Hi Daily Waggers,
As promised I have some tips on "toad proofing" your yard for the safety of your fur kids as well as for the toads who come to visit. Having now read a fair amount on the topic, and seen lots of photos, I will tell you that many toad species look alike. So do not be alarmed that all toads are toxic, as many are not.
That said, better safe than sorry for the sake of all critters involved. Here are the tips:
- Knowledge is power, so become informed on what wildlife you have in your area.
- Do your best to find reliable sources of information (e.g. a local veterinarian, wildlife rehabilitator, or sanctuary), as Internet searches can lead you astray with stress-inducing misinformation.
- Learn the distinctions between truly toxic/life-threatening substances and those that simply upset the stomach or cause other minor symptoms.
- The same goes for local foliage, household plants, food items, insects, cleaning products, etc.
- Finally, always have your nearest 24-hour emergency vet info. handy.
Regardless of whether a toad is toxic, if you have small humans or companion critters, it is likely in the best interest of all involved to safely deter toads from your yard. Some tips for doing so:
- Because toads eat insects, remove any standing water and turn lights off at night.
- Toads use water sources to breed in, so again minimize access to these sources.
- If you have a pool or pond of some sort: Shade cloth can be placed around water source and needs to be a minimum of 60 centimeters in height.
- If your fence has space for toads to hop through, a mesh material or shade cloth with a minimum of 25 millimeter squares can be used to block open areas from toad visitors.
If you spot a toad, you can safely relocate him to outside your fenced area.
- Put on rubber gloves and safety glasses, then gently pick him up by his legs and place him outside of your barrier, but with access to some nearby water.
- If you are relocating him further away, or after a period of time, be sure to put him in a container with air holes (in the shade) and a bit of water as he waits to travel.
- Be cautious not to relocate him to somewhere that other domestic critters (including human kids) can get to him.
- A deceased toxic toad remains toxic, so take care and seek expert advice when removing him.
-Sterilize your hands and any clothing or surface that has been in contact with your toad friend.
Hope that helps protect many a fellow creature!
Dr. Pia Salk