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Small frog invasion !!!!

Posted by jofus 9b/10a SW Fla (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 12:22

Just started noticing these small frogs a few days ago. First was a solo guy outside the lanai, but yesterday saw one on each of my two baby mango tree leaves,..the Maha Chinook and the Tebow. Both trees are only 4 ft tall and were planted just 5 1/2 months ago.
They say that the best care for a youngish mango tree is the shadow of its owner on it once each morning ! So, casting my shadow once again this morning, I was shocked at the number of these frogs perched on the big green leaves of these two baby mango trees. Nowhere else did I find them this morning, the 8 - 15 ft tall robust mango trees did't seem to have any on them, .. but they were ALL OVER the these two,..3 on the Maha Chinook and 5 or so on theTebow.
The frogs I saw were small,..1 inch to 2 inches long.
Am stumped, tan/brownish with a tiny bit of yellow, - have no idea what type they are and if they are a danger to my precious trees. Anyone have any info ?
I'll try to upload a photo or two.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a Englewood (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 12:32

Best I could do with my Sony camera. Have lived here for 5 years but have never seen anything like this. Just hope they are not those Cuban guys I read about,..yuck ! Keeping my fingers crossed, seems like they are multiplying fast.


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

Makes me think of a bull frog. They make a loud low noise usually at night here. Good bug eaters. IMO, I don't think they would eat your plants.


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I was never much of a frog person, snakes and turtles were my faves as a little boy (and still are, actually), but that first one does resemble a cuban... however, there are one or two other native tree frogs that have similar markings. But the large eyes have me thinking they just might be the cubans. I would send those pics to UF and get an ID from them. I prefer to just let things live, but when the critter in question can potentially completely imbalance the local ecology by itself... well...


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Sorry I don't know anything about Cuban frogs. The farthest south I lived was Vero Beach. I thought they were a different color. I agree with live and let live if it doesn't eat my crops, sting or bite me.


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I just googled Cuban frogs. Boy, it looks like what you have. It gave a sound of their croaking, if you want to listen to it. I think it was ask.com. Just google cuban frogs for tons of info.


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

Was going to work yesterday, deland to orange city, taking #472, sixty five miles an hour, heavy Labor Day traffic! All of a sudden, something the size of a half dollar, wet and slimy attaches itself to the back of my arm! I freaked, swerved, swerved again, flaying my arm up and down to get rid of whatever was on it that I couldn't see! Luckily no one was directly next to me or it would have been bad! I can just see the scenario , carnage everywhere and the frog jumps over my body and into the grassy median to live happily ever after..........:)


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I was moving an orchid which was hanging in my tree. As I looked up to get the wire off the branch, something landed on my head! Almost had a heart attack. Plant went flying as did my arms.

Frog!

Jane


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a Englewood (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 10:30

Zackey : Am hoping you are wrong about these pests being the dastardly Cuban Tree Frogs. Main hope stems from the fact that they are small,..however, this mornings inspection showed at least 3 that are now almost 3 inches long and their color has changed to a sickly pale yellow, as the pic will show. Arrggghhhh !


Wallisadi : Scary story,..much worse situation than texting while driving. Glad you survived.


Jane : Yikes, yes indeed, your heart is in good shape. I'm a NY'er as well, never had problems like this growing up there. However, even with these glitches,.love South Florida much better,..especially in January ! ( smile )


Update : Was outside at 08:45 AM to inspect my mango trees, this being day 4 of the possible " Invasion of the Killer Frogs. " Am amused at this point,..sounds like a Tarzan movie from the late 1930's.
My previous observations were immediately evident,..in spades ! Long story short, now this invasion has progressed to all my mango trees, even the 8 - 15 ft tall consistent producers ! The only tree not invaded is the Key Lime,..small leaves and sharp thorns. The grass is 4 inches high all over, Lord knows how many frogs are playing in it !
The fattest frogs I've seen yet.
Am not freaking out by any means,..yet ! But will now take this invasion a bit more seriously, - do some investigating, talk to neighbors, etc. If they are harmless, guess I could get used to living with them. But have reasons to think that may not be the case,...many chewed up tree leaves in evidence.
Damn,...where are George Patton and "Chesty" Puller when I need them ? ( smile )


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

If they are 3 inches, then they are cubans. I do not believe we have any native tree frogs that reach 3 inches.

