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How to Attract Toads and Frogs to Your Garden
A natural and pesticide-free way to make your landscape pests-free is to learn how to attract toads and frogs to your garden and yard areas. Here’s an in-depth post on how to attract toads and frogs and encourage them to hang out in your garden!
If you’re an outdoorsy type like me, you are no stranger to toads and frogs. These cute amphibians can be seen in abundance in gardens, ponds, forests, and creeks. While it is fun to have this wildlife creature in your yard, toads and frogs are also beneficial in the garden.
They are seasoned predators with insatiable appetites. Since toads and frogs love dining on pests and insects, they are beneficial, and having them in your garden help improve your organic garden. It means you no longer need to spray your plants with chemicals or share your produce with the insect population.
That said, it doesn’t mean that you run to a pet store to buy toads and frogs and deploy them into your garden. Having an army of these amphibians is never a good idea for many reasons. For instance, many pet stores have non-native species.
Moreover, in many areas, it is illegal to deploy non-native toads and frogs for many reasons. For example, removing native species from their natural habitats makes it hard for them to survive. These non-native species can also take over the ecosystem, crowd out, and kill native species.
So, the best you can do is attract toads and frogs naturally by creating a habitat just for them.
Difference between Toads and Frogs
Although toads and frogs both look the same, there are some differences between them. While both toads and frogs are amphibians, the former has bumpy, dry skin and mostly lives on the land. They sleep through winter below the frost line.
On the flip, frogs have smooth and moist skin and love spending time in the water (or near it). They undertake grassy fields while hunting for food. However, both toads and frogs eat pests and other insects that harm your landscape when it comes to food.
|Toads eat anything that moves around and fit in their mouth.||They eat anything that moves around and fit in their mouth.|
|They have dry, bumpy skin.||Frogs usually have mucilaginous skin.|
|Toads love spending time in dryer environments and hiding in tall grasses and plants.||They like spending time in humid environments and living around or in the water.|
|They generally have broader bodies and short legs.||Frogs generally have narrow bodies and long legs with wobble feet.|
Benefits of Attracting Toads and Frogs to Your Garden
So, why should you attract toads and frogs to your landscape? Let’s dive deeper to discuss the benefits they can offer to your houseplants and the general ecosystem.
· Help Prevent Pesticides
One of the tremendous benefits of attracting toads and frogs to your garden is that they significantly reduce the need for pesticides. Gardening enthusiasts who want to have an organic garden would like to avoid the use of pesticides by attracting these amphibians.
While they save you a few bucks, they also greatly help minimize the use of chemical sprays, toxic pesticides, and larvicides. On top of that, a chemical-free garden is also incredibly environmentally friendly. Frogs and toads are your cheap and environment-friendly pest killers and great allies of your plants.
· Kill Harmful Insects
Although young tadpoles love dining on algae and vegetation, adult toads and frogs do not harm plants. It means toads and frogs are excellent gardening allies and dine on bugs, including larvae, slugs, beetles, snails, termites, to protect your produce.
Moreover, the United States Agriculture Department (USDA) stats indicate that an adult toad eats up to 10,000 bugs in one season, including flies, mosquitoes, and gnats. They also dine on grubs that are responsible for destroying the garden grass. While toads and frogs like burrowing into mud and dirt, they eat insects that harm the roots of your plants.
· They Aren’t Aggressive.
Some people see toads and frogs as aggressive amphibians, which isn’t true. They aren’t bad in any way for your landscape. They are laid-back and live their lives out of sight. These amphibians aren’t aggressive and do not cause any harm to you and your pets.
However, a few toads and frogs species release toxins that your four-legged friends may find irritant. So, try to keep your furry friends away from your landscape.
How to Attract Toads and Frogs to Your Garden?
Attracting toads and frogs to your garden have two benefits. Firstly, these amphibians look cute, and secondly, they eat pests that cause harm to your produces.
So, if you want to attract toads and frogs to your garden, the very first step is to stop spraying chemical fertilizers. Amphibians use their skin to hydrate and breathe, meaning they will absorb whatever is in the environment.
Many gardening enthusiasts use fertilizers, such as pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers that could poison toads and frogs. So, organically treating your landscape helps attract more toads and frogs. In this regard, some steps include:
- Avoid using synthetic fertilizers and use nutrient-rich soils as an alternative. It will also help to keep your houseplants healthy.
- In order to maintain soil richness, it is crucial to rotate your produces.
- In case you are using fertilizer, make sure that it is organic.
Now, without any further ado, let’s find out how to attract toads and frogs to your garden.
Best Ways to Attract Toads and Frogs to Your Garden
1. Install Small Ponds
Creating a pond in your garden is an easy way to attract toads and frogs to your garden. Having a pond in your garden also come with many benefits. Since frogs love an environment with enough moisture and spend most of their time living near or in the water, having a pond is essential.
It also gives frogs a place to lay eggs for the next generation. While having a pond in a partially shady place is excellent, make sure it gets enough sun. A relatively shallow pond and no deeper than 20 inches is perfect. Rather than installing a pond with a sharp drop-off, you may want one with gradually sloping slides.
If your pond doesn’t have tapering edges, consider providing some incline so the amphibians can quickly come out of the water.
However, if installing a pond isn’t an option, placing multiple shallow containers is an excellent alternative. In this case, fill the containers with water and place them in the shade. Since amphibians don’t drink water from their mouth, they use it for sitting in and soaking it through their skin.
2. Provide Food for Toads and Frogs
An easy way to attract toads and frogs to your garden is to provide them with food. These amphibians keep pests at bay and prevent them from causing any harm to your plants. They eat mosquitoes, moths, snails, larvae, beetles, flies, etc.
