How to Get Rid of Frogs Humanely and As Gently As You Can

frog staring at photographer on a grey rock wondering how to get rid of frogs

For many in the U.S., removing frogs has become a necessary task. While frogs are generally harmless and even helpful in keeping the insect population down, they are not always welcome. If you raised your eyebrow at the “how to get rid of frogs” question, let us tell you a few things first.

Some species may be poisonous to pets, and others may be dangerous to native frog species. Not to mention, larger populations can be very noisy. On the other hand, we very well know native frogs are mostly beneficial.

Our guide today refers to getting rid of frogs in several situations, including native populations growing too large, and invasive species.

Although toads are larger than frogs, the following methods generally work on both species. So let’s see how to get rid of frogs when you start feeling they are trying to get rid of you!

WARNING: Do Your Research!

Invasive Cuban Tree Frog: grows to the size of a human fist and eats frogs smaller than it.

Frogs and toads are a vital part of the environment, but invasive species are destructive and dangerous. The picture above is a Cuban Tree Frog, which has colonized areas of the southern U.S. including Florida and Louisiana.

It can grow to the size of a human fist and eats any other frog that fits in its mouth. These non-native island tree frogs can destroy native frog populations.

In addition, diseases have ravaged some species, even to the point of extinction. Killing or moving those species could get you in trouble, as 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 or endangered species list in your state before attempting to use any method that might harm or kill the frogs.

If you have any questions as to the species you are dealing with, we recommend hiring a professional.

Why Are There Frogs in My Yard?

Image of toad via Unsplash

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 — they’re finding plenty of food.

Insects

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 congregate where there are plenty of insects to eat.

Night Lighting

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.

Shelter

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 also attracts insects and shelters the frogs that hunt them.

Water

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.

How to Get Rid of Frogs in the Most Humane Ways Possible

We’re going to start with the gentlest methods, for native species, and work down to the nuclear option: chemicals for invasives.

Natural Remedies Against Frogs

Image via Unsplash

It can be very difficult to get rid of frogs’ infestation without resorting to chemicals. However, there are a few methods that 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.

Coffee Grounds

One effective way to deter frogs from your home 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 puts them to sleep, then transferring them to the freezer humanely euthanizes them.

  • Placing them in the refrigerator until they fall asleep also allows you to transport the frogs to a local lake or stream where they will wake up and make themselves a new home. (Do not rehome invasive species.)

Removing the Attraction

As mentioned above, there are many things that attract frogs and toads, usually relating to food sources. Removing these features makes your home less attractive to frogs and toads.

These methods will help keep frogs away from your home and yard:

  • Avoid leaving garden lights on at night or choose a light source that repels insects, such as citronella candles or torches or yellow lights.
  • Incorporate complementary gardening techniques to naturally repel insects, removing the frogs’ food source.
  • Regularly maintain 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.

Saltwater

Frogs, much like the slugs they often feed on, are sensitive to saltwater.

  • 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.

Vinegar

Making a spray of equal parts vinegar and water provides an effect similar to saltwater. The key downside to vinegar sprays is the high acidity which may actually kill plants that get sprayed.

How to Get Rid of Frogs with Chemicals

We know we said we would talk about the humane ways of getting rid of frogs, but sometimes, infestations need more radical measures. That would be true with invasive species like cane toads and Cuban tree frogs.

Take care not to hurt native populations if possible. That said, non-native species are harmful to the environment and in some cases, poisonous.

The fastest and most effective way to get rid of a frog or toad infestation is to use chemicals. However, these methods often harm or kill frogs. It’s critical to be sure frog extermination is legal in your area, before using them.

As frogs are an important part of the ecosystem, we recommend repelling or moving, not exterminating, native species.

Heat

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.

Herbicides

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.

Pesticides

Chances are, you’ve already considered the use of pesticides in your garden. Using a pesticide helps to eliminate the frogs’ food source. However, remember, if a frog digests insects that have been exposed to pesticides, it may also become poisoned. Choose an organic alternative here: 16% citric acid and water solution and spray it all around the outer edges of your home.

Without a ready food source, frogs often begin to leave on their own.

Snake Repellent

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.

Did You Try to Get Rid of Frogs?

In case you have a frog infestation on your property, remember to do your research first. Then begin with the non-invasive methods and let’s hope they work before you end up using chemicals. Have you ever experienced a frog problem in your yard? How did you solve it?

FAQs on How to Get Rid of Frogs

How to get rid of tree frogs around your house?

Tree frogs do not require a different treatment than regular frogs.
If you want to get rid of them, or wonder what keeps frogs away from your house, try the following methods:
1. Spread salt or coffee grounds around the house
2. Use a solution of water and vinegar to repel tree frogs
3. Mix 1 lb of dry citric acid in 1 gallon of water and spray the frog-infested areas.

How to get rid of frogs in the pool?

Frogs may want to take a swim in your pool or have their fun around it. They will, however, leave the premises if you shock the pool with chlorine.

Other methods of keeping frogs away from your pool include:
1. Fencing the pool
2. Treating the area around the pool with coffee grounds, salt, or a vinegar solution to keep them away
3. Cover the pool when you don’t use it
4. Turn off the night lights
5. As an alternative – although not sanctioned – you can also spread baking soda around the pool area, as it will cause the frogs enough discomfort for them to leave. Don’t get it in your pool, it will mess up your chemical balance.

How else do you get rid of frogs from your home or backyard?

Other frog deterrent methods to keep frogs out of your backyard include:
1. Keep your lawn mowed short
2. Extensive yard care, especially controlling weeds and insect habitats
3. Keep the yard clean of food scraps and animal food bowls
4. Install silt fences around your water features
5. Eradicate dark, moist areas in your yard that attract frogs and toads