Regrettably, I make exception with Cubans and I will dispatch them if I find them in my yard. My first encounter with one was a 3.5 inch guy that was chasing down one of the native tree frogs from the side of my house and into a trellis vine. Add on to this that they tend to leave nasty brown stains on my siding from their droppings and I just can not abide them. If they actually ate bugs instead of frogs, toads and lizards, I would put up with the poo trails. But this is one of those critters that will lead to the eventual imbalance in your yard's ecology and they have no natural check against them. I realize that even if I am fighting them in my yard there are probably 50 other people who don't care, but at least I can say I am doing my part instead of turning a blind eye.

This post was edited by Leekle2ManE on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 10:49


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 11:06

The picture looks like a Cuban tree frog to me. One way to tell is they have big toe pads. We kill them when ever we see them. I was loaded with them at one point but now they are more under control, at least in my yard and the green lizards have come back. So we are doing our part too. :o)


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Leek & Katkin : I will agressively kill every one I encounter if they are the Cubans, - have heard enough about their lifestyle. Today I will stop in at the Oak Farms huge nursery nearby and find out if they have a recommended method of killing them off.
Thanks for your individual expertize.

This post was edited by jofus on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 20:02


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I really don't understand the passion involved in killing little frogs. My place is full of them. I notice them eating bugs. I have never seen them eat plants.

I live near man-made lakes. The area is full of lakes. We have a conservation park with trails which contains acres of land including lakes.

What would be the point of killing these frogs? They are all over and they seem to do a good job on insects. I have tons of lizards running around. I have not noticed a decline in lizards.

I also have snakes which eat frogs. How do I know which type of frog they are eating? I see birds eating lizards. Should we kill the birds?

I don't get it. I don't agree with the thinking that killing these Cuban Frogs will somehow bring back the balance of nature when we are surrounded with water and frogs are breeding as quickly as the mosquitoes (which I have no problem killing).

Jofus, do you think that spraying some sort of poison to kill an animal would not have an affect on other animals?

This whole thread makes me very uncomfortable. Take a look what is going on overseas with indiscriminate spraying of poison gases.
Jane

This post was edited by jane__ny on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 12:39


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Agreeing w/ Jane - last time I spoke w/ a local herpetologist, asking about Cuban Tree Frogs, he said, essentially, that ALL frogs are cannibals when given the opportunity.

& yes - frogs do NOT eat plants, they are carnivores(i.e. predators), AFAIK


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

It's hardly a passion. I would rather not kill the Cuban Tree frogs. But they don't just eat other frogs when they have an opportunity. From what I've read, other frogs and lizards make up the bulk of their diet. They aren't very insectivorous at all. They will ignore a bug and look for other croakers instead. They also out-breed local frog species. Do a check sometime about Cuban Tree frogs breeding in electrical transformers, attics and even porch lights sometime. The Cuban Tree frogs also emit a toxin that can make pets sick and even cause skin rashes on people when handled which is why UF suggests wearing gloves when handling even the dead ones. An agent at a Florida Wildlife display during an Earth Day event said even the Hognose snake, which hunts our mildly toxic (comparatively speaking) toads can not stomach these Cuban Tree Frogs. I left two dead Cuban Tree frogs in a nice open spot in the corner of my yard and kept an eye on them for some time. Nothing ate their corpses, not even the ants. They just slowly dissolved under the sun. When I finally buried them, their skin was still intact over their skeletons.

Turning a blind eye and saying, "They deserve a place too" is a good way to end up with nothing but Cuban Tree Frogs (there have even been recorded accounts of them emptying birds nests) and insects in your yard. If that's the path you want, then by all means, ignore them. God, or evolution if you prefer, put Cuban Tree Frogs in Cuba instead of Florida for a reason. And ever since their introduction there have been many accounts showing just WHY they shouldn't be here. I might not be able to stop them completely, or even turn the tide, but I like listening to the several different tree frogs singing at night in my little yard and not just one species. I also have various nesting birds in my area that I enjoy watching as their raise their young.