Consider planting different shrubs and plants in your garden native to your area. Moreover, mulching and keeping a compost heap will make your garden a magnet to toads and frogs where they can live and breed. Additionally, planting different seasoning flowering plants is an excellent way to attract insects, supplying an abundance of food to amphibians.
3. Provide Toads and Frogs with a Damp Shaded Shelter
Toads and frogs like spending time under shelters. Since they hydrate and breathe through their skin, too much sun exposure can make them dehydrated. That’s why these amphibians are most active at night.
One of the best ways to attract toads and frogs to your garden is to create a cave-like shelter for them so that they can rest during the day. Make sure the shelter is out of direct sunlight. When creating a haven, using an overturned ceramic pot is helpful. Prop it up in a shady location against some rocks and ensure that it provides quick access to water.
Leave some space between the rim and earth, so the toads and frogs can quickly go in and out.
4. Provide Them Cover
Keep one of its edges covered with leaves regardless of where your pond or any other water resource is. Having grasses and plant leafy perennials around the water edges will provide enough protection, dampness, and protection to amphibians.
Moreover, if you wish to invite local species, growing native plant species around water is helpful. You can go for plants, such as native grasses, lilies, ferns, or ground covers, such as shrubs and vines.
5. Keep the Grass Short
Keeping your landscape’s grass low is another helpful way to increase the lifespan of toads and frogs. Since toads and frogs hide in tall grass, they can fall victim to a lawnmower blade. Make sure that the grass is low so you can easily spot if there’s a rogue amphibian in your path.
6. Avoid Toxic Plants
Avoiding poisonous plants is another way to attract toads and frogs to your garden. Planting certain species of plants and vegetables can poison toads and frogs. For instance, vegetables are harmful to amphibians, including rhubarb, potatoes, eggplant, and snow peas. Similarly, flowers that could cause harm include daffodils, hyacinth, azaleas, hydrangeas, and honeysuckle.
7. Keep Your Children and Pets Away
Providing a safe habitat is an excellent way to attract toads and frogs to your garden. Kids are naturally curious about their surroundings, so they may smash the shelter you have created for toads and frogs. Also, your furry friend may see these amphibians as their chasing toys or may dine on them.
It is not only a hazard for toads and frogs, but can also cause danger to your kids and pets. When threatened, amphibians exude a burning foul odor. Moreover, oral contact with frogs can trigger allergic reactions because these amphibians are armed with poisonous glands. That said, make sure to build an enclosure for the frog’s shelter or make the habitat somewhere safe.
8. Measures for Winters
Since amphibians are cold-blooded creatures, they hibernate in winters. Living in cold climates means you need to take extra measures. During their hibernation period, provide them with appropriate hibernating shelters. For instance, you can dig a few holes near the caves, fill them with compost, and leave litter.
It will help keep the toads and frogs safe and warm throughout the winter season. You can also consider dead logs as an alternative.
9. Keep the Trees Leafy
Another way to attract toads and frogs to your garden is to keep your trees leafy. Do not trim branches or back bushes located near the water and food sources. This will give tree toads and frogs a natural habitat. Moreover, keeping your garden trees and shrubs leafy will provide frogs a perfect hunting ground while also providing them a cover.
Furthermore, keeping the light on at night is also suitable for attracting toads and frogs. It is because tree toads and frogs dine on moths and insects that are attracted to light. So, keeping your garden light on during the night means you are providing them with a feeding spot.
10. Compost and Leaves Litter
Even though they reside in your garden, the army of toads and frogs can drastically reduce if you fail to provide them with a good food source. So, an intelligent way to do that is to keep a compost heap ready. These heaps will serve as a magnet to bugs and insects, attracting a large number of these insects.
Moreover, avoid removing leaf litter from your garden. Not only will it act as mulch, but it will also provide shelter to your amphibian friends from predators. Snails, worms, spiders, slugs, millipedes, centipedes, etc., lurk in leaf litters, becoming an instant meal for toads and frogs.
Common Questions Related to Attracting Toads and Frogs to Your Garden
Do Toads and Frogs Eat Mosquitoes?
Toads and frogs don’t typically dine on mosquitoes. However, since they eat anything that moves around or past them, they dine on occasional mosquitoes. For tadpoles, they love eating mosquito larvae, which means they help reduce the mosquito population. Tadpoles, frogs, and toads can all eat mosquitoes, but they don’t rely on them because of their diet.
Do Toads Eat Slugs?
Slugs are adaptable and carry a voracious appetite for an array of plants. There are plenty of organic techniques to control slugs, including beer-charged slug traps, various barriers, growing sacrificial plants, and nighttime flashlight petrol.
However, by far, the most efficient method to eliminate slugs is to deploy their natural enemies like the toads, frogs, birds, etc. These animals happily gulp down slugs as tasty tidbits. So, making a home for slug-eating amphibians can significantly reduce the population of slugs.
Are Toads and Frogs Bad For your Garden?
As explained earlier, toads and frogs offer plenty of benefits to gardens and lawns. They eat slugs, insects, and snails to keep your landscape protected from plant-eating pests. They also play a crucial part in the planet’s ecosystem by reducing the need for pesticides.
How to Find Toads in Your Backyard?
Necessities that toads and frogs need are water, food, and shelter. So, you can look for them in places where you would see water, natural hiding places, including tall grass. Moreover, under the shade of the rocks, fallen branches, and leaves litter are also the places where you might see frogs and toads.
That is all about how to attract toads and frogs to your garden. Deploying an army of toads and frogs in your garden is a natural way to eliminate pests. Moreover, the technique also helps reduce the need for pesticides and other insect deterrents. Remember that a single frog can dine on up to 10,000 pests during one season. Furthermore, these amphibians also return to the same place from year to year. So providing them a pleasant, safe, and appropriate environment is essential for attracting toads and frogs to your garden.