I bet you are asking yourself why in the world you want to attract toads to your garden, right? If you love growing your own food, you really need to keep reading to find out! We have a TON of toads in the garden and I am thrilled that they call my back yard home.
Hate Garden Pests? Encourage TOADS in the Garden!
Toads eat garden pests like the dreaded hornworm caterpillar and squash beetles that like to attack my garden. Learn how to attract toads and you will have significantly fewer garden pests! But, can you just stick out a toad house with a for rent sign and hope they show up? Not really!
I am going to share a few ways to encourage toads to visit your yard. So that garden pests are less of a problem! Remember, once you get them there, they are more likely to breed and your toad population will take off. And while this article focuses on toads, you can attract frogs in much the same way. They are also fabulous garden helpers when it comes to eating bugs.
Garden Toads Everywhere!
I remember a day not too long ago that my teenage son was mowing the back lawn. I listened to the sound of the mower running for a few minutes, then it would stop. A few minutes it would start again and run for a bit and then stop again.
I wondered if maybe he was having lawn mower trouble and went outside to check on him. Turns out, every few feet he had to stop and rescue a baby toad as it tried to hop away from the mower.
My poor kid spent an hour mowing a small patch of grass and probably rescued a dozen toads as he worked. I’m glad he was so diligent since I worked hard to attract toads to the garden and would hate for them to get mowed over!
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Where do toads live?
Wondering where toads live around the world? Just about everywhere! Well, there are a few places where they are not native. Greenland, Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Madagascar, and the polar regions are not native toad habitats.
But, in the rest of the world, you will find an abundance of toad species. The warmer and wetter the region, the more abundant they seem to be, however, they can live farther from water than frogs can.
If you are trying to find toads, they can usually be seen at night, or occasionally in the daytime after a good rain, from March to October. Look in wooded areas of your yard and damps spaces in the garden. Also in parks, fields, ditches, lakes and shallow slow-moving rivers. While a fancy toad house is fun and makes good garden decor, they will often find more rustic accommodations!
Are toads beneficial to a garden?
So, first off, let’s answer the question of WHY you want to attract frogs and toads to the garden. Are toads beneficial to a garden? Basically, YES! Because what do garden toads eat? BUGS! Bugs are a gardener’s worst nightmare and toads like to eat them. So, the more toads you have in your yard, the fewer garden pests you will have to deal with. Sounds like a great plan to me!
Attracting toads is very beneficial because they eat slugs and snails, too. Slugs and snails are NEVER good for a garden! I spend a lot of time getting rid of snails and making homemade earwig traps so I am happy for the toads to eat them. So, how do you attract toads to the garden? Here are a few simple tips.
How to Attract Toads to the Garden
Provide toad houses for them to live in:
Keep things moist for happy garden toads:
Other gardening tips you might like:
Use only natural lawn and garden products:
Get rid of invasive species
Learn how to catch a toad!
Don’t buy toads for your garden!
Learn More About Toad Activism!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.
48 thoughts on “How to Attract Toads to Your Garden”
Your son sounds like good people. I did that very same thing last year. I would mow and stop , mow and stop. I remember catching them one by one and putting them in a tall bucket. After I was finished mowing the grass, I emptied the bucket under the trees. I felt so good that I had saved 8 or 10 frogs.
We have raised garden boxes. Would toads still be beneficial? If yes, do I put the toad house on top of the raised garden or perhaps in the hostas along my fence line?
I would think the house should be in a slightly more protected area. I wouldn’t put them right IN the garden? But you never, know til you try!
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a toad in our garden but I definitely don’t want slugs and snails! I’ll keep my eyes open for them.
Ms. Christian, off with the snails with a mason jar of Beer . Fill the mason jar 1/4 from the top with beer and place it down into the soil just far enough for the top ridges to be above the soil and wala the slugs and snails fall into the jar .
Hope this helps
Beer works great! We put it in a shallow dish level to the ground and it works with snails and slugs!
I don’t have a garden, but my friend does. I think she would find this very informative and helpful! Never realized how useful toads can be. I guess it’s good that my friend has a pond in her back yard. It’ll help with attracting toads.
I’m in a land-locked desert state, so we don’t get toads too often, but I am super jealous that you get that. I do believe what you’ve said, though. Toads are a natural bug deterrent, and frankly, who wouldn’t want that natural white noise croaking out of their back yard?
we love listening to the toads and frogs in the backyard pond after a good rain! Such a relaxing sound!
I like listening to them too, Except for the little green tree frogs we have here in coastal alabama. They climb the walls of my house and almost have a very loud barking sound Lol.
We have those occasionally on the house here in GA but not often. Which is good because they freak my husband out completely 🙂
This post is so cool! Not only is it fun to see toads hopping around in the garden, they eat so many bugs! I’m going to try these tips.
I didn’t realize there were actual steps to take to attract toads! My mom has lots of toads in her garden, but I rarely see one around here.
Love toads and frogs. Have a lot here. Just a funny story to share. Before we moved in the bathroom had to be rebuilt. That included the plumbing. I went to use the toilet and got kissed by a toad on the backside. Evidently the toad had got in the pipe and trying to get to dry area he came up through the toilet. Needless to say I screamed like the girl I am. But mustard the rescuer in me and picked him up with paper towel and released him outside. LOL
my husband is terrified of frogs and has been known to scream like a girl when they jump at him!
I have always loved toads. The problem is snakes come to eat them.
depending on the type of snake, that might be a good thing 🙂 But, it definitely doesn’t help the toad population to be eaten!