It's not about killing wildlife for fun. It's about saving wildlife from a critter that doesn't belong here. Ignore them if you wish. It's your choice. But if all you hear at night is crickets and the call of only one type of frog, don't say you weren't informed.


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I can also put it in this way: Having a healthy population of toads in your yard is a good, eco-friendly way to control roaches and slugs. Having a 'healthy' population of Cuban Tree Frogs in your yard is a good way to lose your toads and you will have to resort to using chemicals (or beer traps) toprotect your plants from the unchecked slugs as well as pay an exterminator service (more chemicals) to deal with the rising roach population.

And just to be clear, I don't go out at night spotlighting and killing Cubans. I don't even set up pvc traps (which UF suggests). But if I find one, they usually come out when I am pressure washing, I go for my shovel.


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After reading through this thread, and looking at the MANY photos I've taken of the frogs in my yard, I can state positively that I am dealing with a problem. In the 7 ish years I've lived here, I -have- noticed a decline in lizards and snakes, and an increase in insects... Coinciding with an increase in Cuban spottings. I've also noticed that my spade foot toad "collection" had decreased. Through the link above, I learned that the humane way to kill them is to put benzocaine on their body, rendering them unconscious... Then place them in a bag in a freezer overnight. It is illegal to re-release them once caught, and there's a laundry list of reasons why that law exists. While I too hate to kill anything, I am now convinced that it is necessary. I'm groaning inside at the thought of it, but it's the responsible thing to do from an ecological standpoint. I just have to accept that these invaders belong in the same category with Mosquitos, Lubbers, and Brazillian Pepper trees. I feel we all have a responsibility to do our part to the best of our ability and that the right thing isn't always the easy thing.


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Well, mosquitoes and Lubber Grasshoppers are native to Florida so they don't fall into the same category as Brazilian Pepper or Cuban Tree Frogs. As for killing Cuban Tree Frogs, you're closing the barn door after the cows have gotten out. It's futile and a waste of time and energy. The creatures that need to be controlled are Burmese Pythons, Giant Toads, Giant African Snails, Green Iguanas, and even Cuban Knight Anoles. The latter eat butterflies, baby birds, and bird eggs. I shoot them with my trusty .22 when I see them. Here in South Florida it's a reptilian menagerie out there. Nile Monitor Lizards are now starting to run amok along with Tegus and Madagascar Chameleons. It's a jungle out there!


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I can sit here and watch the mosquito truck come spray chemicals throughout the neighborhood in the city's effort to control the mosquito population, so I do my part and smack the little buggers. ;)

The Lubbers, although native, are destructive to just about every plant I own. And when the University of Florida offers suggestions on how to dispatch them, citing that they are indeed a destructive menace, I will follow their advice and destroy every one I find.

Now, back to the Cuban Tree Frogs: I'm going to begin my civic duty by STOPPING rescuing them from drowning in my pool. *head smack!*


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We don't kill anything here, except lubbers! Do you really believe that killing a frog, or frogs in your tiny space in all of Florida is going to make a difference? Too much time on your hands I think! Go on a Boa hunt or hunt them nasty, big snails..........:). Frogs are here to stay, modern evolution, plus climate change, things are changing all over the world. Thing that scares me, "lets go see what chemical we can kill them with!" If it's "killer bees", fire ants, something harmful to you, "yes!".........just my take........m


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Actually, yes it does make a difference. Just see Katkin's message above about the change she's noticed since she started managing the Cuban Tree Frogs in her yard. It makes a difference. The biggest hurdle to overcome is that there are more people who don't care (or don't know) than there are that do care.


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I know, I care,......:).


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I certainly care and do not use any chemicals because everything is affected including humans. Wallisadi is correct. Too late to try and control these frogs. Unless you go around spraying poison at everything, let nature take care of it. These frogs don't bother me and have not left anything toxic on my skin. I handle them all the time as did my grandchildren.

I don't have any roaches and have never seen a lubber (hope I don't.) As far as I know I don't have fire ants either. I have Armadillos which visit the yard at night and dig holes in the grass. I don't care, they are eating something. Should they be poisoned too?

