How to Make Frog & Toad House

As young as I can remember, frogs and toads have always been naturally attracted to our backyard and garden. Making them the perfect home is something I have enjoyed my entire life to help both frogs and toads feel welcome on our property.

You can make a frog home by creating a frog-friendly pond in your yard. You can create a toad home by overturning soil, making an entry at the base of a clay planter, and placing it over moist soil with plenty of vegetation around it.

There are three different types of frogs you can attract to your yard and each of them has different needs. I have done this a couple times now and have experience attracting frogs by creating ideal frog and toad homes. Let’s explore how to attract frogs and toads and make them feel at home.

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Create The Perfect Frog Home

I noticed that some articles recommend creating an on-land home for frogs using a clay pot or digging a hole in the ground with twigs. You will not attract frogs with an on-land clay-pot or hole-in-the-ground home. 

Fog Home That Naturally Attracted 3 Frogs

Frogs are either aquatic or arboreal and will not live in an on-land shelter that is not next to a steady source of water. However, toads would very much appreciate a clay-pot type of home. So if you would like to attract toads to your garden definitely check out the next section that talks about how to create an on-land home for them. 

Garden Pond That Naturally Attracted 3 Frogs

Therefore, if your goal is to attract aquatic frogs to your garden you will need to create a frog-friendly pond. Frogs, especially aquatic frogs, require water to be able to live and thrive. My parents created a small pond that naturally attracted 3 frogs and I explain exactly how you can do the same in the guide on our blog.

Learn how to create the perfect home for aquatic frogs in our detailed frog pond guide.

This next section is about creating a toad home using a clay pot – you can create one of these shelters and place it next to your pond to shelter frogs if you would like. Just keep in mind that true frogs need a steady source of water to survive, whereas toads do not.

Create The Perfect Toad Home

If you do not want to install a frog pond in your backyard, you may be interested in attracting frogs that live on land instead of aquatic frogs. Most terrestrial frogs are known as Toads. Toads prefer to live on land and only return to the pond where they were born during mating season to reproduce. 

What You Need to Create a Toad Home

  • A Clay Pot
  • A Drill with small bits
  • A Hammer
  • A Ruler
  • A Pencil
  • A Small Shovel
  • 1L of Water
  • A safe area in your yard

1. Drill a Door Outline Into a Clay Pot

To create a toad house, get a clay pot and drill a hole into the top of it using a drill. The holes should be at least 1 mm (0.4 inches) deep and the door should be at least 1/4 the size of the pot.  Wet the pot and holed the drill at a 45° angle to help create the holes. 

The larger the clay pot the bigger the toad it can handle. The clay pot does not need to be very tall, but it needs to be wide enough to accommodate a toad. We have a few clay pots at home but most of them are in use.

Here are examples of different clay pot sizes you could use (just ignore the plants):

You can refer to this table to get an idea of how big a toad your clay pot could house:

Toad Home DiameterToad Width (Cm)Toad Width (In)
5 cm / 2 in2.8
12 cm / 5 in62.3
15 cm / 6 in83.1
20 cm / 7.87 in104
25 cm / 9 in156

Keep in mind that adult toads generally grow over the Summer and can become very wide by the time Hibernation Season comes around. I had a toad in our yard that was very skinny when it came out of hibernation in the Spring, but was a good 10cm wide by the beginning of Fall. 

So if you notice your toad struggling to get into the toad house by the end of Summer, you may have to replace it with a larger one or use a larger pot to start with.

Your drill may not be able to make it through the clay, but these lines will fragilize the pot and make it easier to hammer in a door. Be sure to wet the clay and hold your drill at an angle to make it easier to create holes.

If you skip this step you risk breaking the pot or making an uneven entry.

2. Hammer a Door Into The Clay Pot

Once you’ve drilled a door outline into the pot, grab a hammer and tap out a door. You may want to wear protective eye gear and gloves to protect your hands just in case some pieces of clay go flying at this step.

