

The conclusion it came to: “A firearm shot to the head or a knife and a quick blow to the brain,” said district spokesman Randy Smith. “We did a lot of research,” Smith said, including consultations with the American Veterinary Medical Association. “That’s what they considered the humane way to dispatch the snakes.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission runs a similar eradication program on state-owned land and private property.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, on the other hand, has its python hunters bring the snakes to a local veterinarian to be euthanized with a lethal injection.

Smith said the water district specifically prohibits that.

“No live snakes can be brought in,” he said.

Note that none of the python hunters advocate a slow, supposedly humane death by freezing.

If you see a cane toad, kill it as quickly and humanely as possible.

Cane toads, pythons, lionfish and other invasive species don’t belong here. They threaten our environment and, by extension, our economy.

Let’s not let our determination to be humane get in the way of doing what needs to be done.

And let’s keep our ice cream separate from our cane toads.

Predatory ants might attack the invasive toad.

How to kill toads

Newsletter

Researchers in Australia think they have found a solution to the country’s toxic cane toad problem: make Australian meat ants eat them. Cane toads — which can grow up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length — were imported from South America to Queensland [in northeast Australia] in 1935 in a failed attempt to control beetles on sugarcane plantations. Trouble was, the toads couldn’t jump high enough to eat the beetles, which live on top of cane stalks [ AP ]. Since their introduction, cane toads have spread through most of tropical Australia, eating and poisoning native animals [ New Scientist ]. No one has been able to get their population growth under control, and past suggestions to do so by introducing exotic diseases have only raised concerns about causing as much harm as the toads have themselves.

But a research team led by ecologist Rick Shine found that cane toads are more vulnerable to being eaten by Australia’s predatory meat ants than are native frogs, which may allow the ants to be used as a “safe” biocontrol agent that would not interfere with native frog species. Shine said the team plans to try ways of encouraging meat ants to build colonies near toad breeding ponds. One way would be to plant trees the ants favor [ The Australian ]. He is hopeful the strategy will work because unlike native frogs, cane toads are active during the day, when meat ants roam about scavenging for food. Toads also tend to breed in ponds that are out in the open sun, which results in their young emerging onto bare, baked mud areas, a habitat where meat ants like to forage [ Sydney Morning Herald ]. The toad is also more vulnerable because it lays its eggs in the dry season when water is low and there’s little protective vegetation at the pond’s edge [ The Australian ].

Until its adult life, when it grows to be quite large, the toad is smaller than native amphibians, and sticks around longer when the ants attack — it takes about five seconds to move away, compared with the natives’ one second average: it doesn’t have the leg-power to leap quickly away from attacking ants. Worse, it doesn’t watch for the ant as do local species. The final kiss of death for baby Bufo [cane toads] is that its potent toxin doesn’t faze ants. The compound attacks the heart of vertebrate predators and ants, of course, are heartless [ The Australian ]. Meanwhile, meat ants are fierce fighters with powerful bites, and a band of the insects can easily take down a small toad.

The study , published in Functional Ecology , coincidentally follows the weekend’s “Toad Day Out” event, a mass capture and killing of the cane toads, with many of the creatures’ corpses being turned into fertilizer for the very farmers they’ve plagued for years [ AP ]. But according to Shine, the Queensland event will likely reduce numbers, but only in the short term. “There’s been a tremendous community effort,” he says, but “with females laying up to 30,000 eggs in a single clutch, it’s not a long-term strategy” [ New Scientist ].

The meat ant proposal is not quite shovel-ready, of course. Ecologist Ross Alford said that while the proposal is interesting, people should “try it cautiously. Ants are generalist predators, so if you increased their numbers, you may see an effect on native animals apart from frogs” [ New Scientist ].

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Mark Derr is the author of the forthcoming “How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends.”

I CONFESS. On a recent night, a very dark night, around midnight, I killed a Bufo marinus, commonly known as a cane toad or giant toad. The Bufo had established its domain in our pond several months earlier and swaggered about the backyard at night as if it owned the place.

