Everywhere one turns these days, the buzz word is “green”. Reduce your carbon footprint. Stop using pesticides in your garden and on your lawns. Stop using cleaning chemicals in your homes. Did you know that one of the easiest steps you can take towards going green is to provide a toad friendly environment in your garden? Toads are carnivorous and eat hundreds, even thousands of insects, slugs, worms, and grubs in a twenty-four hour period. (1,2) Imagine how many pests they can eat in just one week! They are mainly nocturnal,
- So while the bats are catching flying insects such as mosquitoes at night, toads are feasting on the ground level. Together, they make a formidable pest control team for your garden! Neither will flourish in a pesticide-laden environment, so go chemical-free if you want them in your garden.
If you already have seen toads in your garden, you can make it, even more, inviting for them! They need places to hide and stay cool during the day, preferably near freshwater sources. However, this is not possible for everyone out there. This is where you can click on mosquito pest control near me and locate the best pest control services in your area.
- I have one flower bed in my garden that always has toads in it. It is close to a large lilac bush with plenty of English ivy to hide in growing under it. The flower bed itself has a border of large rocks of all different shapes and sizes. In the middle of the bed, there is a winding pebble “river” of sorts. Basically, it’s a long pile of stones and pebbles of all different shapes and sizes. The toads love all the rocks and pebbles in this area that they can seek shelter under! I often find them under the ferns or low evergreen shrubs in that bed, as well.
I have a resin toad house under the lilac bush for the toads, although I have never seen one in it. This is probably due to the fact that it has a resin bottom and/or the entrance is small. Female toads are much bigger than males and often don’t fit in commercial toad house entrances. Also, many commercial toad houses (like mine) have only one entrance. It is preferable that a toad house have an escape route for the toad-just in case a snake or cat tries to catch it!
If you make your toad house from scratch, (for instance out of a clay flower pot), make sure the opening is at least three to four inches wide. Flower pots are ideal because they don’t have bottoms, enabling toads to burrow in the dirt, which they prefer. Just make sure that you place the clay flower pot in a cool, sheltered area. A clay flowerpot would get much too hot for toads in direct sunlight.
Here are some interesting facts you might not have known about these little pest controllers!
Toads live on average from 2 to15 years
While toads most often lay eggs in water as frogs do, there are some species of toads that bear their young life!
They shed their skins like snakes, but the reason you never see a toad skin lying around is that they eat the shed skins!
They hibernate in colder climates, usually starting in October. You should not reintroduce a toad purchased from a pet store back into the wild unless you are sure it is indigenous to the area you’re in! Non-native species can interfere and even destroy native food chain cycles, among other damaging effects!