Cane toads: they have to be the most disliked of all amphibians. They hibernate for most of the year and then hop on into our lives when the weather warms up, and the rains start to fall. But, instead of being greeted like long lost friends, they are consistently met with shrieks of disdain.
The dislike of cane toads isn’t unfounded, with the top three reasons being:
- Their astounding ability to reproduce which has caused National Geographic to list them as a species of least concern of extinction;
- They carry with them a toxin that inflicts environmental damage and causes detrimental effects to many would-be predators, including household pets and native Australian wildlife; and
- They are highly dispersive with a single toad able to journey more than 50km in a wet season.
It isn’t all bad news with research unearthing new ways for local governments to attempt to control their cane toad populations. But, if you aren’t keen to just leave it in the hands of your local government, there are a few things you can do at home to help stop the population spreading.
Obviously, the most humane way to remove cane toads from your yard would be to relocate them by hand. However, we understand that not too many people would be keen on that. So, let’s look at the ways we could deter them from coming into your yard altogether.
The first option is to remove the cane toads’ temptations. Cane toads are nocturnal so will be out looking for food at night. Removing uneaten pet food will force toads to go looking further afield for their dinner. Switching off exterior lights at night will also remove their live sources of food, i.e. bugs.
Placing your pets’ water high up, so that it is still accessible for your pets but not the toads, will also force them to venture out of your yard looking for water to rehydrate. There is no need for it to be too high, as toads are poor jumpers.
Keeping your yard free of debris or rubbish is another good way to discourage them as they will have fewer options for daytime shelter.
If all else fails, Integrity Pest Control has humane ways of treating cane toads. HOPSTOP is a unique product, developed in Australia, that kills cane toads safely, effectively and humanely. HOPSTOP is an aerosol spray, containing chloroxylenol as the active constituent, that is sprayed directly onto toads without any need to touch the animals. It anaesthetises toads within seconds and kills them humanely in 30 – 60 minutes. Toads are physically unmarked by the treatment and do not display unacceptable physical signs of distress or trauma as a consequence of treatment. In fact, HOPSTOP is approved by the RSPCA for cane toad control, and by the Queensland Schools Animal Ethics Committee for euthanising toads for school laboratory studies.
For further cane toad control tips or to learn more about our toad control treatments, please get in contact.