Like our house, the pond dates to 1925. Made of concrete, it is four feet in diameter and two feet deep, with two inches of muck. Presiding over it is a two-foot-tall plaster cherub jury-rigged fountain that was already old when we moved in 20 years ago. The pond then was a stagnant breeding ground for mosquitoes and algae. Today, it is home to two thriving plants — a lobelia native to the Everglades and a colocasia, an exotic from Southeast Asia. The pond is algae-free and stocked with gambusia, the local minnows that are mosquito predators — hence their common name, mosquito fish.

I have kept the pond more or less functioning since we moved in, and I have no desire to see it colonized by toads the size of soccer balls that secrete toxin from glands in the back of their heads strong enough to kill cats and small or infirm dogs. I feared that our aged kelpie, Kate, would stumble upon the Bufo invader and meet her demise.

I am hardly an ecological purist who would remove every exotic animal as soon as it appeared in an ecosystem not its own, primarily because I figure that at one point or another all of us on this planet have been “invasive species” — or shall I say, pilgrims in search of a better home. Most creatures who visit South Florida, especially when coming from a cold, gray climate or an oppressive political atmosphere, never want to leave. They congregate here and sometimes reproduce so profligately that they are impossible to contain, much less to remove.

In the years I have kept it, the pond has had a mixed record on exotics. For several years, it harbored a visiting African lungfish that trained me to feed it whenever it surfaced with its mouth open. The lungfish prospered until its owner took it away, but as a rule nonnative fish and plants have faltered.

Since the 1930s, people have brought Bufos into Florida, usually to serve as biological pest controls in sugar country around Lake Okeechobee. but the current Bufo population in South Florida appears descended from a group that escaped from a wildlife dealer at the Miami airport in 1955. Similar releases in Australia to control pests in sugar cane fields have created an ecological nightmare that could be titled “Invasion of the Cane Toads.”

Still, the notion that the Bufo had to be removed remained abstract, something I should do but could delay as long as I was vigilant with Kate. Since I take no pleasure in killing, that studied ambiguity suited me. I even passed up several opportunities to dispatch it. I hoped it would voluntarily decamp, but I knew it was growing large enough and brazen enough to threaten our dog, who often visited the pond.

I knew I had to act, though, when I learned that several neighborhood dogs had died from Bufotoxin.

Reportedly, the humane way to kill a Bufo is to apply a painkiller and then freeze it in a plastic bag, but I did not want to attempt to catch it, because Parkinson’s disease has skewed my balance and dulled my reflexes. I had other plans. After failing to find a gig — a multi-tined spear for hunting fish and frogs — I manufactured my own using oversize deep-sea fishing hooks. I bided my time until I found the Bufo squatting on an exposed piece of limestone in the middle of the pond. I speared it with my gig at the base of its head and unceremoniously dumped it into a garbage bag I then sealed.

I acted to protect our dog without a thought toward other consequences. But within a week of the Bufo’s death, I began to notice changes in and around the pond. Young and old gambusia appeared in significant numbers, swimming freely and openly. I am no expert on Bufo behavior, but this one had an ability to knock down plants growing around its chosen resting spots. Once this Bufo was removed, the pond plants grew lush. Anole lizards, whose absence I had silently noted for some time, became everywhere apparent, and I have begun to hear tree frogs again, as well. Even better, the mosquito population collapsed, leading me to conclude that although the Bufo did not appear to eat the mosquito-loving gambusia, its physical presence had somehow intimidated them and forced them into hiding.

I cannot claim to have restored “balance” to our backyard ecosystem. I am even uncertain how to define balance for a fenced area that is dominated by a swimming pool and a mango tree that feeds us and numerous other animals.

There might be other plausible explanations for what I see, but I can say the available evidence indicates that removing an imperialist bully has improved the health of our pond and yard, not to mention our comfort.

The weakness of the toad king and how to beat it in the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

There are plenty of side quests in the Final Fantasy VII Remake and while some of them are the game’s best missions, a lot of them are annoying chores that have Cloud acting with the same irritation as yourself. One of these boring quests comes in chapter eight and it’s called Kids On Patrol. Not only do you have to find a bunch of happy-go-lucky kids, but you also have to defeat their Toad King. And, to make quick with this supposed toad, you’ll want to exploit its weakness.

