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What does a toad want/need?

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Sep 12, 2013, 12:53 PM
SturdyNail
What does a toad want/need?
I have a bunch of toads around my house. There are a couple of big ones that come out at night and meditate on my patio or garage doorway. And, there are a few little guys/girls that hang out in my basement window well or jump around the lawn.
I like these buggers.
The thing is, we're going to be ripping out all the old, (now scraggly) evergreen shrubs that grow around the house. I'm concerned that my toad friends rely on those shrubs as shelter from predators.
Will I be leaving the toads too vulnerable when I rip out those shrubs?
Is there something I can do to provide substitute (maybe even better) shelter?

Thanks in advance.
Sep 12, 2013, 02:01 PM
GardenSprite
Congratulations to you for thinking of your little friends!

There are such things as toad houses (Toad house photos), and

Toad Villages

Given your high level of DIY skill, I'm sure you could make some very clever and attractive ones. Might be a nice change from all the roofing issues you've been dealing with. Smile

There are simple ones made from clay garden pots, inverted and "roofed" with a clay saucer. There are others that are more elaborate and could easily be incorporated into your landscape design. If you have children, they might have fun making some toad houses.

I found a cute pebble toad house but for some reason all the links I post are bouncing to another site.

I also found some good info on toad habitat and lifestyle from the Michigan DNR, but again, the links are proving to be bad once I post them here. Hmmmm...maybe your toads don't want to move? Big Grin

Let me do some more research and find some other good ones and post back when I can figure out the linking problems. I'm not sure what their requirements for toad abodes are or whether the evergreens would have any effect on their safety.

Toads are great for bug control though, so making them happy is a good thing to do.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Sep 12, 2013, 02:19 PM
Frodo
hey...introduce the little buggers to a bath in corn meal and milk...hey.. then a hot tub in the fish fryer...happy happy happy....thats the way we did it in nam..hey...

hey....

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,
Sep 12, 2013, 03:36 PM
Sparky617
This time of year I get to play "Frogger" as we're heading out for our before sunrise mountain bike ride. The paved greenway on the way to our mountain bike trails is covered with the little buggers. We try to avoid them but every once in awhile they hop right into our path and under our wheels (eww). I've seen people make houses out of a clay pot as Garden Sprite mentioned.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Sep 12, 2013, 05:37 PM
GardenSprite
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Sparky617:

This time of year I get to play "Frogger" as we're heading out for our before sunrise mountain bike ride. The paved greenway on the way to our mountain bike trails is covered with the little buggers.

QUOTE]

Are they especially active because of the area, or the time of year? I've never seen more than one or two at a time.
Sep 12, 2013, 06:19 PM
GardenSprite
Toad Culture:

Toad House Desired Features

Designer Toad Houses for upscale toads

Toad Houses, simply

Toad culture

And in case you want to raise some toad families:

Raising Toads

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Sep 12, 2013, 08:13 PM
Frodo
duck dynasty..frogs
Sep 12, 2013, 11:10 PM
SturdyNail
GardenSprite and Sparky617, thanks for the ideas around providing toad houses.

GardenSprite, thanks for all the hyper-linked references. I knew I could count on you for good info.

Sparky617, sunrise mountain bike rides sound like a perfect way to start a day.

Frodo, really? Deep fried toads? Maybe the toads in Nam are as big as those frogs the guy on Duck Dynasty lusts after. Around here though, the toads aren't THAT big and seem pretty rubbery Wink I'm about to give up on peaceful coexistence with the chipmunks though--they're digging up plants and tunneling all over the place. So, if you have an appetite for chipmunks, I might be able to send a load of them your way. Razz
Sep 13, 2013, 05:50 AM
Frodo
actually, frogs are good eating, i have not eatten one in years....my post was a joke about si and "hey" duck dynasty.. nona would shoot me if i ate his frogs...at nonas house, your not allowed to step on a cricket, or use any kind of insectide or fertiliser....but here lately...i'm starting to come around to nonas way of thinking...my grand parents lived till late 90's no perserivitves or junk in there food.makes you go "hhmmmmmm"

toads help with fly and skeeter control. bugs in general

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,


Sep 13, 2013, 09:12 AM
Sparky617
GS,
They tend to get more active in late summer. The paved trail we ride to the local mountain bike trails goes right along a small creek. They were all over the mountain bike trail this morning. They look just like freshly fallen leaves until the hop. We ride with pretty bright LED headlights on our helmets so you can usually pick them out. The other thing with the helmet mounted lights is you get to see the spider webs about a nano-second before they are smashed into your face.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Sep 13, 2013, 11:57 AM
nona
down here we have what are called ' buffo " toads. You wouldn't want to eat them as some dogs have found out the lethal way. , We also have "lubber" crickets that might eat you, they're big enough and play h**l with our gardens. Alligators? piece of cake! no problem

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nona,
Sep 13, 2013, 03:15 PM
CommonwealthSparky
Toads, lucky you. All we locate here are opossums, raccoons and skunks.


