Organic Pest Control ~ The Toad

Copyright © 2009 Cherie Kuranko “InkSpot” All Rights Reserved.

Toads are an organic gardener’s helper and love patrolling for pests. Their night-time croaks of pest-eating pleasure are as sweet to a gardener as eating raw corn on the cob.

A single toad can gobble up 10,000 pests in a single gardening season. They love earwigs, sowbugs, cut-worms, gypsy moths and those slimy slugs barefoot gardeners hate to step on in the lettuce patch. If you practice green, organic gardening the toads will set up home and take care of the pests for you.

The old myths that toads are harmful to humans is not true. Sure, they have warts and they can emit a toxic fluid when they get scared or another predator tries to eat them. However, the toxic fluid is not harmful to humans unless you get it in your eyes, which will result in a stinging sensation. The warts, well a gardener can look past those as long as the toads clean up the unruly pests munching their prized cabbage heads and other vegetables.

To attract toads to your garden you should set up a shallow pond nearby so the toads have a source for drinking water and a place to lay their eggs. They also like cool, moist sheltered areas beneath rocks or stones where they can sleep all day. Providing a night-light near the garden, just a small bulb a few feet off the ground, will help provide the toads with a hot-spot to encounter bugs as they flock towards the light source.

Your larger, bushier plants like kale and swiss chard should provide the toads with safe, shady areas to hang out when the sun is high above. You may also use old buckets or planting pots as miniature toad houses. Just chip out an entrance hole in the rim before turning the pot upside down and placing it among your vegetables. Place the buckets or pots in a damp, preferably sandy-soil, shady area.

If you welcome toads into your garden they will pay for their room and board through good old-fashioned toad labor. You will have a few new warty friends and a lot less pesky bugs.

Copyright © 2009 Cherie Kuranko “InkSpot” All Rights Reserved.