Bufo Marinus Toads, also known as Cane Toads and Giant Toads, can kill dogs in minutes. (Read: Bufo Toads Can Kill Your Dog!) Bufos love pet food and can kill a dog by previously coming in contact with the pet food or water bowl, so DON’T leave food or water sitting out! In South Florida, Bufo Toads an invasive species ruining our ecosystem and threatening dogs, cats and other animals, large and small. They have even been known to kill alligators! That’s extremely toxic; dogs can die within minutes if not treated. Read my previous post about identifying Bufo toads and what to do if you’re pet comes into contact with one by clicking here.
Bufos are known to live by lakes and water sources in South Florida and are constantly invading backyards and family areas. Many readers have asked how to trap or eliminate Bufos from their yards. Below are several options we’ve tried and tested. Though these work, they never completely eliminate Bufo Toads and some are extreme solutions (but when it comes to a toad or my dogs, I choose my dogs every time!). Bottom line, these highly toxic toads will always be a threat and the best way to prevent an attack is to watch your pet at all times outside. You can also train your to stay away from Bufos with constant reinforcement training (Harley and Chelsea are trained to stay away however Scarlett is a pointer and always chases them.)
Trapping and Eliminating Bufo Marinus Toads
1. Freezing Toads
To freeze the toads to death, you must first capture them. This can be tricky and requires a little ingenuity as to the best way. Freezing toads to death is considered the most humane way. You can spread benzocaine ointment on it’s back (a small amount) and it will cause the toad to be unconscious in 20 minutes. Then, place in the freezer for 3 days and discard responsibly! The Florida Wildlife Extension at UF recommends this method. Click here to read more.
2. Snake Killer Deterrent
This is more of a preventative measure and though it won’t eliminate all Bufo Toads, it can drastically reduce the numbers in your yard because they hate the Snake Killer. Spread it around the perimeter of your yard, specifically concentrating in well-known Bufo Toad areas, like by bodies of water, lights, etc.
3. Bucket Trap
Bury a 5-gallon bucket (or larger), so the opening is level to the ground. Grease the buckets sides well, so the toads cannot escape. Throw some pet food in the bottom. There MUST be a light source overhead or nearby. You can do this by setting it up under a floodlight and using foil to reflect the light or setting up a light source directly above the bucket (make sure it’s protected from water). Either way, a light source must be present nearby to attract the frogs. They will also smell the dog food and may want to check it out. You may need to build a blockade around this to protect your dogs and kids. If so, make sure there is a large enough opening at the bottom for the toads to hop in. We have caught a few Bufo Toads this way!
Bleach is the most extreme solution, as bleach kills the Bufo instead of acting as a deterrent or trap. Though not the most humane, the quickest solution is to pour 1/2 cup bleach over Bufos. They will die almost instantly and then you can responsibly discard them. This method should be used only as a last resort against Bufo Toads or in an emergency situation.
We hope these provide some solutions to anyone with a Bufo Toad infestation. A dog poisoned by a Bufo Toad will die 100% of the time if not treated. Make sure to be careful if you live in an area with these Giant Toads and keep an eye on your pets at all times!