I attract birds and beneficial insects in my choice of plants. I compost and could care less about what grass is left. I am slowing getting rid of that too. The frogs can live here along with everything else. Not sure what I'd do if I found roaches or lubbers, but I'll cross that bridge when it happens.

I find the use of chemicals in Florida to be out of hand. There doesn't seem to be any regulation of pesticides and their use. If lizards and snakes are disappearing from your yard, look to the chemical dumped all over...not to the little frogs.

Jane


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

The use of chemicals everywhere is out of hand. South Carolina's lakes are feeling the same effects as ours from from the wide spread and reckless use of chemicals, I think there was some news about mercury levels in the lakes around Montgomery, AL when I was there, but I was hardly paying attention at the time. The further north you go, the less noticeable the effects are because their active growing season is shorter. But resorts, golf courses and residents used just as much chemicals during their short summers as they do down here, we... and I mean that as a Florida collectively... just do it for a longer period of time.

I don't kill much in my yard. I prefer to watch the various interactions of nature, but if something like fire ants or the cuban tree frogs come in, animals that have no 'natural' control here, then I do feel it is my place to be that control. I don't spray for bugs, not even mosquitoes. But I do empty out standing water to help prevent breeding in my yard. The rest I sit and watch the dragonflies dive bomb. A few evenings I've been privelaged to watch bats circling my house grabbing bugs. I always dread hearing the mosquito truck coming because it always seems to show up when I finally have a firefly or two flitting around and after it goes through, the fireflies disappear... but the mosquitoes don't. But again, if a critter has no natural control, then the control has to come from somewhere.


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

Jane,

Yours is an emotional response. Are you sure the frogs you are talking about are in fact Cubans and not regular native tree frogs? The universities advise killing the Cuban frogs and that is good enough for me.

I agree with you about poisons, I don't use them. I have ducks and they do most of the insect control.

I also agree with you about not poisoning armadillos......it is much more rewarding watching them bounce around after a bullet has thumped them.

There is a ton of regulations on using pesticides....again you are using emotion not logic or facts.


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a SW Fla (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 20:20

To those out there who are squeamish about eradicating these obnoxious cuban tree frogs, I will simply refer them to two respected authorities.

University of Florida :

An invasive species is generally defined as a plant, animal or microbe that is found outside of its native range, where it negatively impacts the ecology, economy, or quality of human life. Cuban Treefrogs fit this definition of an invasive species because they were introduced to Florida by the activities of people, and they are causing harm to Florida's natural ecosystems and the quality of life of Floridians. They are also causing economic impacts in some places.

Wikipedia :

The Cuban tree frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is an amphibian native to the Caribbean region of the Western Hemisphere. It is the largest tree frog of North America. Its wide diet and ability to thrive amongst humans has made it a highly invasive species with established colonies in northern Florida, the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and thorough the Caribbean Islands. They range in size from 3 to 5.5 in (76 to 140 mm) and vary in color from olive-brown and bronze to gray or grayish-white. A nocturnal, tree-dwelling frog, it is known to eat almost anything that will fit in its mouth and to mate year-round. Their arrival in a new community is believed to be detrimental to local species, and it has been suggested that these frogs be destroyed on sight upon their arrival in new habitats.

OK, so lets ditch the emotional outcries and focus on reality. These treefrogs are bad guys and do not belong in our pristine Florida landscape.

Case closed !


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I haven't seen too many armadillos in my area, but if one did show up and started digging for grubs, I would let it have it's fill. It's really nothing to just kick the dirt back into place, and if it digs a hole in the right spot, I could use it as an excuse to plant something. But for some, I can understand some measure of control if the armadillo is digging up crops to get to its quarry. But for my yard I just see them (and moles) as natural pest control. Besides, armadillos have natural predators in the form of coyotes, bobcats, gators and cars to help control their population.


