Anyone who gardens knows that pests can be a huge problem and wreck all your hard work. Garden toads, as you’ll soon learn, can be a great alternative to pesticides. What toads lack in traditional good looks, they make up for in their appetite for bugs. A single toad can eat up to 30,000 insects and slugs per year, so imagine what having more than one toad in your garden could do.
Attracting garden toads
Your garden first needs to be hospitable to toads.
Remove or prevent anything that could be dangerous to toads
- Remove any chemicals and practice organic gardening. Toads are sensitive and chemicals can make them sick or kill them. If your garden is already organic, then you’re one step ahead.
- Protect the toads from your pets or other animals that could prey on them. Cats and dogs love to hunt and toads would make great prey for them. I wrote a post for keeping cats out of your garden which is both natural and safe for your cats and toads. It’s also recommended to add a lot of foliage to your garden, so the toads can have a safe place to hide.
If your garden has a fountain or water feature, you might already have some toads in your area. If you want to “invite” them to spend some quality time in your garden, you can do the following:
- Build or buy a garden toad house. Toads will want a safe place to hide during the day so providing some shelter for them will make your garden more hospitable. You can buy a toad house or make one of your own from an upside-down clay pot either tilted up with some rocks or make a hole in it so the toad can safely slide in and out of it.
- Have some water nearby. Put a tray of water near the toad house in a shady area so the toad can hang out and hydrate themselves when needed. Clean out the tray weekly so the toad will regularly have clean fresh water.
- Plant some tall grass near the toad house. This can provide some additional shade for any toads who’ll want to set up shop.
- Put a solar light nearby. This isn’t necessary, but one of those inexpensive solar landscaping lights you stick in the ground can attract mosquitoes and toads love eating mosquitoes. It’s just another thing you can do to attract toads to your garden and make them want to stay.
If you follow the above steps, give it a few days and you should have a couple of garden toads or more hanging out and eating those pesky garden pests that can ruin your plants. Keep your garden safe and hospitable for toads and the toads may just stay for a long time. If you have a garden with toads, feel free to post any of your experiences in the comments below.
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