A Toad To-Do List

Posted by Pia

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.

Back
1 of 6
It's true! Dressing like a toad is often safer than eating one.

1 It's true! Dressing like a toad is often safer than eating one.

Ditto for turtles.

2 Ditto for turtles.

And dragons.

3 And dragons.

Even red dragons -- this is from the Martha Stewart Pets Halloween collection at PetSmart

4 Even red dragons -- this is from the Martha Stewart Pets Halloween collection at PetSmart

If you must chew on frogs, may we recommend the tug-toy variety? This guy is from Martha Stewart Pets for PetSmart.

5 If you must chew on frogs, may we recommend the tug-toy variety? This guy is from Martha Stewart Pets for PetSmart.

Or this little critter, also from Martha's new collection. He likes being chewed so much, he squeaks!

6 Or this little critter, also from Martha's new collection. He likes being chewed so much, he squeaks!

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!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Martha Stewart Pets dragon costume at PetSmart

Martha Stewart Pets frog tug toy at PetSmart

Martha Stewart Pets frog squeak toy at PetSmart

Comments (7)

  • Very cute costumes Dr. Pia. We don't have toads. Once we had a huge snapping turtle that came onto our property. My mom tipped over a wheel barrow and left it walk right on in and then she wheeled him back down to the creek. He was gigantic. He filled up the whole wheel barrow. She gave us all a lecture to stay away from the turtle if he ever came into the yard again. But my grandma has lived on this property for over 50 years and she said that was the first snapping turtle she ever saw here. Ge looked prehistoric. Whew.
    Maddox

  • Way to cute!!!! :) great tips...yep better safe then sorry!
    =^..^=

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. Gee Maddox I’ll bet that turtle was really a big one if it filled up a wheelbarrow. I wouldn’t want to get too close to one of those; might take a foot off. When I play I reach out and “paw” with my front feet. The cool weather didn’t last very long here; back up into the 90’s again. It should be getting cooler by the end of the month. We still need rain; haven’t seen any for almost three weeks now. I guess I will have my morning nap in front of the air conditioner vent now.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hey Dr Pia!
    You had Mimi & me laughing today...I usually don't like to wear clothes, but Mimi said I would look fierce in a bat costume since I am black with my big chihuahua ears!
    I ate a toad last summer while Mimi was yelling at me to drop it. Really grossed her out. It has been very dry here this summer, no toads. I guess I better not eat anymore, even though I really like the texture.
    Hey Kirby, hang in there, the hot weather is almost over.
    love ya all,
    Rebel

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thanks again for a great informative blog posting! Your photos are very charming! It's good to know this information about toxic toads and important to protect our animals in every way we can. Don't have any toads yet, but found a dead big raccoon in an old dog house in our front yard. Thank God it wasn't in the fenced area where Dudley walks around all day. Wasn't sure what to do with it so I called Animal Control and they said if it weighed less than 20 pounds I could put it in my garbage can. Don't know why it died, but it could be diseased and that could spread through the garbage at the dump. Will have to take it there because I won't bury it in my yard-awful problem. Hope you have a nice weekend and see you next week! Jan

  • ..snapping turtles, dead coons, yikes!..remember fellow canines it is a jungle out there..our ancestors had words of wisdom for us..don't let your guard down....over and out, cora-belle, the blue heeler

  • Glad you brought up toads. I remember the huge toads in Miami, Florida -- deadly especially to dogs who normally just want to chomp on the jumping critter. When "Indie" (great mutt from a shelter) got hold of one, quickly got a hose to rinse out his whole mouth area. And the only thing that would kill a buffo was dousing the toad with salt and putting a bucket over it so he couldn't get away. You didn't really want to handle the toad as the poison secrets from its glands. I know it's not humane, but too many of my neighbors lost their favorite cats/dogs to those creatures.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.