Houston, we have a problem—frog infestation. I’ve lived in the country full-time for eighteen years and never seen anything like it. These creatures are scurrying around my porch, in the carport, and down the sidewalk. All different kinds. Two even climbed into my watering can and died because they couldn’t get out. Apparently, all the rain we had this spring is causing the problem.
The creatures were merely a nuisance until the other day when the amphibians downright made me mad. I walked to the kitchen sink, barefooted, and felt something squishy under my toes. Jumping back, I leaned down to inspect! A dead frog! Gross.
Now I’m wondering if I should do something to keep them out? With no dog or cat to drag it in, I’m baffled about how it managed to break through. The mice I understand, but a frog?
FROG INFESTATION WHO KNEW?
Did you know that all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads? (A deeply profound statement, isn’t it?) Both are considered amphibians classified as Anura, meaning the adults are “without a tail.”
Moist-skinned frogs must live in or near the water. Toads, on the other hand, are more drought tolerant and mostly reside on land. They do, however, need water to lay eggs. Toads have short, squatty legs. On the frog, the hind legs are longer than the rest of their body.
Unfortunately, the frog issue may resolve itself because climate change is threatening the species. Scientists say that these creatures are like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. If you don’t hear them around their normal habitats that means something is wrong.
FROG INFESTATION FUN FACTS
In closing, I’ll share these fun facts and myths from the Washington Post:
- Frogs and toads shed their skin frequently and eat it.
- Some frogs and all toads excrete toxins that can harm predators.
- Both have long, sticky tongues that dart out to grab insects, bringing prey to their mouths in less than a second.
- Frogs and toads seem to blink when eating because their eyes are pulled inward briefly, helping push food down their throats.
- Amphibians breathe through their skin, so don’t pick them up. They can be harmed by chemicals such as lotion or food residue on your hands.
- Frogs and toads drink water through their skin via “drinking patches” on their bellies. Signs of illness can indicate water pollution.
FROG INFESTATION MYTH-BUSTING
- You don’t get warts if you handle a toad, but it will pee on you.
- If you kiss a frog, it won’t turn into a prince. Sorry!
That settles it. I won’t be kissing a frog any time soon, but they may be kissing me goodbye with the warmer and drier La Niña settling in central Texas.
P.S. Please enjoy this gorgeous frog picture by Laura Seaman on Unsplash. I attempted to take my own, but the only amphibian I could locate on the spur of the moment has been dead for some time and the ants are working on it.