As previously mentioned, this quest comes in chapter eight when the Final Fantasy VII Remake begins to change for the better or worse depending on your thoughts about the cloaked keepers of fate who resemble death eaters from Harry Potter. Although that specific plot point has had some old-school fans cursing Nomura’s involvement, there’s no denying that chapter eight is one of the best as you get to bond with the witty and genuinely amusing Aerith, and you also get to take a break from battling robots to pick flowers.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to frolic through flowers forever as you quickly have to return to the obedient lifestyle of being an ex-soldier who has to carry out chores for everyone. And this includes beating a toad king for a bunch of kids for an insulting discount.

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What is the toad king weakness in FF7 Remake?

The weakness of the toad king in the Final Fantasy VII Remake is ice/blizzard.

This means you’ll want to have an ice materia equipped to either Cloud or Aerith (or both) before battling the toad king.

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We’d recommend equipping it to Cloud as he’s easier to control and inflict more damage with thanks to being faster and stronger.

How to beat the toad king in FF7 Remake

You’ll need to exploit its weakness to ice to beat the toad king in the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Rather than using standard blizzard, use blizzara instead as this will deal a far greater amount of damage.

While it’s a Hedgehog Pie King rather than a toad king, you’ll want to assess it as soon as possible so you can gather more battle intel for Chadley to complete his reports.

Once you’ve done that, simply hone in on the toad king with blizzara and operator mode attacks. Seeing as the more powerful variant depletes MP much faster, you’ll want to have an ether stored in your items (two should be more than enough).

Some would recommend defeating the standard Hedgehog Pies first as opposed to the King, but you should simply focus on the king because trying to kill his minions first will result in you being overwhelmed and easily annoyed.

They’re constantly moving about the place, they become healed and enhanced, and they keep bouncing on top of your head. Simply put, they’re annoying a-holes that deserve to be killed.

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By focusing on the king with blizzara and operator mode attacks, you should be able to stagger it and then quickly defeat it. Just make sure to roll out the way when one of its minions tries to bounce on your head as there’s nothing that’ll make you more livid.

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What is a Cane Toad?

The Cane toad also known as the Bufo, Marine Toad or Giant Toad is a large amphibian that is considered an invasive species to Florida. The body of a Cane Toad is usually 4 to 9 inches in size and is tan, reddish-brown to grayish-brown. It’s back is marked with spots and will have large, triangular parotoid glads on the shoulders. Unlike native Southern Toads, they do not have ridges or crests on top of the head.

Photo Credit: University of Florida (IFAS)

How does the Cane Toad toxin affect animals and humans?

The skin-gland secretions from a Cane Toad is called Bufotoxin. It is highly toxic and can be lethal to wildlife and pets that try to consume or bite them. Once bitten or swallowed, the symptoms of poisoning include, but are not limited, to excessive drooling and extremely red gums, head-shaking, crying, loss of coordination, sometimes convulsions and can lead to death. The toxin can also effect humans by irritating your skin and eyes.

How to care for your pet once an encounter has happened?

What you do immediately after the incident is crucial to the outcome of your pet’s safety. Veterinarians recommend to first wiping your pet’s tongue and gums with a cloth. Secondly, wash your pet’s mouth out with water for approximately ten minutes. The goal is to rinse the mouth, tongue and gums without letting your pet swallow the water. If your pet is large, use a hose. If your pet is small, put him in the sink and use the facet or sink sprayer. Lastly, after rinsing your pet’s mouth, take him to the nearest veterinarian.

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences outlines the above items in an instructional video. Click here to view this video.

How can I deter Cane Toads from my property?

The most effective way to deter Cane Toads from your yard is to limit or remove potential habitat and food sources. There are several ways to do this such as cutting your grass regularly, filling in any holes around structures, trimming shrubs near ground level, removing clutter around your home and bring outdoor pet food and water bowls inside at night.

Can I remove Cane Toads from my property? The answer is yes.

Cane Toads are not protected in Florida, except by anti-cruelty laws and can be removed from private property year-round. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) encourages the extermination of Cane Toads from private properties. Captured Cane Toads cannot be relocated and released elsewhere. Hired wildlife trappers are available to assist with the removal of these toads, which can be found by searching online. Homeowners may also remove Cane Toads from their property. Click here to find out more about how to humanely euthanasia Cane Toads.

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences outlines removing Cane Toads with an instructional video. Click here to view this video.

