Trap and Eliminate Bufo Marinus Toads

Bufo Marinus Toads, also known as Cane Toads and Giant Toads, can kill dogs in minutes. (Read: Bufo Toads Can Kill Your Dog!) Bufos love pet food and can kill a dog by previously coming in contact with the pet food or water bowl, so DON’T leave food or water sitting out! In South Florida, Bufo Toads an invasive species ruining our ecosystem and threatening dogs, cats and other animals, large and small. They have even been known to kill alligators! That’s extremely toxic; dogs can die within minutes if not treated. Read my previous post about identifying Bufo toads and what to do if you’re pet comes into contact with one by clicking here.

Here is a baby Bufo in our yard. Unlike the non-threatening Southern Toad, Bufo Toads have large glands on the side of their neck that angle downward towards the shoulders. Bufo toads do not have any knobs or ridges on their heads, like Southern Toads do.

Bufos are known to live by lakes and water sources in South Florida and are constantly invading backyards and family areas. Many readers have asked how to trap or eliminate Bufos from their yards. Below are several options we’ve tried and tested. Though these work, they never completely eliminate Bufo Toads and some are extreme solutions (but when it comes to a toad or my dogs, I choose my dogs every time!). Bottom line, these highly toxic toads will always be a threat and the best way to prevent an attack is to watch your pet at all times outside. You can also train your to stay away from Bufos with constant reinforcement training (Harley and Chelsea are trained to stay away however Scarlett is a pointer and always chases them.)

Trapping and Eliminating Bufo Marinus Toads

1. Freezing Toads
To freeze the toads to death, you must first capture them. This can be tricky and requires a little ingenuity as to the best way. Freezing toads to death is considered the most humane way. You can spread benzocaine ointment on it’s back (a small amount) and it will cause the toad to be unconscious in 20 minutes. Then, place in the freezer for 3 days and discard responsibly! The Florida Wildlife Extension at UF recommends this method. Click here to read more.

2. Snake Killer Deterrent
This is more of a preventative measure and though it won’t eliminate all Bufo Toads, it can drastically reduce the numbers in your yard because they hate the Snake Killer. Spread it around the perimeter of your yard, specifically concentrating in well-known Bufo Toad areas, like by bodies of water, lights, etc.

3. Bucket Trap
Bury a 5-gallon bucket (or larger), so the opening is level to the ground. Grease the buckets sides well, so the toads cannot escape. Throw some pet food in the bottom. There MUST be a light source overhead or nearby. You can do this by setting it up under a floodlight and using foil to reflect the light or setting up a light source directly above the bucket (make sure it’s protected from water). Either way, a light source must be present nearby to attract the frogs. They will also smell the dog food and may want to check it out. You may need to build a blockade around this to protect your dogs and kids. If so, make sure there is a large enough opening at the bottom for the toads to hop in. We have caught a few Bufo Toads this way!

4. Bleach
Bleach is the most extreme solution, as bleach kills the Bufo instead of acting as a deterrent or trap. Though not the most humane, the quickest solution is to pour 1/2 cup bleach over Bufos. They will die almost instantly and then you can responsibly discard them. This method should be used only as a last resort against Bufo Toads or in an emergency situation.

We hope these provide some solutions to anyone with a Bufo Toad infestation. A dog poisoned by a Bufo Toad will die 100% of the time if not treated. Make sure to be careful if you live in an area with these Giant Toads and keep an eye on your pets at all times!


20 responses to “Trap and Eliminate Bufo Marinus Toads

  1. Interesting information. Thank you for sharing. These sound like some terrible toads!

  2. I’m sure glad we don’t have that kind of toads here. Our rattlesnakes sound tame in comparison.

  3. Pingback: Poisonous Bufo Toads Can Kill Your Dog | For The Love of My Dogs

  4. We also have a thing called HopStop. It’s not widely available yet but I think there is a market for it.

    Here is a link to HopStop’s facebook page

    They are having some problems with their spray cans at the moment and there is none available here at the moment, but I still have a can which I swear by… it works well and quickly. It is based on some sort of disinfectant (like the bleach method) but has been deemed humane, which bleach is not. Hopefully they’ll get more out soon.

    Certainly the most humane method is freezing and I tend to trap them in a bucket and then tip them into a bag before putting them in the freezer. I also put the bag in a box in the freezer because I was finding that they were moving around in there as the slowed down.


