Frogs Eat Bugs and Make Great Neighbors

When I was a kid I was fascinated with toads. We lived in a small town and we had a root cellar. I used to catch toads and put them down there so they would catch the bugs. Did you know that all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads? It’s true. It’s also true that frogs eat bugs and that’s just one of the reasons they make great neighbors.

frogs eat bugs

A green frog waits patiently for his next meal. Image Credit: J Hughes

As an adult I am amused at my dog’s fascination with toads. They now know not to get the toad in their mouths. They learned that the hard way, but they still nose them and follow them around.

Being an environmentalist, I am happy to see toads around my house and in my flower gardens. Toads are a sign of a healthy environment. Besides being cute frogs eat bugs, insects, worms, slugs, and spiders. I’ve battled slugs before and it’s not fun. I really appreciate the little toads outside. I haven’t seen a slug in a very long time!

frogs eat bugs

Frogs need a natural and clean environment to survive. Image Credit: J Hughes

Frogs Eat Bugs and are AN ENVIRONMENTAL GAUGE

The number of frogs around ponds and streams tells conservationists much about the environment. Frogs have skin that is permeable. They absorb chemicals that end up in our waterways and in the air we breathe. Surveys of frogs in mining and industrial areas have been able to identify chemical spills in waterways. If you spray pesticides around your house and in your yard you’re not likely to see toads or frogs. You’re also contributing to the toxic run off into storm drains. These drains in turn go into our streams and rivers that sustain our wildlife.

FROGS LOVE PONDS – YOU COULD CREATE YOUR OWN

You can create an area for frogs by building a pond and planting reeds or cattails along one edge. They love water lilies! My cousin has a beautiful pond on her property. Her son, who is a botany major, brought some water lilies seed pods home and tossed them in the pond. It wasn’t long before the pond was covered in water lilies and there were happy frogs everywhere! She is lucky because she has several acres and a lot of wildlife.

frogs eat bugs

This is my cousin’s beautiful frog pond. Image Credit: J Hughes

BUILD A MINI POND TO ATTRACT FROGS, TOADS, AND WILDLIFE

I read that a mini pond can be made with a plastic tub.  Just dig a hole in your yard that is the size of the tub and place the tub in it. Rocks or bricks placed in the middle or on one edge will be necessary for the frogs to get in and out. Plants or tall grasses could be planted on one side to provide cover and enhance its look. Other animals will appreciate this water source as well.  Rabbits, skunks, and possums need water too, especially when it is really hot. No matter what the size of your pond there is one very important thing to remember. Don’t use pesticides or any chemicals around your pond. Use organic or environmentally safe methods to fertilize or treat your lawn. It’s important to keep your pond in pristine condition.

frogs eat bugs

This common toad lives on land, but returns to the water to lay its eggs. Image Credit: Richardelainechambers (Wikimedia Commons)

 

TOADS ARE NOT ONLY CUTE BUT HELPFUL IN GARDENS

Toads live in dryer areas but still like the water. Toads need to have daytime shelter to get out of the hot sun. Some people buy toad houses. A broken clay flower pot makes a great toad house and it’s economical. Just put the pot concave side down and you have a toad house. I have several thick groups of flowers planted next to my house where the toads can get out of the sun and cool off. They come out in the evening and night to hunt insects.

When we make our last “pit stop” before bed my dogs always have to sniff the toads and follow them until they get in a crevice where the dogs can’t reach them. I used to have a shepherd mix who always had her nose in my flower gardens looking for toads. It was so cute when I’d ask her “Meggie, where’s the froggie?” Her ears would perk up and she would stick her nose down in the flowers looking for her beloved toads.

If you love nature and animals you’ll enjoy seeing toads or frogs on your property or in the wild.  If you’re lucky, you may even get to witness that frogs eat bugs! The old adage of “getting warts from toads” is just an old wives’ tale. When I was a kid I picked up so many toads that if that were true, my hands would be covered with warts by now. Now I respect their space and watch from afar. However, if I’m mowing and I see a toad, I stop, pick it up, and put it in an area where I’ve already mowed.

We must look at toads and frogs as good neighbors. Not only do frogs eat bugs but they are a sign of a healthy environment. So the next time you’re outside in the evening, look around, you just might see a toad or a frog looking for a midnight snack.

38 Comments

    • I’ve run across a few people in my time who don’t care for frogs – two even that are deathly afraid of them.

  1. I never realized frogs could live so far from water!! I have found many in my garden and there is no water insight! I love that they eat bugs! they are so cute!

  2. This is so fun to read! I too love nature and the environment! We just recently had a bull frog decide to make his own in our small garden pond! We are so excited he is with us!

  3. I never thought about this before but it makes complete sense to have toads or frogs in the backyard. It’s really going to get rid of the bugs around the house! So helpful!

  4. I would love to have a mini pond in my backyard. Once in a while, we find a frog in our garden and it always bring delight to my children as it is seldom happen that they see frogs.

    • Rose – As Gisele mentioned in her article, backyard ponds can be simple to construct. You just need to be sure you have a way to keep the water moving so that it doesn’t become a mosquito pond instead of a frog pond.

  5. We have tons of frogs in the lake behind my house. Thanks for sharing this important frog info!! I will give the frogs some new respect.

  6. We always had a few frogs in our yard when we had a house. My son was fascinated with them and ended up keeping a few frogs in his room for a while. He would get bugs and feed them. And then one day, two of the frogs came hoping out of his room. It was hard not to laugh because it was funny but we wanted him to know it wasn’t cool. 🙂

    • That is funny. I kept frogs for a while, too. I had a particularly frisky green frog that almost always got away from me when I cleaned his aquarium.

    • Yes, in certain parts of the world there are some frogs that are quite toxic. Even in Arizona, USA, we had one we had to watch out for. It is called the Sonoran Desert toad (aka the Colorado River toad). They kill more dogs than rattlesnakes in Arizona.

  7. As a child, I can remember frogs were everywhere and I just don’t see them around as much. Kind of sad. Your frog pond is super cool.

    • I know … frog populations worldwide seem to be down. That’s not a good sign for the health of our planet.

  8. I grew up with a mom who did not like frogs at all so it kind of put a fear in me; however, as I grew older I began to realize that they were fine. I really did not realize until reading this just how helpful they are.

  9. This is great to know! Our backyard must be in great health as we have so many frogs and toads! It’s nearly deafening to sit outside some nights when the tree frogs get going, and now that the pool is open my son goes to fish toads out of the pool a few mornings a week. Maybe I need to set up a little toad house nearby to give them some shelter and Keep them out of the pool!

    • That’s awesome. It sounds like your backyard is environmentally perfect for toads and frogs. I live in a woody area and the tree frogs here are loud as well. Your place sounds wonderful!

  10. Sorry I have a huge frog phobia. I bet they are beneficial but I gotta be honest I dont want them no where near me they cant be my neighbor!

  11. Frogs were my Dad’s animal totem, because of our family’s buggy eyes. I always think of him when I see them now.

  12. What an awesome post about frogs and I love to read more about this I love frogs in our backyard at night they eat the noisy insect from our backyard.

    • Thank you, I appreciate that! I enjoy seeing them in my yard and especially listening to the tree frogs at night. State wildlife sites usually have information about the frogs in your area.

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