The Cane Toad Takeover

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     Hello!!! My name is Jennifer, friends call me "jungle Jen", and controlling Cane Toad populations is my passion. After nearly loosing my beloved dog, it has become my goal to educate others and spread the word about these toads that are so often over looked. The growing Cane Toad population is a serious problem that unfortunately no one pays much attention to until its too late and they have lost a loved pet. These toads are everywhere, even if you don't see them they are there! They come out mostly at night, so often go unseen. Years of experience has taught quite a bit, and unfortunately Cane Toads are here to stay, unless we work very diligently eradicate them! The only thing we can do is TRY to control their population before its too late. (like in Australia- read on further...)   I have heard of Pest Control Company's claiming to use "traps" to catch them, but they only catch a few in a week. I have also heard of company's using their rat poison boxes to kill cane toads, but the average sized cane toad is much to large to fit in these traps..... Depending on population size, in one night I can catch by hand well over 50 in a few hours!!!!

                                          I utilize 4 means of control-

         - First and foremost, catching by hand is the absolute best way to catch toads. Period.

         - Tadpole traps are very useful, much more useful then adult toad traps, but only if you know the right way to make                   them and the correct way to bait them.

          -Adult toad traps only catch a small number of toads (plus native species) in a specific location. Catching by hand can                   yield WAY more toads in one night then a trap can in a week.

          -Preventing ideal spots for them to "hang out" is also an issue we must address. They love clutter, bright lights at                       night, water sources, and underbrush. As well as places by your house, like air conditioner units and pool pumps.                     They also are attracted to left out pet food and bushes that are are overgrown.

From what I have learned over the years, catching by hand is BY FAR the best method to collect adult toads. I also make highly effective tadpole traps that can catch thousands of baby cane toads before they even hop out of the water. Adult toad traps are not very effective, but sort of work in places where populations are small, but they pose the risk of catching unwanted critters, and having pets and wildlife finding poisonous toads just within their reach.   From my many years of experience & research, I can tell you that this issue must be addressed and also approached to holistically. 

The reason I created this page was to educate others about these toads and the affect they have on our environment. Toads are beautiful creatures, don't get me wrong, but this kind of toad doesn't belong here in Florida. It has no predators and also has poisonous glands all over its body.  Not only that, Cane Toads can easily kill our pet dogs and cats, and is just as deadly to our native wildlife. They also compete with our native frogs and toads for food and shelter. Cane Toads eat other toads and frogs as well as anything else they can fit in their mouth. We should learn from what happened in Australia and consider the Cane Toad a serious threat to our environment. We must deal with it as soon as possible before the population explodes like it did in eastern Australia.  At the rate in which they breed they can very easily overpopulate an area and have disastrous effects on native wildlife. My goal is to help protect our pets and our native animals from this invasive species and if we don't do something about it NOW, soon it will be too late....

Studying Cane Toads is something I've been doing for a very long time, ever since i was a little kid. It is VERY important that we learn as much about them as we can. How and when they travel, and how to properly, safely, and efficiently control their populations.  Not enough attention has been paid to this growing problem. This is something we, as a community, need to address!  Snow bird season is here and people from up north have NO IDEA we have these deadly toads lurking ALL AROUND our homes. They don't live out in the woods, they thrive in urban environments. The problem goes unseen until you or your friend loose a beloved pet!! These toads are very crafty and camouflaged, and unless your skilled at spotting and catching them you won't even know they are there!

  Recently, I almost lost my dog because he bite a cane toad.  Cane Toads' goes by many names; Bufo Marinus, Rhinella marina, Feral Toad, Bufo toad, marine toad, and giant toad, just to name a few. It is a highly invasive and predacious toad that will eat anything that can fit in its mouth, including all types of our native frogs, toads and insects. They have even been known to eat pet food and garbage. The Giant marine toad has two poisonous glands on either side of their head that secrete bufotoxin.  This toxin is deadly to dogs, cats and our native wildlife.  It even harms humans, there's been reports of human deaths because of their toxin. If you catch one be sure to not get the milky substance in your eyes, and be aware that it has been known to burn sensitive skin. You do NOT want your young children around these toads.

PLEASE DON'T feed outside pets after dark! If you absolutely must, feed them on a surface OFF of the ground at least TWO and a half feet. (like on a picnic bench)  If you feed a feral cat colony it is advised you feed them in the mornings and pick up remaining food before dusk. Most people have no idea why their feral cats are getting sick, drooling, and overall not healthy- and this is why. Cane Toads will stick around a food and water source until its gone. They are poisonous at every life stage!   


