The Cane Toad also known as the Bufo, Marine Toad, or Giant Toad is a large amphibian that is considered an invasive species to Florida. Wildlife removal experts have been getting increasing calls daily to remove these poisonous frogs. If you think you may have a Cane Toad problem, don't wait! Call a wildlife removal specialist right away. Here's more info on the Bufo (Cane) Toad.
Bufo Frogs, What Are They?
The south, mainly south Florida, is experiencing an infestation of poisonous Bufo frog, Bufo toads, also known as Cane toads. These creatures are not native to South Florida but were brought to the region to control pests attacking the sugar cane crops. According to Dr. Steven Johnson, Associate Professor at the University of Florida's Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, "They like to hop around “human-modified environments near a source of moisture." The Bufo frog can be found in such areas as suburban neighborhoods, golf courses, and baseball fields. Swarms in alarming numbers have been seen around homes in swimming pools and on walls, keeping many wildlife companies busy with daily calls. Recent rain and warm temperatures have led to a rise in the frogs' breeding habits. Female Cane toads can reproduce 10 to 30 thousand eggs.
In Florida, cane toads are found in urban, suburban, and agricultural areas. Cane toads are commonly found in yards, around buildings, or near canals and ponds. Cane toads breed year-round in standing water, streams, canals, and ditches. Cane toads are considered a non-native, invasive species and are poisonous to most animals that try to bite or consume them. The Florida Wildlife Conservation encourages landowners to kill Cane toads on their own property whenever possible. Cane toads are not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law and can be removed by wildlife removal specialists from private property year-round with landowner permission.
Cane (Bufo) Frog Identification
Cane toads are reddish-brown to grayish-brown with a light-yellow or beige belly and can be uniform in color or have darker markings around the body. They have enlarged glands behind the eyes, which angle downward onto the shoulders. The glands secrete a potent milky-white toxin (bufotoxin) as a defense against predators including domestic pets.
Cane toads generally range in size from 6 to 9 inches in length. They can be confused with the native southern toad, however, adult cane toads are much larger than adult southern toads which only grow to a maximum of approximately 3 to 4 inches. Cane toads do not have ridges across the head, as seen in the southern toad.
Are Bufo Frogs Poisonous?
Yes, Bufo (Cane) Frogs are very poisonous to pets and may be harmful to children. The Cane Toad secretes a white toxic liquid from it's back when it feels threatened. This toxin, a thick viscous substance that's contained in water called the parotid, on each shoulder of the toad. When that gland is under pressure, a toxin is released. A Cane Toad's toxin can irritate your skin and eyes. If your pet bites or swallows a Cane Toad, it will become sick and may die. If you suspect your dog has eaten a Cane toad, take it to the vet right away! Symptoms of Cane Toad poisoning in pets include excessive drooling and extremely red gums, head-shaking, whining, loss of coordination, and sometimes convulsions.
What To Do If You See A Poisonous Bufo Toad Near Your Property
The best solution is to call a wildlife removal expert who knows how to trap and dispose of the toads properly to prevent further infestation or breeding. If you are a property owner removing the Bufo Frog yourself, you should wear latex, rubber, or nitrile gloves to safely handle Cane toads. Captured cane toads may not be relocated and released. Homeowners that need assistance removing cane toads from their property should hire a wildlife trapper.