Native southern toads provide benefits by consuming insects, vermin and pests while invasive toads are outcompeting other wildlife for resources

By Nathan Mayberg – Editor | Sep 2, 2020

How to kill toads

The invasive cane toad is much larger than the native southern toad.

If you have been living in Southwest Florida, you have likely been made aware of the invasive cane toads, known for secreting a milky toxin which has been known to be deadly to dogs and most species which try to bite them.

But how do you tell the good toads from the bad?

The answer is their size. A fully grown adult cane toad grows to about 7-10 inches compared to a southern toad which is half the size.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is concerned enough that it actually encourages landowners to remove cane toads found on their property or through the hiring of wildlife trappers.

While that may present issues to some, making sure you are targeting the right toad is important as Southwest Florida is home to the native southern toad who is a positive contributor to the local ecological system, feeding primarily on insects including unwanted vermin and pests. There are also a number of other frogs found in Florida which are not threatening.

“Southern toads are very valuable as controllers of insect pests and also provide a vital food source for other animals,” said Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) Education and Outreach Director Rachel Rainbolt.

At adulthood, the easiest way to tell the difference between the species is their size. Invasive cane toads, native to South America and Central America, are much larger. The invaders, introduced in the 1930’s and 1940’s to control agricultural pests to sugar cane, can reach a length of 7-10 inches and “are a lot more massive,” Rainbolt said. The southern toad, which can get confused with the cane toads, will grow to only a maximum of four inches long.

“Really, just the size alone if you are looking at an adult cane toad should give you a great indicator of whether or not that is your native versus your invasive toad,” Rainbolt said.

Compared to frogs, toads have a much rougher skin. The smaller southern toads have crests behind their eyes and along their heads, while invasive cane toads lack the crests. The cane toads have large triangular glands along their bodies which secrete the toxin, while the southern toad’s gland are oval.

The cane toads are usually about the bulkiest toad you will find in the region and who can almost resemble a small turtle in their shape. They “essentially outcompete native wildlife for resources and now they’ve become a huge problem here in Florida,” Rainbolt said.

Rainbolt said the danger from toads is that they are toxic at all stages of life. Most toads, including southern toads, are typically only toxic when they reach adulthood.

The cane toads are “not a super-aggressive species of wildlife” but will secrete the poison when disturbed or attacked. Primarily nocturnal, the toads can become disturbed by pets going out for an evening walk. If you believe your dog came into contact with a cane toad, “it is of the utmost importance that you call your veterinarian as soon as possible,” Rainbolt said.

Signs that your pet came into contact with a cane toad can include red, puffy gums and going into a seizure. A pet can die within 15 minutes of being poisoned by a cane toad, Rainbolt said.

Ways to discourage cane toads on one’s property is the mowing of lawn, trimming bushes and discarding debris where they can live.

How to kill toads

How to kill toads

Cane Toads have a number of behavioural traits that make them vulnerable to control through people action.

They are fairly large, slow moving and like to move into open areas to feed, making them fairly easy to find. It is these things that make toadBusting or the manual collection of toads by people effective. Sadly it takes a lot of effort to completely eradicate toads from and area with this method, but it does work and even a little bit makes a difference to the numbers of toads in an area.

They also seem to be attracted to lights (or the insects that come to the lights) and so can be trapped in significant numbers in the right conditions.

The biggest factor that makes toads vulnerable is a biological weakness, their vulnerability to water loss through a process known as evaporative water loss.

Their skin is porous allowing water to soak in, and out, depending on conditions ! Toads evolved in the wet tropical regions of South America where there is rainfall and moisture throughout the year. They do not have burrowing, aestivation ( A process where their body functions slow down), or other water conservation strategies like our Australian native frogs. Just think for a moment and you will realise that virtually none of our native frog species are active in the Hot late dry season in the top end. They all have strategies they have developed to cope with long periods without water!

This weakness in the toads make up causes some to die each Dry season but most of them survive by moving to a water body. This is why we see such massive congregations of cane toads around water in the Dry season. Research from Prof. Ross Alford and Dr. Mike Letnic and observations from our own work indicate cane toads have to get to a moisture source every 4 to 6 days, and in some parts of the NT in the hot dry season around October they may need water every second day.

