While frogs are generally harmless and even helpful in keeping the insect population down, they are not always welcome. Some species may be poisonous to pets, while larger populations can be very noisy. Although toads are larger than frogs, the following methods will generally work on both species.
WARNING: Do Your Research!
Frogs and toads are a vital part of the environment, and invasive species often prey upon native populations. In addition, diseases have ravaged some species, even to the point of extinction. For this reason, the species currently taking up residence in your back yard may be protected or endangered. Take some time to identify the species you are dealing with and find out if they are on the protected/endangered list in your state before attempting to use any method that might harm or kill the frogs.
Why Are There Frogs in My Yard?
Having multiple frogs in your yard or garden suggests that something is attracting them. In some cases, these attractants are wanted features, such as a pond. In other cases, the frogs are attracted by something equally unwanted.
One of the biggest causes of frog infestation is an existing bug problem. Frogs consider pests such as flies and mosquitoes to be a primary food source and will congregate where there are plenty of insects to eat.
Having lights in your garden may be pretty, but it also attracts a number of insects. Frogs will come looking for those insects. Thus, the more lights you have on at night in your yard or garden, the more likely there will be a feast waiting for frogs and toads.
Frogs are somewhat timid creatures and prefer places where there are shade and shelter. You are much more likely to attract them if you have plenty of weeds, fallen leaves, or tall grass for them to hide in. Having a densely-packed garden that doesn’t incorporate complimentary gardening techniques can also attract insects and shelter the frogs which hunt them.
Frogs are amphibians and prefer to live near sources of water. Standing water is especially attractive as mosquitoes and other insects often propagate there. Sometimes this water is a garden feature, but can also be a result of poor drainage and uneven landscaping.
Getting Rid of Frogs with Chemicals
The fastest and most effective ways to get rid of a frog or toad infestation is to use chemicals. These methods will often harm or kill frogs, so it is important to make sure frog extermination is legal in your area before using them.
While not a chemical, heat will dry out eggs and tadpoles, killing them. The eggs are deposited in clumps in your pond or standing water source and can be scooped out using a pool net or other instrument. Likewise, tadpoles may be netted and removed. Simply place the captured eggs or tadpoles on a dry, warm surface and let the sunlight cook them.
You may already be using weed killers in your garden or along walkways, but herbicides also affect the fauna that exists in those spaces. Evidence suggests that some types of herbicide can effectively sterilize male frogs which come into contact with them. Note that this method cannot be used against some species of toad or frog, as it reduces the overall population over time and may harm protected species.
Chances are, you’ve already considered the use of pesticides in your garden. Using a pesticide will help to eliminate the frogs’ food source. If a frog digests insects that have been exposed to pesticides, it may also become poisoned. Without a ready food source, frogs will often begin to leave on their own.
As odd as it sounds, frogs are deterred almost as easily by snake repellents as snakes themselves. This method won’t kill the frogs and helps to keep them off of your property.
Natural Remedies Against Frogs
It can be very difficult to get rid of a frog infestation without resorting to chemicals. However, there are a few methods which are effective against smaller populations. These methods often require patience and work, but are usually cheap to implement and rarely harm the frogs (making them legal almost everywhere).
Create a Frog Haven
In some cases, you may wish to keep frogs around, just not in places where they might get caught in a lawnmower or in public areas. You can achieve this by creating a small corner of your yard or garden which includes water and shelter for the frogs and insects they feed upon. This is not a good idea if noise is your primary concern.
However, by providing a haven for the existing frog population and removing sources of attraction from the rest of your property, your resident frogs will venture forth when it’s wet and rainy to protect your garden, then retreat again to their shelter as the garden dries.
One effective way to deter frogs is to recycle your used coffee grounds. Sprinkled on the ground and in your garden, the grounds contain valuable nitrates which benefit plants while causing discomfort to any frog that steps on them. The only downside to this method is the acidity of coffee, which may harm some plants which are sensitive to acidic soil.
Humane Killing and Sedation
Many frog species hibernate, so placing captured frogs into the fridge, then transferring them to the freezer will put them to sleep. You may then feed the slumbering frog to your pet cat or snake (assuming they aren’t poisonous) without them feeling a thing. This method also allows you to transport the frogs to a local lake or stream where they will wake up and make themselves a new home.
Removing the Attraction
As mentioned above, there are many things which attract frogs and toads, usually relating to food sources. Removing these features will make your home less attractive to frogs and toads. Methods include:
- Avoid leaving garden lights on at night or choose a light source which repels insects, such as citronella.
- Incorporate complimentary gardening techniques to naturally repel insects, removing the frogs’ food source.
- Regularly maintenance your yard or garden, removing leaves, keeping grass short, weeding, and reducing or eliminating shade spots.
- Remove standing water sources and add a fountain or other water circulating agent to those water sources you wish to keep.
Frogs, much like the slugs they often feed on, are sensitive to salt water. By spraying a little on your walkways and other surfaces, you will be creating a film that stings the frog’s feet. While a simple deterrent, this is less effective in gardens, as plants generally respond poorly to salt exposure.
Making a spray of equal parts vinegar and water will provide an effect similar to salt water. The key downside to vinegar sprays is the high acidity which may actually kill plants that get sprayed.