Venice Pest Blog

The Official Blog of Venice Pest Control

One New Florida Lawn Care Concern and How to Handle It

If you're a Floridian, then the recent invasion of non-native Bufo toads is no doubt already on your radar. As they have swept in from Central and South America over the past few years, these lawn pests have already managed to make quite a nuisance of themselves. Clocking in between four and six inches in length and tipping the scales at up to two pounds, these massive toads have a claim to fame far more troubling than their ability to frighten unwitting homeowners. 

Of top concern to Florida residents is fact that Bufo toads bring danger and the possibility of death to area pets. According to the University of Florida's Wildlife Extension, these amphibians secrete a "highly toxic milky substance from its large parotoid glands at the back of its head." Although only a mild irritant to humans, this substance is toxic to other animals.

Because Bufo toads are non-native, they upset the delicate ecosystem and do not have many natural predators. Normally Florida's snake population keeps the frog and toad situation at bay; however, because these toads are toxic, snakes tend to avoid them. As omnivores, Bufo toads to help to cut down on other pests, such as small insects, snakes, and other frogs and toads; however, they also eat small birds and other small mammals, which is an alarming thought to consider. 

Bufo toads are most easily spotted at night, when they are actively drawn to strongly-lighted areas around buildings; there they camp out to eat their fill of insects. If you spot these large amphibians on your property and have concerns about the danger that they pose to your pets, do not hesitate to consult with a lawn and pest-control professional. 

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