It can be incredibly beneficial to attract toads to your garden. Toads eat bugs and rodents that can be detrimental to plants, and provide a natural way to avoid using harsh pesticides and chemicals.
You can attract toads to your garden by ensuring that there is a steady source of water, food and shelter. Adding a small pond or water feature, abundant places for toads to burrow and hide, and ensuring that there are bugs is a great way to naturally attract toads to your garden.
Toads are very good at finding suitable locations to live, as long as the right conditions are met. Let’s dive into different ways to attract toads to your garden, and provide more reasons as to why toads can be excellent allies for your plants.
1. Ensure There is a Steady Source of Water
Like all living things, toads need water to survive. Add a small pool of water or pond near your garden to help attract toads. If the pond is large enough and meets favourable conditions, the toads may spawn there during mating season.
Adding a pond to your garden can make your yard look beautiful and attract toads. It is crucial that the pond be large enough and include a slope or a very shallow lip to provide a quick, easy way for toads to leave and return to the water. Otherwise they may get stuck and drown. Do not add fish to the pond since many fish will feed on toads, their eggs, and toad tadpoles.
If you do not want to install a pond, you could add water features like a fountain or small pool of water. Ensure there is not too much movement since frogs avoid water with currents or waterfalls. You could also use shallow water bowls and change the water regularly or water your garden often to keep the area humid.
Learn how to create a frog-friendly pond in this detailed guide on our blog.
2. Use Compost & Solar Lights to Attract Bugs Toads Eat
Composting your food in your garden is an excellent way to attract toads. Not only is using compost very beneficial to gardening, toads are attracted to it since they eat the bugs that compost food.
Toads generally burrow during the day and are most active at night, so adding solar lights to your garden can also attract bugs and help toads find even more food to eat. Combining composting and solar lights can be a great way to ensure there is a steady supply of food for toads to enjoy all day long.
Some people wrongfully think toads eat plants. Toads are obligate carnivores meaning that they only eat meat. If the toad is large enough, it may also eat bats, snakes, and mice which can be nuisances to garden health. Having a toad can be a low-cost, environmentally friendly means of pest control.
Learn more about what toads eat in this article on our blog.
3. Create Plenty of Places For Toads to Burrow And Hide
Toads spend most of the day burrowed under ground in humid places to hide, drink and breathe. They come out at night to eat. Although they have thick, warty skin and can secrete poison from the parotoid glands on their body when they are stressed or feel threatened, toads are still a meal of choice for many predators lurking in your yard. So they need places to hide.
You could create the perfect toad home by using a clay pot with no base. We have a complete guide on how to create a toad house on our blog.
Toads need shelter to be attracted to gardens. Ensure there is enough dedicated vegetation to attract toads to your garden including piles of leaves, piles of rocks and branches with areas to hide, and soft soil in which toads can burrow.
As long as there are enough places for them to hide, toads are very good at keeping themselves out of harm’s way. Use piles of rocks and branches around your garden to make natural hiding places for toads. Shelter is essential for a toad’s well being and survival. Also, be cautious of hibernating toads when prepping your garden in early Spring.
Benefits of Having Toads in Your Garden
Now that you know how to attract toads to your garden, let’s dive deeper into some of the benefits they can provide your plants and your yard’s general ecosystem (CTNF).
Toads Can Help Organic Gardeners
Attracting toads to your garden can greatly reduce the need for pesticides. If you would like to have an organic garden, a great way to avoid pesticides is to attract toads. Not only will they save you money, but they can also help avoid the need for toxic insecticides, larvicides or chemicals.
Plus, having a chemical-free garden is more environmentally friendly. If you have toads in your garden, don’t fret. Let them be a cheap and environmentally friendly pest removal service for the sake of your plants.
Toads Eat Insects That Kill Crops
Though young tadpoles feed on vegetation such as algae, adult toads are obligate carnivores and do not eat plants. Therefore, toads are allies in gardening that can eat bugs that feed on plants and kill crops including slugs, beetles, grubs, larvae, termites, snails and mice.
Here are some advantages of having toads in your garden with regards to what they eat:
- According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single adult toad can eat 10,000 insects during the Summer, including mosquitoes, gnats, and flies.
- Toads eat grubs, which are one of the biggest reasons for failed gardens and destroyed grass.
- Toads like to burrow into the dirt and mud, but they will not eat the roots of the plants in your garden like voles. Instead, they protect them by eating the insects that would.
Toads Are Not Aggressive
Despite the negative and sometimes false myths often spread about toads, they are not in any way bad for your garden (unless they are an invasive species – more on that below). They are an easy-going amphibian that prefers to steer clear of interacting with anyone while just living their lives out of sight.
Toads generally are not aggressive and have no interest in attacking you or your pets, but some species can produce toxins that might be an irritant to you or harmful to your furry friends if messed with. So long as you keep your pets out of the garden and the toads are left alone, there is no reason to suspect they will do any harm there.
However, you should be aware of invasive species like Cane Toads that are very present in Australia and Florida where they are non-native and were introduced by humans in the 1930s. They were supposed to be used to kill pests, but actually feed on native animals. Get in touch with your local Wildlife Department (phone numbers in this article) for more information on how to handle such toads.
More Ways to Attract Toads to Your Yard
As you can see, toads are not only good for your garden, but they are good for the environment as well. Keeping toads in your garden is going to be extremely beneficial to you and the plants you grow. So, it is time to step back and set aside any issues you may have about sharing your garden with a small, bumpy, long-tongued critter and welcome them to stay by providing a sustainable home.
Check out our other guides on attracting toads and frogs to a yard:
- How to Make a Toad House
- How to Naturally Attract Frogs to Your Yard
- How to Create a Frog-Friendly Pond
- How to Safely Handle Frogs
- How to Keep a Wild Pet Frog or Toad
Questions Related to Attracting Toads to a Garden
Are Toads Bad For Your Garden? Toads generally offer many benefits to lawns and gardens. Because they eat insects, slugs, and snails, they can keep your garden free from plant-eating pests. They also play a vital role in our planet’s ecosystem by helping avoid the need for pesticides.
How do I Find Toads in My Yard? Toads need water, food and shelter to live so look for them in places where you would find water, bugs and natural hiding places including near tall grass and pools of water. Lift up rocks, fallen branches, and piles of leaves since toads burrow during the day to stay moist.
What is The Best Place to Find a Toad? Toads spend their day burrowed in the ground so the best place to find a toad in the morning or afternoon is in soft soil under shelter like rocks, branches or leaves. Toads come out at night to eat so the best place to look in the evening and after dark is where bugs are present like near lights.