The fact they are forced to move to a water source and stay there for the Dry period, (research indicates they do not move more than 400 metres from the water for the entire dry period) is what we call the “congregation effect”. It is this more than any other factor that makes cane toad control feasible in the Wet Dry tropics and probably means that local toad populations could be eradicated in periods of drought and long hot dry periods in summer in other parts of Australia.

The sign to tell you when this effect has started is when the numbers of male and female toads are about equal around the waters edge at night. During the wet season the females do not stay near the water unless they are ready to lay eggs. They spend their time away from the main water bodies. Our wet season surveys find over 95% males around water, our Dry season surveys about half and half.

While cane toads are stuck in such locations is the time to get rid of them. ToadBusts at this time are much more effective and fencing and other control methods work best as well. The single most effective way to get rid of cane toads is to use an exclusion fence to stop them getting to their water source. In this way you can get rid of every toad at a site within a few days!

Two centuries separate the creation of the Boston Common and the Public Garden, and what a distinction that period made. Not each bug is a pest, so take the time to learn the variations amongst the advantageous bugs and the damaging insects in your garden. The gypsy moth caterpillar is a critical pest of oak forests in the northern US. Other caterpillars attack garden plants. The Utes only lived at the Garden of the Gods for part of the year, typically in winter. To preserve the serenity and non-pollution of this gorgeous garden we discourage the use of golf carts on the boardwalk unless absolutely essential, and only after seeking and getting permission to do so.

Fieldtrips, Assemblies, and Unique Applications meet E-STEM, California State and Subsequent Generation Science Standards. Adventures in Neo-Victorian, Wild, Shade, Organic and Native Plant Gardening, Garden Design, and Garden Restoration. Advantageous bugs offer you biological pest control with no pesticides, but they can not get rid of all of the pests in the garden. In this post I showcase some of the diversity of insect life I’ve identified in the garden (and the property) this summer. Since the rocks at Garden of the Gods formed as a result of the forces of erosion, they, too, are vulnerable to it. They won’t be there forever.

Hair, as well as purchased scent powders or sprays that are utilised for creating this invisible deer border around your garden region have to be reapplied on a standard basis or following each and every rain. Staff have helped to build the Vallejo People’s Garden from the ground up, following the instance set by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack when he began a garden subsequent to USDA offices on the National Mall in 2009. But for the unwary insect, the sticky web of a garden spider brings certain death. When the black and yellow garden spider senses danger in its way, it drops down in the ground and hides for some time. BBG planned to transfer the herbarium – again, without announcement – out of state, either to the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) or the Smithsonian.

Moon gardens function white flowers and foliage that will glow in the moonlight and also sweet smelling flowers to please our human senses and which will also attract pollinators like colorful moths and other flying insects. Predatory insects are the advantageous garden insects seeking out prey to satisfy their voracious appetites. Inside this webbing is, or was, a large neighborhood of critters, consisting of about a single hundred spider siblings, as properly as opportunistic parasites and scavengers. The beautiful garden is a living museum of exotic, uncommon and special stunning plants and trees. If you uncover a spirally vertical and orb internet that radiates from a center, most possibly it is spun by the black and yellow garden spider. To be outside of the mark is not to follow after this racial mindset and White Pride for their names was not written in the book of Life.

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Let’s all do our portion to hold Garden of the Gods park pristine for all the years to come. I’ve grown moon flowers but I’ve never ever devoted an complete garden to evening and night bloomers. Killing off the beneficial garden insects also opens up the garden to a re-infestation of pests as new populations of negative bugs move in from the surrounding places. They will have ten instances a better life than the descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel and they glorify God for feeling so blessed. Gorgeous, classic and economical, these lights appear very good practically anywhere, and give your garden space a whimsical and Old World really feel. If your garden is fairly shady, it may well be greater to take into account powered versions of these lights. I want I could have a moon garden but it really is fairly tough to make a single on a condo balcony.

Indoor and Outdoor Dangers to Toads and Frogs

All you need to do is a simple web search and you will see that amphibians around the world are in trouble. And as they are the “beacons of nature”, it means we are in trouble, too. But then, you knew that, right?

