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March 14, 2012

Attract toads to your garden

-by Debra Anchors

Do you need insect control in your garden?   Toads survive on insects and can devour thousands of them.

Following are some ways to attract toads to your garden:
  • A moist, shady area that is a problem spot in your garden is a blessing for toads. Tuck in an assortment of native, shade-loving plants and mulch the area with leaves.  Mulch provides shelter, moisture, and food for the toads.
  • Sink a child’s small pool, a half-barrel, or a large bucket into the ground in your shade garden.  Fill the bottom of the pool with rocks and soil, add water, and a selection of floating and potted aquatic plants.  For mosquito control, add some native Gambusia (mosquito fish), but don’t add goldfish - they will eat tadpoles. 
  • Don’t discard damaged pots; recycle them for the toads.  Chip out an entry hole in the rim; sink the pot upside-down one inch into the soil with the entry hole facing south.  Place the pot in a shady area that is not prone to flooding.
  • Place some shallow terra-cotta plant saucers in your shade garden and fill them with fresh water.  Toads stretch out in shallow water and absorb moisture through their skin.
  • Build a small mound of branches and twigs to shelter toads.  The debris will also attract insects and slugs and provide the toads with unlimited snacks.
  • Lay a terra-cotta pot or a hollow log on its side, and partially bury it in the soil.  This “tunnel” is a toad resting spot.
  • Dry rock walls are the perfect environments for toads, which find security, moisture, stable temperatures, and food in the crevices between stones.
  • Avoid the use of slug and snail bait.  Toads may inadvertently ingest the poison when they feast on contaminated victims.

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  1. Would love to have more frogs or toads come to my pond. I had 1 living in a birdhouse in my butterfly garden all summer!

  2. Thanks for this information. We do some of that for the birds and other critters. I wonder if any toads would find us in the middle of the city.

  3. I have tons of toads. Once I put in five rain barrels, their population really soared. I think they like the extra moisture that overflows the top of the barrel. I added a teensy frog pond to my garden last year that I'm going to stick some mosquito fish in. These are great tips. My dogs totally ignore the toads, except to give them a sniff sometimes. Wonderful post! :o)

    1. Where do you buy mosquito fish?

    2. Hello, Cathy. I am aware of a few pet supply stores that sell mosquito fish, but there are several sources online as well. Try searching "buy mosquito fish" to find a few suggestions.

      Thanks for dropping in! -Debra

  4. I have zero toads. I here peepers in others back yards and I guess they must be living in the fountains, even in the middle of the city. These things always amaze me. I have a snake or two, and I feel the same way, "just how did you get here?" as I imagine him slithering down the sidewalk?

  5. Thanks for the tips. We need some toads in our garden. As soon as some of our ivy fades away, I have a perfect spot for a toad home.

    1. Thank you for following and also for stopping-by to say hello, Mia! I enjoy seeing the toads, but often they are hiding; attempting to stay cool, I suspect!


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