Are Toads Welcome in Gardens?
They say that toads walk, and this video is proof that they kinda jump too.
Watch as this one runs away, but it isn't running, nor jumping, but something in between.
It saddens me that wild creatures are fearful of man, but that is the way it is.
You may be wondering if toads are a friend or foe in gardens?
Here is the good news, toads are among the best friends a gardener might care to have.
Toads eat snails, slugs and insects, both good and bad, but just eating the snails and slugs is a great help to any gardener.
I have a toad in my garden, and he is ever so welcome!
I call him Mr. Toad, but of course he could be Mrs toad, for all I know!
Actually, just a little research has shown me that the uniform dark brown colouring of this toad identifies it as a female.
I didn't even know she was there. I moved some black polythene that was laid over my spare compost bags and there she was!
A big, fat, healthy and well fed toad.
I took the photos on this page, then put her back where I found her.
Toads are officially classed as amphibians. They live in both water and land, and the strange thing is that I have no garden pond, fountain or any other water feature.
It rains a lot here, if that counts, but not heavy enough to cause anything more than puddles, so quite where Mr Toad came from is a mystery.
There may well be homes within the vicinity with pools or ponds, but my garden has a 10 foot perimeter wall and a very narrow entrance driveway, which puts the fear of death into me every time I drive in or out (I keep thinking I will hit a wall, it is so narrow), so how did the toad get in?
Once in, of course, she has enough food to last a lifetime, so he/she is happy, and I will do nothing to encourage her to leave.
What toads do in gardens
Toads like to live anywhere on land that offers moisture and protection. So if you have trees, make sure you have some logs (or compost bags covered with black polythene) lying around as a safe, dark, warm and damp place for toads to shelter.
Upturned plant pots situated in shady areas will encourage toads too.
A toad in your garden will:
- eat thousands of insects in its lifetime, including mosquitoes
- eat worms
- eat slugs and snails
- they have even been known to eat the odd mouse or two, which they swallow whole.
Every gardener welcomes toads, especially organic gardeners who wish to avoid the use of pesticides.
All amphibians, frogs and toads, should be welcomed into a productive garden with open arms. Like birds, they will help your plants to survive and thrive, while asking for very little in return.
All they ask for is a safe environment, so if you have frogs or toads in your garden, be careful when you haul the mower out to cut the grass that you do not inadvertently hurt of injure them, and that you do not use pesticides which they will ingest when they eat the affected insects.
- BBC Nature - Common toad videos, news and facts
Common toads secrete an irritant from their skin that prevents most predators from wanting to eat them.
- Common toad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Common Toad, bufo bufo, and its description, habitat, behaviour and reproduction cycle
- The RSPB: A to Z of a Wildlife Garden: Common toad
Common toads have broad, squat bodies and warty skin, and tend to walk rather than hop. These toads are widespread and common in mainland Britain.
- Encouraging Toads in Your Garden - Wildlife Gardener
The benefits of attracting toads into your garden and how to make your garden more appealing to toads.
Fact about toads
- toads can live for up to 40 years
- toads are cold-blooded
- the type of toad in the photos above is the Common Toad ( bufo bufo), a native of the UK
- handling toads does not cause warts (whew!)
- unlike frogs, toads live mostly on land (that explains a lot!)
- while frogs jump, toads walk as their back legs are not really designed for jumping
- the skin of toads is dry to the touch, unlike frogs who have moist skin - having touched both I can testify to that
- Mr Toad enjoys the protection of British Law - it is an offence to injure or kill a toad
- toads eat worms, slugs and snails, and their tongues can extend an inch to catch flies
- toads bodies feel warm and cosy when you hold them in your hand - I just added that from personal experience!
- toads have poisonous glands on their bodies, so hands should be washed after handling them, just in case (croak!!!)