Human greed is one of the most powerful forces on earth and almost impossible to combat and it is undoubtedly at the root of all environmental crisises. Clear cutting is continuing to destroy not only the rainforests, but also forests located everywhere else. Toxic dumping continues to destroy both land and water sources. Chemicals, sludge, broken glass, sharp rusted metal, animal traps intended for other unfortunate creatures, acid rain, pesticides and a host of other horrible dangers are now found everywhere. These things hurt all wild life and in the end, humans too. But pollution doesn’t stop outside.

Indoor and garden dangers lurk everywhere, too. The average home might not be much safer than the polluted outdoor environment I’ve described above. For example, if you use repellents to get rid of unwanted insects in your home, you might be exposing your frogs and toads to deadly fumes which mist up in the air and land as micro-particles in their tanks and thus contaminate the dirt and water. Oh sure, the box or can might say its “safe for pets”, but it isn’t. Usually by “pets” they mean dogs and cats. I doubt its safe for them either, but it is absolutely not safe to toads and frogs. The same is true of household cleaners. Even Lysol and window sprays must not be used in the vicinity of amphibians and if you must use anything, try to minimize the usage. Keep the room well ventilated and temporarily cover the animal’s tanks. Remember, you are much bigger and do not breath through your skin to the extent that they do. Its important to put yourself in their place. If you can smell it, its a potential hazard to animals.

Frankly, it is always preferable to keep your toads and frogs in a dedicated room that is sealed off from the rest of the house and optimally, is continuously running a hepa/ion combination filter. Even if the dedicated room is your bedroom, at least if you keep the door shut and a filter running, both you and your amphibian friends will enjoy the benefits of being in a cleaner air environment. You would definitely notice the difference of how much better you sleep.

In the garden, the use of pesticides can kill amphibians. If you use a chemical pesticide in your garden, you won’t likely find many frogs or toads there. Organic gardens are not only safer for you, but attract toads. Toads are a garden’s best friend. Pesticides are deadly to toads and in the end, to you, who is ingesting the chemicals through food and/or exposure. Like pesticides, the same is true if anyone is tossing old cigarette butts on the lawn. As they decompose, toxic carcinogens leak from the used filters into the soil. The dark brown staining on the filter contains the equivalent of a small toxic waste dump. This is why smoke is so deadly and destroys human lung tissue. It is likewise dangerous to animals, especially small animals.

The fact is that it takes many, many years for the filters to decompose completely. Not only is it a nasty and uncouth habit, you can be sure you are hurting frogs and toads and your lawn. Even the birds who eat the worms are affected as the deadly chemicals seep into your soil. It would only take the remaining nicotine found in 200 butts to kill a human, so imagine being a worm or other small insect or a frog or toad trying to soak your backside in order to hydrate, but instead, you’re soaking that deadly yellow-brown water because there was a cigarette butt in your water. Please read this short page for some more food for thought. The article titled, “Mother Earth is Not An Ashtray” was written by cessetion councelor John Polito: http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Butts.html.

Get an outdoor ashtray that is windproof and won’t leak in the rain. Even a big bucket with sand is vastly better than throwing discarded cigarette butts on the lawn! Sure some of you might be laughing, but trust me when I tell you I have known people who did this! I even got a letter from a woman who told me her husband did this and it wasn’t until a few years after his death to emphysema that she found toads coming around to her yard. She had lived there 12 years and never seen one.

Of course, everybody is aware of the dangers of second hand smoke and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). There is no safe level of it for either the smoker or anyone or anything in its path. Frogs and toads need lots of clean air because they breath through their skins. Many smokers do not realize how badly they stink and how badly their home stinks. When people smoke indoors, the smoke is not just comprised of air. It is latent with things like tar and nicotine and about 4,000 other chemicals. Some of these chemicals are illegal and have been banned, but regardless of how lethal they are, they are still sold in cigarettes, legally! All these components land on clothing, furniture, walls and carpets and quickly begin to outgas with that familair stench. Just clean a mirror or even a wall with windex and a paper towel and you can see the nastiest film settled on the item you are cleaning. With this in mind, imagine being a tiny frog or toad relying on fresh air!

