Bufo toad, yuck!

wanda662(Stuart, Fl)June 26, 2009

My young dog Kelly found one in the small run I have for them. Thank Heaven he didn't touch it. I put them back in the house and went back out with a shovel. Hit him once, didn't faise him, took the shovel and tried to cut him in half. No luck but he wasn't moving so shoveled him up and threw him in the road where a car did him in. I put him over the fence so no other dog would lick or roll on him.

He was the first I have seen in my yard.

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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Sorry about your run-in. Just to make people more aware, "Bufo" does not mean exclusively the giant marine or cane toad. The bufo genus also includes our native southern toads, the good guys. So please don't think all bufos are bad. Bufo marinus is the poisonous giant cane toad, or marine toad that has invaded south Florida.
Bufo terrestris is our native southern toad, one to be encouraged at all costs. Great bug eaters!

Hope you don't see any more cane toads.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 12:56PM
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We have those things everywhere in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Tampa. My lab has come into contact with them twice, both times requiring my washing his mouth out with water......If he were a smaller dog, I'm sure he would have been done in by one of those things by now.

My weapon of choice is a 10.5 degree driver. Get rid of a Cane Toad, and work on your golf game all at the same time.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:53PM
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mikeyannie(z9 FL)

Our nightly ritual: listen for toad/frog tunes, search the pond and its surroundings, grab and bag the Bufo, put it to bed in the freezer...in the AM...toadcicles. We've caught 4 in the last few weeks!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 4:24PM
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wanda662(Stuart, Fl)

I think I know the difference between the toad and a Bufo, or Cane Toad. If I had a driver he would have gotten it but I have 3 Chihuahuas the oldest is 10 lbs. and the Kelly is 5 and about 7 lbs. I also have one that is 4 lbs. and she is 11 yrs. old. There is no way that you can mistake a cane toad to a Fla. toad. They are at least twice the size or more!
Just keep a look out for your 4 legged friends.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:06PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Wanda, I didn't mean to imply you didn't know the difference in them. I just wanted folks to know that the term "bufo" doesn't apply to just cane toads. It can be confusing for folks who think anything with the name "bufo" is a cane toad. Obviously if you see one of the full grown giant ones, it's bufo marinus and not bufo terrestris, as I'm sure you know. My remarks were really meant for newbies who sometimes get misled when they hear people calling cane toads "bufos."

Sorry if I didn't make that clear.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 11:40PM
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wanda662(Stuart, Fl)

Marcia, sorry if you took my post wrong. I know you help folks with the wildlife around us and it good to know the difference. I learned about the Bufo down in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 80's. This is my first run in with one in this area. Even I know they have spread through out Fla.
Thanks for keeping folks educated.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 7:17AM
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babalu_aye(zone 9b - St Pete FL)

I'm wouldn't know the difference between a cane toad and our native toad, other than the obvious huge size of the adult cane toad. But what about juveniles? Are there any distinguishing features?


    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 7:33AM
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wanda662(Stuart, Fl)

That is a good question. Maybe Marcia can find a picture for us.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 12:45PM
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I just watched an episode of discovery on the menacing bufo todes in australia. Unfortunately, they are propagating like wildfire and kill all sorts of wildlife. Snakes, alligators and so on.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 3:51PM
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kmrogers1285(9b Safety Harbor)

I'd like to know how to tell the difference too. I've got a few large toads in the back yard and thought that was a good thing for helping with bugs. I've got two cats and three dogs too, and obviously if it came down to getting rid of some bugs or my pets, the toads will be outta there. Can someone tell us newbie's how you tell the difference?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 6:44PM
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wanda662(Stuart, Fl)

Here is a link that I found by googling bufo toads.

Here is a link that might be useful: More info

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:05AM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

I had one in my pond last summer. This may be a stupid question but how do I kill the tadpoles? goldfish? Dunks?
Bleach? ok I know that's wrong.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:43PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Wanda, I'm glad you didn't think I was saying you couldn't ID a cane toad when you saw one. I guess my biggest problem is that I think people should be encouraged to call them cane toads, giant toads, or marine toads. Calling them Bufos is so confusing to newbies, because there are so many bufo toads that are natives and harmless.

MY yard is full of bufos and I am thankful for them every night, when I spot them as I go out with the dogs. But mine are Bufo terrestris, or the native Southern Toad. At least some of yours are Bufo marinus, or the exotic and dangerous cane toads. One's really good, and one...pretty bad, sadly.

For those who want to see the difference, here is a link about Bufo marinus. Scroll down the page a way and you will see photos with pointers for how to tell them apart from Bufo terrestris.

Please don't kill any toad unless you can tell that is is a cane toad. The others are very important to the environment. If it is full grown, of course, you will have no trouble telling the cane toads from the southern toads...again, BOTH bufos...because the cane toads are HUGE. And the regular southern toads are the same little 3" or so sized toads you have always known from your gardens.

Hope this link helps!


Here is a link that might be useful: Bufo marinus vs Bufo terrestris

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 10:16PM
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wanda662(Stuart, Fl)

Thank you so much Marcia. I knew you would have a good link so that we could tell the difference.
And the sound that I couldn't identify last year and this year is the dang Bufo Marinus! One mystery solved.
I find the southen toad too be quite cute. Not the giant Bufo!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:18AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I was happy to find that link, too, Wanda, as I didn't know how to tell them apart either, unless the cane toad was full grown. Now I have some good pointers I can go by.