  5. I am relieved that we don’t get those nasty things here!

    • This is indeed a Bufo maunris- they are invasive story is that a truck container carrying hundreds crashed in the 60 s and they’ve thrived in South Florida ever since. They have completely taken over and we are terrified for our dogs’ safety. I heard the problem is big in Australia, too. Did you know they were introduced on purpose to control the beetle population killing sugar cane crops? That is absolutely wild about the crocs although it doesn’t surprise me. I wish we had Hop Stop- I’m going to look into that! Great info about the fertilizer; now we can recycle them instead of burying Good luck to you in controlling your yard it’s an everyday battle for us!

  6. Awesome comment and suggestions, Flo! I also use a bucket to trap and freeze and Harley is trained to shoo them in while keeping a safe distance. He’s a smart little guy we use to help save our other pups who know no better 🙂
    They are such dangerous toads and they are in our yard on a nightly basis, by the dozens if it has been rainy. We don’t like to use the bleach solution but I know how desperate the situation can become and we’ve had to do it in emergencies (for instance the one I killed and brought to the vet with me after Harley was poisoned almost 3 years ago).

  7. How did you train Harley to do that? I wish I knew that Flo would just bark at them. Having said that, I sprayed a big one last night as I was on my way out and it ‘stopped’ hopping while I was out right where Flo would have to pass. I am sure that Flo will have investigated it but she obviously didn’t do anything other than check it out. They’re easy to find when you’ve sprayed them – just follow the disinfectant smell! I suspect that domestic animals are also put off by the spray.

    Here are another couple of websites you might find interesting – there are a lot of toad traps in Darwin – I know at least one golf course uses them as do other organisations with large spaces of open grass where the toads will feed.

    I hope these are of interest, even if they’re not of any particular help.


  8. Chancy, Mumsy and Crew

    Wow! Those sound like some dangerous toads. Thank you for the info. Hugs and nose kisses

  9. We have poisonous toads here in Michigan too. They do not look like these Bufos Marinus toads, so they must be another type of toad. My understanding is that there are several toads that are toxic to dogs. About two years ago, one of them shot poison at my dog Daisy (in her mouth) and she had to be rushed to the vet. Now, in the toad’s defense, it was totally self-defense because Daisy was trying to attack him (she has a high prey drive and chases anything that moves in our back yard). When she was hit with the toxin, she immediately started foaming at the mouth. I flushed her mouth out with water, scooped her up and rushed her to our vet. She was woozy for about 24 hours, but survived. Scared the heck out of me, but I’m grateful she is okay. I love all of God’s creatures, but toads and dogs have to be separated!

  10. So glad that we don’t live in a place with scary toads!

  11. Pingback: Poisonous Bufo Toads Can Kill Your Dog | For The Love of My Dogs

  12. My chichuahua is a survivor. Just last night, Karly tried to snack on a Bufo and met her match. Karly starting seizing shortly after contact. By the grace of God, and some help from Simmons vet hospital, Karly is now running around the house. These toads are nothing to play with and we were sure that we had lost Karly. So grateful to still have her.

  13. Dear Trap and eliminate. My daughter is a vet and tells of such sad toad stories that come to the office. I have secured my back yard chain link fence with poultry fencing dug 2 inches into the ground at the fence line and extending 12 inch up the chain link, all secured with zillions of zip ties ground level mid and top. the gates are also rigged as well as the gatepost spaces. In the 6 months that I have installed this I have had only1 toad in the back yard. I have 4 paps who only go out in the yard with me and my daisy airgun. (which get nightly used in the front yard.)
    I wonder which snake killer you referred to. in your post. The more prevention the better, as far as I’m concerned.

  14. Shovels work too.

  15. we just lost our hundred pound Mastiff bulldog to one of these toads, we are totally distraught in our family. we have a very small backyard in Central Florida and over the past week we have killed six of these Bufo toads. I can’t thank you enough for the idea of burying a 5 gallon jug to trap them. I pray it works. Lizzy went into seizures immediately and died within 5 minutes. I can’t stop crying even as I write this. Thank you so much for having your website out there! Laurie Schoenfeld

  16. I just lost my Shiba Enu to this toad. He was gone in a matter of minutes. Loss doesnt quite cover what we are feeling right now. Our Cat mourns him every day on his grave. The worst thing I have eer seen. Stop and kill these before they kill more

  17. WOW, we have them here and I am a wreck to take the dog out at night.. I have a terrier mix and toads in my garden near the door. Anyone know how to train a dog not to bother with them. I have heard such awful stories and have tried to relocate them, but there are more or the others return. I have no water or food but have a light that stays on at night.

    • Hi Phil, if you want to train your dog to stay away from the frogs use positive reinforcement training. Keep treats with you when you go out at night and practice having your dog to come to you at random times by calling him with a treat. When a frog does come along, you can use the same recall and give a treat. Our schnauzer Harley has learned this but our other two dogs struggle and would rather chase them so we have to be vigilant.

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