Frogs. They are great creatures. Peculiar but great nonetheless. However, they are not great creatures when they are infiltrating your backyard. Frogs are attracted to our backyards for two main reasons.
The first reason is ponds. Frogs are amphibian creatures meaning they are cold-blooded invertebrates that require water to survive. They, of course, have the ability to survive on dry land but, without access to water, they will die. Their habitats are always close by to ponds or swamp as they soak up water and moisturise their skin. Without this, their skin will become dry which causes frogs to die.
Also, the second reason for frogs visiting your backyard is for food. Frogs are carnivorous species and their diet usually consists of flies, mosquitoes and moths. Some larger frogs may also eat insects such as grasshoppers and worms. The largest of frogs eat mice, small snakes and even some smaller, weaker frogs. These two factors can often be found in a lot of backyards making it the perfect place to find a frog.
Frogs are pretty much harmless towards humans however, you still don’t want them living in your backyard. Like most wild animals, frogs have the potential to carry disease and parasites. Their moist, swampy habitat means they live in an ideal bacteria breeding ground.
If you have to pick up a wild frog, be sure to wash your hands with warm, soapy water afterwards and, beforehand, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.Aside from this, having frogs in your backyard is quite simply very annoying.
Like humans, frogs have vocal cords but also, they have an inflated vocal sac. Male frogs use this vocal sac to croak and trill to impress females by closing his nostrils and pushing the air backwards and forwards between his lungs and the vocal sac. This is what causes the well known ‘ribbit’ sound most associated with the amphibian creatures.
Having frogs outside, in your backyard, means you will have to listen to this sound constantly. This will be especially bad during the evening times when you are trying to sleep.
Now we have covered why frogs invade your backyards and the problems that can cause, let’s discuss how to get rid of them. Before you do anything, firstly, you must find out what type of frog or frogs are in your backyard. The reason for this is because some frogs are endangered or protected species. Common examples of endangered species are the True Toad, the American Bullfrog and the Pond Frog.
The True Toad is dull in colour and has watery skin, a plump body and short legs. Also, they have parotid glands at the side of their heads which are used to expel poison to stun or kill predators. Harm to humans from this poison is extremely rare however, there have been some cases recorded in Asia due to the consumption of toad egg soup.
Next, the American Bullfrog which inhabits any large, permanent body of water. The American Bullfrog is considered a very invasive species to its large appetite and ability to lay a large number of eggs. The upper surface of the frog is an olive green colour and can sometimes have some slight grey or brown as well.
Also, when looking at an American Bullfrog’s eyes, you will notice a very obvious brown Iris and an almond-shaped pupil. Finally, we have the Pond Frog which is also known as the Brown Frog. This is because they are brown in colour with some slight green and sometimes have some yellow spots. Pond Frogs have long and slender legs making them excellent jumpers
After you have determined the type of frog in your backyard, the first thing to do is making it less inviting for the frogs. One way to go about this is to introduce predators. This can include your pet cats and dogs or you could place rubber snakes in the grass to try and scare the frogs away.
As well as this, adding pesticides and chlorine to your pond may also make it unusable however it has been noted that, after a while, the frogs become immune to the chlorine and this no longer affects them, From here, your next step is to remove their habitat entirely.
If you have a pond or water feature in your garden, this does not mean getting rid of it entirely. Simply empty or drain it for a few weeks to allow time for the frogs to leave your garden. In addition, if you have any other water container such as birdbath in your backyard, be sure to empty that as well.
Furthermore, since frogs are amphibians and can still survive for a decent amount of time on land, make sure you trim any weeds or plant coverage and keep your grass nice and short.
If none of these options works, you may have to resort to using physical force. One tip would be to get a net with a long handle and scoop them up out of your pond or any other water in your backyard.
This job would be easier with two people as, once you’ve captured a frog, you will want to deposit it into some kind of container. A lightweight barrel or small rubbish bin is a good option.
The second person will be used to open the container and close it again when the frog or frogs are inside of it. This needs to be done quickly and also, an important thing to remember is that, when scared, frogs often release urine.
You can take the frogs to a pond, river or lake and release them back into the wild, away from your backyard. If the frogs are in amongst the grass and plants, you would be better waiting until the evening to capture them.
Going outside in the dark with a torch is a great option. Frogs behave like a deer caught in the headlights of a car when a torch is shone on them. They will freeze and be briefly stunned giving you a short window of time to capture them. Again, it may be useful to have two people for this job – one to shine the torch and one to do the capturing.
Another important thing to note is frogs are unable to turn their heads to look behind them which could make capturing them a lot easier.
If you don’t like the idea of capturing the frogs yourself, if you have any children in your household or neighbour, you could make a ‘frog hunt’ game and offer a small reward of some kind if they are able to capture the frogs. Just makes sure anyone who comes into contact with the frogs washes their hands thoroughly and doesn’t touch their eyes, nose or mouth – especially important with younger children.
If you are less humane, you may prefer to simply kill the frogs. There are a few ways you can go about this. For sustainable and ethical reasons, we will not be discussing them here.
When you have successfully removed the frogs from your backyard, you need to make sure there is no way the frogs were able to reproduce which would cause a future generation of amphibian creatures to deal with. Inspect your pond or body of water and remove any tadpoles from the bottom of it before they grow into baby frogs.