The obvious best solution is to stop smoking in your house, both for your own sake and theirs. Its bad enough to smoke, but if you smoke indoors, you are committed to breathing in all the ETS which does not dissipate so quickly. You are far better off to get an outdoor ashtray or pail and go outside (yes, even in the cold – that’s what coats and gloves are for; if my husband did it, anyone can; though thankfully he’s quit). If you refuse to stop smoking in your house, don’t keep animals. Its not fair to them. Every living thing has a right to clean air! A smoker removes that right from anyone in their path (and sadly, usually doesn’t care). Failing all that, the next best solution is to dedicate a room to the animals where nobody smokes and then put a hepa/ion filter in the room which runs 24/7. This will not eliminate the smoke. A non-smoker or former smoker can tell as soon as they walk in. But it will reduce it to some extent and the animals are better off than they would be without it.

Another source of serious indoor pollution is from paints and particularly airbrushing. If you airbrush indoors, you should wear a respirator, and the room should have an exhaust fan. The fine mist that comes from an airbrush is not safe to breath and should be kept far away from your pets. If you must airbrush in a room with your toads, you should move the toads to another room or better yet, move your airbrushing operation to another room if possible.

The fact is, amphibians are wild animals. Even those bred for the pet trade are not domesticated animals. If you are going to keep them, keep them safe and provide them with what they need most – clean air and clean water. Proper cleanliness in their tank, clean air and clean, purified water are your best bets to keeping amphibians successfully.

How to kill toads

I manage a lodge in the Groton forest on behalf of Vermont State Parks. One warm fall day, while standing outside the lodge, I noticed movement inside one of the window wells around the basement. Realizing that something noteworthy was about to happen, I ran inside to alert our guests.

Together we all crouched to watch the methodical shaking of the earth below us. Slowly the ground moved a little to the left, then to the right, then there was a pause, then left again, right again. Eventually something reached the surface. I reached my hand out and gently touched the rough, bumpy, and very well camouflaged back of an American toad. It continued to emerge, fully exposing its body. The guests and I started pondering all sorts of questions about toads and their habits, but the biggest question of all was: where do toads go in the winter?

The American toad, Anaxyrus americanus (formerly Bufo americanus) typically hibernates underground, below the frost line. In the Northeast, toads are driven into their burrows sometime between September and October and re-emerge from April to May. Research suggests that toads may return to the same overwintering sites year after year. They may be loyal, but they don’t appear to be very picky: they live in gardens, forests, fields, and urban places. They also overwinter in a variety of sites.

What they need is loose soil to dig. Toads usually burrow one to two feet into the ground to get below the frost line, although younger toads have been observed burrowing less deeply. They will use existing mammal burrows if available. Ant mounds are also common overwintering sites. In urban areas, toads will often seek out foundations where cracks exist and burrow their way down into those crevices. Some toads overwinter in old tree stumps, and high concentrations of toads are often found under rocks and logs in wet areas around springs. Toads are thought to be solitary hibernators, however, when suitable habitat is scarce, communal overwintering has been documented. Over 600 Canadian toads were found burrowed together in a sandy hillside in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.

Toads enter their burrows at the same time they dig them. They back in snugly as their hind legs do the digging. As they recede into the burrow, the opening caves in over their heads. The toad draws its toes under itself, bends its head downwards, and enters into a torpid state. As long as the toad does not freeze, it will wake once the spring temperatures consistently start rising above 40 degrees.

I wondered how climate change might affect toads, so I contacted Jim Andrews, leader of the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Project, and asked him if toads were resurfacing too early during unseasonably warm winter weather. He hadn’t noticed anything related to this, but he did wonder what a future with less snow cover might mean for toads. “If snow becomes less frequent, that could affect the depth of the soil freezing temperatures and result in greater mortality in toads and other amphibians,” Andrews said.

The toad mortality rate is impossible to predict in any given winter, but one study in Minnesota tracked 28 overwintering toads and found that 32 percent of them died. It stands to reason that a toad’s risk of becoming a meal decreases in the winter, as many of their predators, including snakes, skunks and raccoons, either hibernate or hole up for extended periods of time.

As I sit here with snowflakes falling about me, I think back to the warm, sunny days with the toads chomping away on insects in the lodge’s window wells. I hope they will survive these cold months undisturbed. But for now, sleep well little toads. We’ll be waiting for you in the spring!