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Attracting Toads to a Toad House for Natural Garden Insect Control

by Barbara 3. June 2009 10:17

Question about how to use toad houses or toad abodes to attract toads to a garden.

Q: "I am interested in maintaining an organic garden. I understand that toads are one way to keep the insect population controlled. What products do you suggest to attract them?

Answer: Each toad can eat about 10,000 insects in one summer. For "green" gardening, place one or more toad houses in areas of your garden that get lots of water. That keeps the soil cool: toads look for a break from the summer heat and sun! Keep a small dish of water near your Solar Toad Abode, Solar Toadstool Abode or Ceramic Toad House. That daily soak keeps permeable toad skin moist.

If you have hostas, remember that toads eat slugs, too.

Use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers in your garden as they are toxic to toads.

Toad Specific Hints:

  1. Toads can poison. Keep dogs away from toads and do not handle a toad if you have cuts in your skin. Domestic dogs can die within 15 minutes of eating a toad. Toads are a common cause of poisoning in dogs. The toad can poison cats, too but this is not very common. Toads exude a milky white toxin from poison glands behind their eyes. They squeeze this poison onto the surface of their skin when they are under threat. Toads do not spit or squirt the poison as commonly believed, and they don’t bite. Dogs and cats are poisoned when they mouth the toad or sometimes when the toad’s poison gets into their eyes. The toad’s poison is also dangerous to humans and deaths have occurred. Some adults have even been affected when they absorbed the poison through cuts in their skin after handling a toad.
  2. Let a young toad find your toad house: adults have already chosen a home so don't try to relocate them
  3. Lure toads in spring and early summer. Bring the toad house inside in late fall and winter.

Thanks for your question. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

Sincerely,
Barbara