How to Move Toads

So you have some toads in your yard or garden and you want to move them out. If you are not sure exactly what to do, here are some ways to get toads off your property.

You can move toads out of your yard using a net or by carefully picking them up with gloves and putting them in a safe place within 100 meters or 330 feet outside of your property. Do not relocate them to another part of town, across a road, and do not kill them, it could be illegal.

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This detailed guide is made for those who found toads out of your yard in general. But if you found the toad in your window well, or if you actually found a frog in your backyard or in your pool check out those links for specific guides covering what to do. That being said, let’s dive into how to move toads out of your yard.

Why Are There Toads in Your Yard?

Toads are attracted to yards that conceal man-made items that act as humid shelters for them and their prey. Toads thrive in suburban environments and usually hide under rocks, planters, in leaves, and in window wells, and feed on the insects that cross their path including small bugs and rodents.

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Long story short, your yard is a paradise for toads. It contains all the shelter, humidity and food they need to survive, and so they will be attracted and want to stick around. Let’s see how you can safely capture, relocate and prevent toads from coming back.

1. How to Safely Capture Toads

Here are some safe ways you can capture and move toads out of your backyard or garden. First of all, contact your local animal control department because it may be illegal to move certain types of toads depending on your jurisdiction. If you are unsure what kind of toad is in your yard, check out our detailed toad identification chart.

Capture Toads By Hand

If you choose to catch toads by hand to move them, do not forget to wear gloves or some other form of protection. Some toads are poisonous, others are very poisonous so be careful. 

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  1. Make sure any predators including your pets are inside before getting started
  2. Get a container or pail and put some mud in the bottom
  3. Put on a pair of gloves
  4. Scoop up the toad and cup it in your hands without squishing it
  5. Release the toad ideally within 25 meters (80 feet) but under 100m (330 feet) from where it was found
  6. Chose a shaded, safe area to leave the toad, far away from predators

Do not put more than one small and large toad in a container together. Toads are cannibals and may eat each other depending on their size. Make more than one trip if you have to. If you use a closed container, make sure it is deep enough and has air holes (created before putting the animal in the container in order to avoid hurting it in the process). If possible, use a deep pail with no lid to transport the toads.

Capture Toads Using a Net

Using a net to capture toads can be a good way to move them since this will prevent you from having to touch the toad and possibly harm it.

  1. Make sure any predators including your pets are inside before getting started
  2. Put on a pair of gloves
  3. Use a tightly knit net where its limbs (and toes) will not get caught to scoop up the toad
  4. Place your hand under the net to support the toad
  5. Release the toad ideally within 25 meters (80 feet) but under 100m (330 feet) from where it was found
  6. Chose a shaded, safe area to leave the toad, far away from predators

You can find tightly knit nets for a low cost at your local Dollar Store and use one to scoop up the toad. You do not want your pets to be outside because they are predators to toads and risk getting very sick if they eat them intentionally or unintentionally.

See our complete guide on how to safely catch and release frogs

2. How to Safely Move Toads

This section is very important if you are considering moving toads so please be sure to read it. No matter how you decide to capture toads you are responsible for their well-being.

Protect Yourself & The Toad

Carry the toad cupped in your hands, but do not hold it tightly or around the belly. This can hurt their internal organs. Be very careful when handling toads, they are fragile creatures. Release the toad as quickly as possible and in under one hour to minimize stress. Leave it in a location with shelter (vegetation) and no predators around.

A toad demonstrating stress (pressing body to the ground)

You should wear gloves because since toads are poisonous. Be sure to wash your hands before and after touching a toad. Also, make sure your pets are not around since they are predators to toads. Do not worry if it pees on you, it is afraid and that is a way for it to fend off predators. And toad pee does not give warts. Anyway, you are wearing gloves, right? πŸ˜‰

Do not capture toads to move them right before they hibernate. This is especially the case if you live in Canada or the Northern States in the US. When this takes place depends on the species, but avoid moving toads between October and May. 

Contact your local Wildlife Department if you must move them during those months to inquire on how you can safely go about it.

Contact Your Local Wildlife Department For Help

Contact your local animal control department for more information about what type of toad you captured, and what you can legally do with it in your jurisdiction. There are often location-specific ways of dealing with toads that you should discuss with a qualified professional.

NameLocationPhone
Canadian Wildlife ServiceCanada1-800-668-6767
U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceUSA1‑800‑344‑WILD
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & AttractionsAustralia(08) 9219 9000
Department for Environment Food & Rural AffairsUK03459 33 55 77

This is especially true if you would like to move toad spawn or toad eggs. Do not attempt to move toad eggs yourself. Contact your local animal control department and they will let you know if you are allowed to and assist you on how to do so.

Do not kill toads! Do not use poison or some other unethical way of eradicating these wonderful creatures. It is not necessary to kill toads and in some places, it may be illegal, especially if the species is protected. 

Do Not Move Toads to Another Area of Town

Do not move the toad to another area of town. This is a terrible idea because the toads will try to find their way back and will more than likely die in the process, especially if they have to cross roads. Ideally, release it within 25 meters (80 feet), and less than 100m (330 feet) from where it was found.

A toad I found in the wild

A much more constructive way of preventing toads from coming back is to toad-proof your yard. So once you have moved the toad outside your property, here is what you can do to prevent it from coming back.

3. Prevent Toads From Coming Back to Your Yard

If you are determined to keep toads out of your backyard and garden altogether, here are a few things you can do.

Toad in Your Window Well? What to Do

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You can stop toads from entering your backyard by putting up tight, smooth, solid fencing around your yard that is at least 50cm (20 inches) above ground. Get rid of anything that attracts toads in your backyard like pet food, humid shelters, and bright lights at night.

Remove anything that retains moisture and could shelter toads like deep planters placed on the grass. Toads are attracted to bright lights at night because lights attract bugs that toads feed on (CTNF).

Common Questions About Moving Toads

Can you Relocate Toads? You should not relocate toads since they will try to go back to their original habitat and often die in the process. Relocating toads may also be illegal in some places so consider contacting your local animal control department to know if you can legally do so. 

Can Toads Find Their way Home? Toads can find their way home if they were moved to another location. It is in their instinct to return to the pond where they were born in order to live and reproduce. Moving toads to another area is dangerous for the toad since they may have to crossroads and will probably die.

What do You do With toads in the Winter? Do not move toads in the Winter since they are hibernating. Contact your local animal control department for more information about what you can legally do with toads in the Winter. There are often location-specific ways of dealing with toads that you should discuss with a qualified professional.

Can you Take a toad From the Wild? Taking a toad from the wild is not recommended for a number of reasons. Removing the toad from its natural habitat can be detrimental to the toad, and it may also be illegal in your area depending on local laws and the species of toad. Contact your local animal control department for more information.

Is it Illegal to Capture Toads? Respectfully and safely capturing toads to observe them up close may not be illegal. But capturing toads to move, keep or kill them may be illegal in your area depending on local laws and the species of toad. Contact your local animal control department for more information. 

How do you Move a Pet Toad? To safely move a pet toad, get a deep container and put a wet paper towel in the bottom. Put on a pair of gloves and scoop up the toad. Hold it by the legs or around the arms to place it in the container. Place it back into its aquarium as soon as possible and under 1 hour.

Sources

Ontario Species at Risk Handling Manual: For Endangered Species Act, Authorization Holders

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.