When Do Frogs Stop Croaking?

If it is frog mating season where you live, you can probably hear frogs croaking out in the fields and around your home. I live in Eastern Canada and the first frogs I hear are tree frogs that are ready to breed in March. Which frogs you hear and when they stop croaking depends on the species, where you live and the time of year. But there is a general rule as to when frogs stop croaking and here it is:

As a general rule, frogs stop croaking at the end of mating season, around sunrise at about 2 to 3 am, and when they go into hibernation or estivation. Frogs often stop croaking after it rains, when a predator is around, due to unfavourable weather conditions, or the full moon.

Frogs are fascinating animals, but they can also be somewhat irritating, especially at night when they start to produce their calls in chorus. One may be tempted to use an extreme measure to get rid of the frogs around their homes to avoid loud irritating noises, but be patient. 

We have a full guide on how to deal with loud frogs at night if you are annoyed with their calls. But in this article, I will focus on when frogs stop croaking so you can know what to expect this season. 

1. Frogs Stop Croaking At the End of Mating Season

During mating season, which generally lasts from March to June in the North and November to March in the South, male frogs make noise from sundown until before sunrise at about 2 or 3 am to attract female frogs of the same species. 

Here is a list of frog species and their locations in North America, as well as when their mating season ends and croaking should cease:

SpeciesLocation in North AmericaWhen Frogs Stop Croaking
Boreal Chorus FrogNorthern USA, CanadaJune
Mink FrogNorthern USA, CanadaJuly
Pickerel Frog Northern USA, CanadaMay
Spring PeeperNorthern USA, CanadaJune
Wood FrogNorthern USA, CanadaMay
American BullfrogNorthern USA, CanadaJuly
Green FrogNorthern USA, CanadaJuly
Northern Cricket FrogNorthern USA, CanadaJuly
American BullfrogSouthern USASeptember
Barking Tree FrogSouthern USAApril
Bird Voiced Tree FrogSouthern USAAugust
Gopher FrogSouthern USAApril
Little Grass FrogSouthern USASeptember 
Pig FrogSouthern USAAugust
Southern Cricket FrogSouthern USAOctober

Male frogs call female frogs during the mating season using species-specific calls and croaks. Hearing many frogs calling in chorus generally indicates the mating season has begun. This is especially true in North America throughout the Spring, and in parts of the world that have Wet and Monsoon seasons.

When the mating season ends, the noise croaks will gradually subside. During this time, there are few females to attract for mating purposes. The male frogs will thus reduce their croaking drastically, and as a result, you will notice a significant reduction in the frog noises.

Frogs begin to croak in the evening shortly after sunset and continue until early morning, at around 2 or 3 am. So frogs make noise for most of the night, but they should not be noisy all night.

2. Frogs Stop Croaking Before Sunrise (2 To 3 Am)

During mating season, frogs generally stop croaking just before daybreak which is around 2 to 3 am depending on time zones, time of year, location, and species. Frogs stop croaking before the light starts to appear and the sun has risen. 

I noticed that frogs in my area stop croaking just before birds, one of their main predators, wake up and become active. Most frog species begin looking for a quiet place to spend their day around 2 to 3 am. This is usually away from the sun or any site that is exposed to predators (CTNF).

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Since their skin needs to be kept hydrated, most frogs will move from out in the open to their hideout places and remain quiet until sunset. At around sunrise, their environment becomes busy with predators and exposes them to many threats. Frogs stop croaking to keep their location secret and avoid attracting any attackers.

3. Frogs Stop Croaking During Hibernation

Frogs and toads survive Winter by hibernating. Generally, both species bulk up during the year and in the Fall, toads burrow underground, and aquatic frogs head below freezing water. During Winter, their metabolism and heart rate slow down while they live off stored body reserves until the Spring.

Although hibernation is common for frogs during cold Winters in North America and parts of Europe, not all frogs hibernate if they live in consistently warm environments like those in Asia, South America, Africa or Australia. Instead, such frogs may estivate in response to hot or arid conditions.

Here are general times frogs hibernate and estivate depending on their location:

ClimateLocationFrog Inactivity
Spring / SummerHigh And Mid-LattitudeActive
Winter / FreezingHigh And Mid-LattitudeHibernation
DryLow-LattitudeEstivation
Monsoon / WetLow-LattitudeActive
TropicalRainforestActive

Both estivation and hibernation are periods of dormancy in response to unfavourable weather conditions. Frogs that estivate escape the heat, and frogs that hibernate escape the cold. Cold, freezing, hot or arid conditions are not ideal for frogs that are cold-blooded and require water and humidity to survive. Frogs are inactive during these periods and do not croak.

4. Frogs Stop Croaking When a Predator Is Near

Frogs fall prey to larger animals in their environment. When frogs sense a threat approaching their way, they may stop croaking to avoid exposing themselves to predators. This is a natural self-defence mechanism they may use to ensure their safety.

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If a predator like a bird, skunk, or snake approaches a frog’s location, the frog may try a number of defense mechanisms to avoid being eaten including swimming or jumping away, camouflaging, playing dead, secreting poison, or just falling silent to conceal their location.

5. Frogs Stop Croaking When It Stops Raining

Frogs are amphibians meaning that they thrive well in a wet and humid environment. During the rainy season, frogs tend to come out and in the open. Even the pond frogs tend to be drawn out at such times. They enjoy the humid air and the conducive weather for them to mate and breed. That is why you will hear a lot of croaking during the rainy season.

However, when the rain stops, the frogs will gradually reduce the croaking, eventually, cease. Frogs do not enjoy the hot weather. At such times most of their developmental activities such as mating and breeding are significantly reduced. Since they do not mate during the hot seasons, you will rarely hear any frog croaking when the rain stops.

6. Other Things That May Make Frogs Stop Croaking

Personally, I noticed that when I go looking for toads in the Spring and Summer, they can be hopping around all over the place one night, hunting and eating bugs, yet they are completely absent the days around a full moon. 

The two to three days preceding and after a full moon, I generally find it very hard to find toads and other frogs hunting for food. This is a personal observation and I would like to emit the hypothesis that their absence on these nights has to do with the effect of the moon on animals and being more visible to predators, among other possible factors.

Other things that may affect frogs and make their croaking cease include weather. High winds can make it difficult to be heard by females, so frogs may avoid croaking on windy nights. If the temperature is too hot or too cold for their species, some frogs may not call, preferring to reproduce on more clement nights. The Earth’s core emits electromagnetic radiation which may cause frogs to stop croaking simultaneously.

More About Frogs Croaking

Learn more about frogs, the sounds they make and why they croak on our blog:

Sources 

Oseen, K, & Wassersug, R. (2002). Environmental factors influencing calling in sympatric anurans. Oecologia, 133(4), 616-625