Rains bring out Bufo Toads, Hazardous to Pets :: Tampa Bay, FL
August 28, 2013
We originally published this post last year but it certainly bears repeating.
If you live in Florida, you know that the dog days of summer usher in the rainy season. It is not unusual to see a brief, heavy rainstorm every afternoon, accompanied by thunder and lightning.
The Giant Toad, (also known as the Marine Toad or the Cane Toad), typically burrows in the ground. When there is heavy rain on saturated ground, these Giant Toads can’t stay underground and are more likely to be seen, and encountered, by pets. The resulting situation can be deadly for our precious pets.
They secrete a toxic, milky substance that is extremely poisonous to dogs, cats and other pets.
Officially known as Bufo Marinus, most people refer to them as Bufo Toads. These are the largest of the Florida toads and can grow to 9 inches in length and can weigh more than 2 pounds. Giant Toads prefer developed areas, where they utilize man-made bodies of water to spawn. They are omnivores, and will eat small amphibians, insects and even pet food! Since they are so large, they are unable to flee when approached by a predator, so their defense mechanism is the highly toxic milky white poison that is secreted by glands behind their head.
These nasty creatures are not native to Florida; they were brought here to help control insect populations in sugar cane fields in the 1960s. They like sitting in lighted areas, like porches or near your coach lights on your garage and eating the insects that are attracted to the lights. Because of their close proximity to doorways, they can easily come in contact with your pets.
Small pets can die quickly after biting a Giant Toad but large pets can also be severely affected. If your pet bites one of these toads, immediately wash out their mouths, clean their paws and take them directly to the vet. Wash your hands after contact and avoid touching your face.
There is good news. Artificial grass by AlternaScapes prevents the toads from burrowing beneath the surface of your lawn so the likelihood of the presence of these toads is greatly reduced. To find out more about an EasyTurf artificial grass solution, call us at 1-800-445-2944 or visit our website at www.JustLikeGrass.com. Estimates are always free and there is no obligation.
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