You could hit the pot with a direct and hard strike right between the lines you created to make a nice clean cut if you managed to dig deep enough drill holes. Otherwise this may crack the pot. Feel free to sand down any jagged edges to make the entry nice and smooth since toads have thin, sensitive skin.

3. Find a Safe Area In Your Yard

Both toads and frogs need water, shelter, and food to survive. The good thing is that the toad home that you’re creating will attract bugs that the frogs can eat, it will retain moisture and allow the toad to drink (through its skin) and provide them shelter. 

However, you should place the frog home in a safe area in your yard, somewhere that is generally humid or close to water, away from predators and out of direct sunlight.

4. Place The Clay Pot Upside Down on Overturned Soil

Once you have found the perfect location for your toad home, overturn the soil using a small shovel. Dig about 10 cm (4 in) deep and as wide as your clay pot, removing any grass on the surface. Pour some water into the hole and mix it around with the shovel. The goal is to make a very moist and easy-to-burrow soil base for the toad’s home.

Toads Need to be able to burrow. If your clay pot has a base, it will not attract toads.

I noticed that some people were recommending you just place a clay pot with a base on the ground to attract toads. A clay pot placed on the ground will not attract toads because they need to be able to dig and burrow. Therefore, the clay home should not have a base and must be used as shelter over the soil, not as a shelter in and of itself. 

Use water to dig a deep enough hole (about 10 centimetres or 4 inches) and mix around the soil to make it easy for the toad to burrow.

5. Ensure There is Vegetation Around The Pot

Once the toad home is set up, you want to be sure that there’s enough vegetation around the home to attract toads and the bugs they eat.  You may already have some natural vegetation around the home, but if it needs more you can add flowers, potted plants, tall grass, dead leaves or long pine needles.

The toad home I built here was already surrounded by vegetation, so I just covered it in pine needles to envelop and camouflage it. The vegetation will help keep it moist.

Toads generally burrow during the day to stay out of the sun. If they like your home, they will spend most of the day inside, burrowed in the soil. They generally come out at night to eat (CTNF).

If you would like to increase your chances of attracting toads, you could add solar lights around the toad house. The lights will turn on at night, attracting moths and other bugs that toads like to eat. You could also water the toad home when you water your garden to keep it moist and attractive to toads.

Digging A Hole in The Ground Will Not Attract Frogs 

I noticed a video on YouTube recommending digging a hole in the ground, adding twigs and branches, and recovering the hole with soil and grass. This kind of home is perfect for snakes, not frogs. If frogs are ever attracted to such a home, they would be eaten by the snakes actually living in it. 

A better way to attract frogs to your backyard is to create a frog-friendly pond as discussed above or to create the perfect environment to attract toads to your garden or backyard. We have even more ways to attract frogs and toads in the articles below. 

More Ways to Attract Frogs & Toads to Your Yard

I had a wild “pet” toad in a window well when I was a kid. Attracting frogs to your yard and observing them in their natural habitat is a great way to respect them and enjoy their presence. Check out our other guides on attracting toads and frogs to a yard:

Questions Related to Making a Frog Home

How do I Build a Frog House in My Garden? You can build the perfect frog house in your garden by building a frog-friendly pond. If you would like to attract toads to your garden, you can create a toad shelter using a clay pot. 

Do Frog Houses Work? Frog houses do not work to attract frogs, they may only attract toads. Aquatic frogs require water to live and would not thrive in a frog house since they are generally located on land. However, toads enjoy frog houses because they can burrow underneath to remain safe and moist.

Where Should You Place a Frog House? You should place a frog house near a pond if you would like to have a shelter for aquatic frogs. You should place a frog house on land in a shaded area with no predators, and a loose soil base if you would like to attract toads.

How Do You Attract Toads to a Toad House? Generally, toads are attracted to lights at night which in turn attract the bugs they eat. Therefore adding solar lights around your Toad House can help attract toads. Also, make sure it is away from predators, in the shade, and has overturned soil in which they can burrow.

What is The Name of Frog House? Another name for a frog house is a froggery or ranarium. You can create a frog house, froggery, or ranarium in your yard or garden by creating the perfect environment to attract frogs and toads.