I too love toads. I have a favorite that loves to sit near my empty beekeeping equipment. I think he likes to eat any dead bees that are around.
We have had to take our dog out on leash for 2 weeks due to a busted fence and every night I go out back there is a GIANT toad in the yard that the dog keeps finding!
First of all, It says a lot as a mother that you have raised a son that respects the life of a “lowly” frog. That’s awesome. I have a toad family next to my chicken’s watering trough. Any other ideas on deterring slugs? I have 4 dogs who would be far too interested in a shallow dish of beer.
The slugs on my rhubarb I get rid of with a salt shaker after about 10 PM. My husband thinks I am insane but it works if you don’t have a lot. And my kids are HUGELY protective of animals. We have a house full of them and they are such softies!
I enjoyed this post and thought I would add to it.
I walk my dog at night and frequently see dozens of toads in the street after a rain. Since so many Flattened by cars, I have taken to carrying an extra bag or putting them in my pocket To rescue them from the street. As a result, I have dozens in my yard.
I have noticed one thing in particular that has helped keep them around…. Shallow dishes of water. I leave shallow, dark colored dishes of water out for my dog to drink from after walking. At night, I see toads setting in them on a regular basis (during the day, birds bath in them… My dog prefers the flavor). The big females (3-4 inches) will stake out a small area and remain there if they have all they need (food, water, cover). We see the same toads night after night for weeks or months!
We rescue turtles regularly in our street! We have a pond in the back yard which has become a breeding ground for many generations of toads. I love listening to them!
We often have a toad in our swimming pool – I use the scooper to get them out and back on dry land! I was reading a previous post about snakes….we have several garter snakes that hang out by the garden. Now I’m wondering if they’re eating the toads/frogs?
We have rat snakes and I know they probably eat some. But they also eat the copperheads so I am okay with them living here!
Love my toads. I have named them as I see them when they come out on my patio nightly to feed. I sit and watch them for hours. They are territorial. Each one hunts in his own area. And yes the snakes are allowed too as they keep a natural balance in my yard. All living things have a niche. Thank you for encouraging others to be more nature minded.
We love our toads here! They love the rock wall and garden area. The frogs have fun in the pond and boy are they LOUD at night!
Hi, we live in Arizona and don’t have ponds to look for toads is there some place we can buy a few? We have had a couple of toads enjoy the yard but we have not seen them this last year. We have a garden area where it is damp and cool in the summer months and we did see them in this area during the daytime, but not this year. Would love to get a few. Thank you.
Im not sure I have ever seen toads for sale online? I guess you could transport them from a nearby area but if there are predators in the area or not the right environment for them they wouldn’t survive 🙁
Would you love to have bloody cane toads? Please take them all here in Australia!
No thanks! Those do not sound pleasant!
I just wanted to give you a heads up that the “invasive species” connection is no longer working.
Thanks so much for this interesting article. I’m a new gardener and this is really helpful!
Thanks for letting me know! I have fixed the link….
We live in Miami, Florida in our garden we have a beautiful pond with koys that we enjoy a lot. Because of the pond it attracts a few big
toads which I forgot the name of them, I believe they came from Mexico or another country, all I know is that they produce poison and had kill two of our dogs, the third one survive after paying the vet. $3000 dollars. I don’t recommend to keep frogs in your yard at all..
It is definitely important to know if there are any poisonous species of toads in the area. For most people, I think, toads are more friend than foe in the backyard garden. I am sorry about your pups, though. I worry about my dog and the copperhead snakes that call our neighborhood home.
Can you recommend somewhere to buy frogs to put in our yards?
Hmmm. Maybe if you have an outdoor pond store? We built a backyard pond and they just showed up and started breeding!
Sadly, in Kenya kids crush them whenever they see them. Reason? Toads attract snakes !
that is sad! Especially since they are good for catching some nasty bugs!
I am so glad to know the usefulness of toad. Before I used to kill them a lot since it is believed that they are poisonous, looks hideous ,they used to eat away my honeybees and above all I really hated the creature. But now I I have changed my mind I have to conserve it ….
Im glad you had a change of heart. There are some poisonous ones but around here in Georgia they are pretty helpful!
when I was a child we would make frog houses. we would build them packing dirt from the. garden over our feet using a little water to form them. when we built enough we would gather frogs and place them in their new homes. Grandma would stand with her hands on her hips and a big smile tell us how good they looked. we spent hours and hours taking care of our frogs repairing houses and gathering bugs for them. I have a few here at my new home in missouri . It warms my heart to see them and brings back the memories of 6 little girls taking care their frogs.
I’m an animal scientist and I love that you mentioned that frogs, being amphibians, are sensitive to pesticides that are used to eliminate insects. Many people don’t realize that amphibians are often used as indicator species because of how sensitive they are to changes in the environment. So if you’re seeing toads in your garden, it’s in a healthy state!
Very true! One of the best ways to protect a lot of wildlife is to skip the chemicals in your yard!
How large does a pond need to be for toads to reproduce?
I’m not sure? Ours is about 3 feet around and a couple feet deep but we have koi in it so I don’t know if tadpoles would actually survive even if they hatched in there!
I have plenty of toads around my raised beds. The problem is I plan to clear in between the beds and add landscape fabric and mulch. I find the toads borrow up against and under the beds. How do I do this without getting rid of them?
Hmmm. You might want to consider doing this maintenance in fall when they have already left to hibernate?