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Sep 13, 2013, 05:54 PM
GardenSprite
Sparky617, I just read that toads are seen more readily in fall as they search for places to hibernate. So I guess the NC toads know that winter is coming and are getting ready.

Without being graphic, isn't it kind of hard to ride with all those toads on the road, especially if they've had a bicycle/vehicle fatal encounter?

Between the toads and the spiders, I'm beginning to think of Halloween.

Do you see them about the same time every year? Here in Michigan Fall seems to be coming earlier and at a somewhat more rapid pace this year. I've heard the squirrels are very busy stockpiling. Sometimes the animals are better forecasters than the ones with the degrees.


SN, I found some more info on toads for you. They not only eat insects, but spiders as well (if only we could figure out a way for them to clear the spiders out of Sparky's path when he cycles.)

They hide under rocks, logs and leaf litter during the day, and can burrow down to 3 feet below ground level to hibernate. I didn't realize they were such good tunnelers. Do you need to have any postholes dug? Maybe you could tempt them with piles of bugs. Woud save you a lot of work!

Predators include snakes, owls, skunks and raccoons. The owls would I think be the prime predators spotting them if the evergreens weren't screening them. So, yes, w/o the evergreens, and assuming you have owls, the toads would probably appreciate some protection. I wouldn't be surprise if they were on the menus of hawks as well.

Source of this info: http://www.fcps.edu/islandcree...gy/american_toad.htm


Frodo, I think a lot of guys had to eat a lot of things that weren't particularly palatable when they served in the jungles of VietNam (and related environs.) I hope the recipes you're posting reflect that you're dining on a better menu now?

Frog legs are a delicacy in these parts, typically served at man cave style roadhouses.

As to longevity, some folks my age say that at our age we need all the preservatives we can get. Still, I'd rather have chemical free food.


Nona, I've seen documentaries on those huge Bufo Toads that are very, very toxic, but I wasn't aware they were in Florida. Just did some research and learned they can be from 6" to 9" long. Those are BIG toads! Do they invade gardens?


CommonwealthSparky, consider yourself lucky!
Sep 16, 2013, 08:34 PM
GardenSprite
quote:
Originally posted by Sparky617:
GS,

They were all over the mountain bike trail this morning. They look just like freshly fallen leaves until the hop.

The other thing with the helmet mounted lights is you get to see the spider webs about a nano-second before they are smashed into your face.


Sounds like a good place for a Halloween party. Big Grin

SN, I did a bit more research and learned that owls are predators of toads. I wouldn't be surprised if hawks are as well. So the evergreens could have provided protective coverage for your toads.

If you do build toad houses, perhaps you could thatch the roof with evergreens, which would help your toads stay cool in the summer. It might sound tacky, but the evergreens could be trimmed to create a thatch roof such as those seen in old English villages.

I also read that toads can burrow down to 3 feet in the winter. I had no idea they were such good excavators. Wouldn't mind having some of them around when I plant bulbs in the fall.

Frodo, frog legs are served in road house restaurants here and as I understand are quite tasty.

Nona, I've seen documentaries on those massive toads which I understand can grow from 6" to 9" long and are poisonous, especially to pets. Did some checking on them and found what is an almost humorous if not repulsive method of kililng them: put them in a plastic bag and freeze them. I definitely wouldn't want a dead toad in my freezer! Frown

CS, we have the same variety of wildlife, plus a few more. Some of the skunks are two legged though. Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Sep 19, 2013, 08:44 AM
Sparky617
quote:
What does a toad want/need?


A cute girl toad to make more toads and some food. Their needs are pretty simple. ;-)


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Sep 19, 2013, 10:08 AM
GardenSprite
quote:
Originally posted by Sparky617:
quote:
What does a toad want/need?


A cute girl toad to make more toads and some food. Their needs are pretty simple. ;-)


Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Thank you for this early morning humor. It couldn't have come at a better time.

And there is a downside to overintellectualizing issues.
Sep 19, 2013, 04:14 PM
Frodo
and a lilly for there PAD ! lol yuck yuck