     The symptoms of Cane Toad poisoning in dogs and cats include, head-shaking, drooling, foaming at the mouth, disorientation, whining, loss of coordination, pawing at the mouth, and, in serious cases, convulsions and then death. The animals gums will turn red, which is an indicator used by vets to distinguish toad poisoning from epilepsy.  The color of your pets gums is something you should check from time to time, so that you know what is a healthy gum color for your specific animal, and if you don't check your pets gum color regularly you wont be able to notice changes that could be telling of some kind of health issue. For dogs like chows and animals with spotted, pigmented, or black gums things are a bit more tricky. For dogs with pigmented mouths it is recommended that you look at the color of their inner eyelids for answers instead. Typically their gums/ inner eyelids should be the color of bubblegum; a rich, salmon pink color.  If you know your pet has bit a Cane Toad or perhaps ingested Bufo toxin, quickly get a rag or paper towel and rub off any of the secretions that are in the dog, or cats mouth. Then get a hose and run a slow stream of water inside of the dog's/cat's mouth for over 10 minutes, making sure to point the animal's head downward so that water isn't swallowed. Rub the gums and mouth to remove the toxin. This treatment is very helpful, but call your vet as soon as possible. I speak from experience because i almost lost my dog a few months ago from biting a cane toad and I watched a very good friends Yorkie die in her arms and it is imperative that you immediately wash the toxin out of your dogs mouth, because the time it would take you to call/ get to the vet wont do you any good if the toxin is still entering your pets system. 

You might be wondering "so where dose one find this Cane Toad?" EVERYWHERE! They are quickly taking over South Florida. They are especially easy to find if you or one of your neighbors feed outside cats or pets. Chances are, they don't even know that they are laying out easy food for Cane Toads. One of the things I hear ALL of the time is how people had no idea that the "friendly toad" that they always found around their pet food bowl was harmless. Most people have no idea how deadly these toads can be to dogs and cats, and our native wildlife. They have no natural predators and are toxic to anything that eats them. Cane toads also travel continuously and can cover an impressive amount of ground looking for optimal breeding conditions. Which is why it is VERY important that after you know you have a Cane Toad population in your neighborhood that keep up with your efforts to get rid of them.  Once toads find a suitable location they stick around it. After those toads are caught, other toads move in to occupy that optimal location which is why it takes time to eradicate toads, it dose not happen overnight. You can easily spot groups of males gathered around a light source seeking out mates. This is one of the easiest times to catch them. It is also important that you can identify the mating calls of Cane Toads as compared with other frogs and toadsYou can go here-  to listen to the sound of male Cane Toads calling females.  You can also go to YouTube and check out "Brandon's Herp Adventures" page and see plenty of informational videos about identifying frog and toad calls and other interesting subjects.

All life stages of cane toads are poisonous. These are cane toad tadpoles. If your pets or fish in your ponds eat them they will die. Regular toad and frog tadpoles are much smaller and are not jet black. Notice how they have slightly pointed snouts.If you have a Koi pond and cane toads lay eggs in it you will loose your koi fish. I make specially designed tad pole traps that i bait with a special concoction that ONLY attracts cane toad tadpoles. As far as i know, no one else has been making, selling, or experimenting with these traps as much as, or for as long as i have. These traps are HIGHLY effective. One trap can catch thousands of tadpoles in a short matter of time. 

Cane toad tadpoles quickly grow into small toads that are harder to spot and catch. That is why it is SO important that we set up cane toad tadpole traps in the CORRECT locations where we can target large populations of tadpoles. Other businesses claiming to help you, or your community cane toad troubles, do not know this and do not practice these methods. From many trials and tribulations I have learned the best ways to catch only cane toad tadpoles, and not harm our vulnerable native toad and frog populations.  Protecting our native species is very important. The invasive cane toads are killing them off, and they serve a priceless role in our ecosystem. They can not be replaced and we must safely do whatever we can to insure they regain their previous populations.  Adult toad traps can catch the wrong kind of toad and cane toads will eat them if the trap isn't checked once or twice a day. That is why I don't particularly like to use adult toad traps. Catching adult toads by hand is much better, for a number of reasons. Native toads can immediately be lot go, you don't have to worry about catching the wrong kind of animal, and you eliminate the chance of pets accidentally getting into the trap and eating cane toads.