Sorry you have cane toads! Wish I knew of some wonderfully easy way to be rid of them, and I sincerely hope I never see any here. I'm happy just to enjoy my regular ol' southern toads, thanks!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 12:44PM
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rainy230(10 Jupiter)

Thnsks Marcia for the link to the toads. I would have to put on my glases to see the difference LOL. I will study the two pictures more closely. I never kill them anyway I can't imagine bagging and sticking in freezer eww but I've heard a lot of people do that. I'm just too squeemish :0.. when we take dogs out at night I have them on long leash and try to keep an eye on them . My lab would start jumping around and pawing and my feist would just go into tracking mode. Thanks again for the pictures.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:18PM
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kmrogers1285(9b Safety Harbor)

Thanks Wanda and Marcia those links helped alot. I'm sure at least a couple of mine are the cane toads. I'll be on the look out to get rid of them.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 7:29PM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

But how do I kill tadpoles?????

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 7:50AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Kristi, I just net out any tadpoles I don't want and dump 'em. But I don't often even do that, because I can't usually tell what kind they are. So far, I have only had them in my smaller container water gardens.

Dunks won't kill them (those are just a bacteria that feeds on mosquito larvae) and bleach...well, that would probably kill everything in your pond, including plants.

Goldfish are mostly vegetarian, though they will eat some insects. I've never seen one eat tadpoles, though. However, there are fish that will. I think some of our native fish, like bluegill, etc, will, and possibly some cichlids. You might investigate that with your local pond experts and see what you can add to your pond that would eat the tadpoles. Pretty sure guppies and mollies would eat them while they are small. They eat ANYTHING, including their own young.

Just a thought??


    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 10:37AM
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yikes, 2 days in a row my year old cat Sadie has come running in foaming at the mouth. I knew what to do (flush forward) but I know we have at least one very big toad (honestly, coming from the suburbs of NJ I thought it was a frog, and I have been googling for a while to find out that it is a cane toad and quite dangerous...and I am going to have to get rid of them.

I have no real water/pond/pool/fountain in my yard, which is enclosed with a fence and netted so cats can't get out, but I moved in last August it it could have living under the porch for all I know.

If there is one, are there likely a lot more. I got rid of one earlier....did not kill it though, just tossed it as far as I could over my fence. Honestly...I'm more afraid of frogs and toads than snakes...we have at least one black one I haven't done anything about, but don't think he can handle the big toad.

Where is the best place I can look for a "nest" in my yard, and find them. What time of day or night is best to search? I am going to watch Sadie carefully outside...my other cats are too smart to tangle with them...guess she thinks it is a lizard.

Also, other than braining the thing, suggestions on catching it (I know to freeze) are appreciated cause I am not sure I can smash it and not have nightmares for a year.

Thanks for any help.

Shari in Port Richey

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 5:30PM
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One down, big stick. I piled a bunch of bricks on it, will have to remove it tomorrow. It was not the big one. Very yuk...I have a bunch of buckets ready to toss on them, I don't want to go through bashing another one.

Shari in Port Richey

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:41PM
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In re: to dispatching those nasty Bufo (cane) toads. Golf clubs, sticks, stones, car tires and shovels will all do the trick alright, but from my own experience is really going to be unpleasant and messy. As to ever putting one of them in my freezer, as mentioned by another poster - hell no! LOL That would involve: (1) handling them; and (2) putting a poisonous animal next to my food. If, like me, you get freaked out even being close to them, I suggest you pick a method that will not only get the job done instantly, but without the nasty guts, sounds, squirming and/or jumping around that occurs, if you happen to simply injure one (be aware - they really can take a beating and keep on ticking, so to speak).

My solution: cattle prod, or, stun baton (much longer than your handheld stun gun). I currently have one that puts out 6,000,000 volts that I purchased for $47 (including delivery charge) on-line a few months ago. I found my dog swimming in circles in the pool chasing one of them just as summer began. I went online and purchased one that day. I personally know far too many people, who have had pets seriously poisoned and/or killed by messing with these disgusting pests.

I assure you, with electricity, all it takes is one quick zap - they instantly lock up and don't move. However, make sure to have a pair of tongs nearby to help pick them up and discard them somewhere they will never see the light of day again. I say this for two reasons: (1) The first Bufo I ever zapped, to my astonishment, came back around after 3 hours and hopped away; and (2) the electric shock causes their poison glands to involuntarily activate. You don't want the resulting poison getting on your skin, or, create the possibility of your pet messing with them and getting poisoned by accident. Now, I use tongs to put them in those plastic grocery bags you get from the store. I tie the bag closed tightly and put it out with the trash.

I have also heard of two other methods: (1) spray them thoroughly with common, household bleach; or, (2) get a 5 gallon bucket, line the sides with cooking oil, bury it in the ground (all the way up to the top) and put dog food inside. I have not tried the latter, but, supposedly, they will go in and can't jump out. My wife sprayed one with bleach and it did actually die sometime later.

The HUGE selling point for me personally with my method is that they freeze-up and stop moving instantly.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:23PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

About the only thing I've found effective for a pond is net out the eggs. Apparently the tadpoles develop the toxin very early as I've found no fish that will eat them though these same fish will eat terrestris lol
They are the real bane of pond keepers. Snakes will not eat them either IME ,though I've heard that two species of Cobra will lol Somehow that doesn't seem like a good answer?? lol gary

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 5:03AM
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Shoot them with a BB gun

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:18PM
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