The Cane Toad Takeover

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      Cane toads are the largest toads in the world.

They can live to be over 25 years old and can weigh as much as 4 pounds! One of the largest ever recorded weighed a massive 5 pounds 8 oz and was reportedly over 15 inches long!!!!!!! They come in multiple shades of grey, and brown, sometimes having a slight orange-ish tint. Females are larger then the males and also have smoother skin.  They are built tough and compact and are relatively strong for being a toad. Cane toads have partially webbed feet and beautiful golden eyes with horizontal pupils.  Behind each eye are large parotoid glands that secretes a cocktail of 14 chemicals. If your pets or our native wildlife bite a toad and ingest the bufo toxin they can die in as little as 10 minutes.  They also have smaller glands on other parts of their body that produce the same white milky substance. If you get it on your skin, wash it off immediately. It wont kill you but it can burn your skin and you definitely do not want to get it in your eyes. They are NOT capable of squirting their venom out at you, that’s just a wives tail. Cane toad tadpoles and eggs are poisonous also. When the tadpoles of our native frog and toad species consume them they die.


  Don't know, DON'T KILL!!!!  
 Now the thought of killing toads really bothers me but when it comes down to it these critters do not belong here and are a serious threat to our pets and native wildlife. They eat absolutely anything and everything that can fit into their mouth. They eat other toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, plant matter and even small birds. These toads are known to eat dog and cat food that people set out for outside pets and even  human table scraps. They are decimating our local toad and frog populations. Cane toads were introduced to southern Florida in the 30’s and 40’s to control pests in the sugar cane fields, giving them one of their popular nicknames “Cane Toad”. They introduced about a hundred toads and now there’s probably a million. Something must be done to control their population without harming the populations of our native frogs and toads and the only way to do that is to catch them by hand. This same thing happened in Australia and over there the cane toad is considered one of the greatest ecological threats the country has ever seen. Its has been estimated that Australia’s cane toad population exceeded 1.5 BILLION!!!! Think about all the native wildlife that is being destroyed by these non native invasive species.  Cane toads have also been introduced to some south pacific islands, New Guinea, Fiji, and Hawaii, and are causing equally disastrous problems.

They breed like CRAZY!!!! 
One of the many reasons this species of toad is considered such a threat to our native wildlife is because they are such prolific breeders.  They breed all during the year after rain. The males gather in large groups close to still water and croak to attract females.  A female toad laden with eggs will pick the most attractive male and swim with him and drop long strings of poisonous eggs.  a single female can lay between 20,000 and 30,000 eggs in one night. If the conditions are right they can start hatching with in 36 hours and can become little toadlets in two weeks time. Within one year these tiny cane toads are sexually mature. There are no specific predators or diseases to control the toads populations.
Researchers at the University of Queensland have been exploring the possible medical benefits of the Cane Toad. Experiments have shown that the toads toxins have the unique ability to selectively kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.  Similarly, in traditional Chinese medicine the use of a toad toxin has been used to treat skin and heart conditions.
Questions and Answers
       Text me your questions to (239) 384-2115. Or  email questions to [email protected] 
 THANK YOU~ If your questions is good i will add it to the list!! 

Q- I don't have pets, why should this concern me?

A- Do you care about the environment? Our tourism? Do you like to watch wildlife? Do you have friends with pets? Chances are you answered YES to most of these questions. Cane toads kill our native wildlife, pets, and have an impact on tourism. No one wants to come to Florida with their pet Yorkie's, that are their babies, and leave dog-less because they had no idea killer toads lived all over the resort they were staying at. 


Q- Is it better to wash their mouth, or rub it clean with a cloth?

A- First you need to get a cloth and very quickly rub out the animals mouth, starting with the tongue, then the gums and the cheeks. Use strokes starting in the back of the mouth, wiping the toxin OUT - rather then inwards. You must do this QUICKLY because the toxin can cause them to clamp their mouth shut. Then IMMEDIATELY wash their mouth while using your hands to wipe the inside of the mouth.   

 *** we don't want to push water or poison into the back of their mouth where they could potentially swallow it. AS soon as you do this, get to your emergency vet AS SOON AS YOU CAN SAFELY!!!! (don't drive like a lunatic, get there safe)

Q- Can i kill them with ammonia in a spray bottle?

A- I have heard of people killing baby toadlets with ammonia in a spray bottle, but that's terribly inhumane and it kills your grass and any plants it touches. 

Q- I don't see any toads around my house, are my pets safe?

       A- Just because YOU don't see them dose not mean they aren't there. Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses. We only have about six million, so they know whats hiding where we can't see. Plus, the part of a dog's brain that is devoted to smells is 40 times greater than ours.

Q- I have been told moth balls repel them and also that I should carry a bleach in a spray bottle to squirt on them while I'm out walking my dog. Will this help?

       A-  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!! Moth balls repel MOTHS, not TOADS. Bleach dose not kill Cane Toads and will not keep them away! It WILL HOWEVER hurt them, cause them pain, and you risk hurting other wildlife and your own pets. It is advised that when you are walking your dog you pay close attention to what they are doing and keep them out of dense bushes, and edges of ponds. Which is a good idea anyways, since we have populations of gators that love golf course ponds!

Q- My pest control company sais that they "take care of my toad problem"
       A- They do not. They take care of your bug problems, making sure there are no bugs getting into your house.   There will ALWAYS be bugs outside and there will ALWAYS be toads ready and waiting to eat them.

Q- Do they squirt their poison?

     A- No. Unless they are bothered, they do not secrete their poison. If they become upset, it will ooze out of their glands and is very sticky if you come into contact with it. IF they are EXTREMELY agitated they can produce a very fine mist from the glands, That fine mist floats on the air and can be absorbed by the mucous membranes in your eyes, nose, and mouth.