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Leekle,

In my yard they are not digging for grubs they are digging for earthworms....they like my rich dark worm filled soil that I have went to great pains to develop. They dig to the point where they will completely uproot bushes that have been in the ground for a year. They will dig a hole a foot deep under a 5 year old blueberry bush destroying a good portion of the root system. It is worse when things get dry....I think they smell the rich damp soil and it brings them in. I have a fool proof way of dealing with the dillos and has led to 38 of them going bye bye. My 3 acres is completely fenced to keep the deer out and at the bottom of the fence is chicken wire that extends a foot on to the ground as I would prefer to deter than perforate but some do make it in and I shed no tears over their relocation (above ground to below).

If people want to bunny hug or armadillo hug or frog hug I am fine with that but to say just give up on a pest species is ridiculous. Man is pretty good at wiping out species:)


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

Like I said, I can understand from the standpoint of protecting crops. That has been a long standing custom since... well... since someone built the first scarecrow to keep the birds from devouring crops. And probably long before then as well.

Edit:

I often at least try to see things from other viewpoints and get a grasp on why someone might think the way they do. But sometimes I honestly feel that outside of industry, 'animal lovers' are the biggest threat to wildlife. Even more-so than hunters. It's a strange paradox.

This post was edited by Leekle2ManE on Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 8:32


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

I've got a bunch of small bright green frogs that live near my back door. I have to try and remember to turn on the porch light more often, to help attract more bugs for them to snack on.

Last week I was picking little green caterpillars off of some plants when a branch fell from a nearby Pine tree & landed 10 feet from me. I was wondering how a branch that was only a little over 2 inches thick made such a loud thud when it suddenly slithered away. I had magnifying glasses on & didn't realize at first that it was a very large Black Snake. He must have been trying to get from the Oaks to the Pine? Imagine if a big snake fell from the sky & landed on you!


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Sorry for old thread-resurrection (Again) but in attempting to be unemotional, a respondent above has unwittingly exposed another, opposite set of emotions. Namely, in calling the cuban tree frog a "bad guy"-and I do understand what they mean-they are also missing the point, which is that no species of plant/animal/fungus/protozoan is inherently bad or evil. It may be that their appearance in a new area has deleterious effects on other species, and this might even mean their destruction is warranted, but it's not because they are "bad guys", it's because we don't like one or more of the effects they may be having on/in their new home. That's not the same thing as being "bad" per se.

+oM


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

So true. Worth resurrecting an old post .

Thanks for your wisdom,
Jane


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

@jojus- I'm about an hour south of you, and we are loaded with cuban tree frogs. I keep most of the lights around the house off at night, that seems to attract them. Also, put screening over your plumbing vents on your roof. They will come down the vents and get into your plumbing, often clogging it. One morning I lifted the toilet lid ant there was a huge frog sitting in the bowl. Couldn't figure out how it got there as I have a septic tank, then read on one of the sites that they are the only frog that will come down those vents.


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Wisconsin : With all due respect, I think you have too much time on your hands.

echobelly : Just where are you located south of me ? Naples, Lehigh Acres, Everglades City ? The reason I ask is that your infestation sounds much worse than the one we have here. Nowadays, I come across about 7 - 9 CTF's a week on average.
A shocking experience you had, no doubt. Makes me concentrate on securing that lid when not in use. The last thing I need is to be chasing one of them slippery monsters all over my home !!!
Will get a handyman up on the roof soon to make sure there are screens on the plumbing down spouts. Thanks for the story.

This post was edited by jofus on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 14:06


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RE: Small frog invasion !!!!

jofus, your comprehension of my post leaves much to be desired. Within it, if you'll only look, you will see that I allow for the need to control species whose presence in a given locale warrants it. As a matter of fact, a large part of the work I do involves native restoration. Within that field, control of invasive species is a given and in fact is one of the primary tasks.

Not sure at all what rock you live under-I am new to this particular branch of gardenweb-but your response is indicative of your possibly being an internet bully, that most loathsome of organisms, which, feeling generally powerless in their life, lashes out at complete strangers with little or no provocation, all within the safety of their home, secure in the knowledge that they will never have to meet up with that person. Very strange indeed.

Are you always like that! Now have yourself a great day!

+oM

ps......as a matter of fact, I do like animals. I sense that to you, that is a problem. Again, very strange.


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Hey wisconsin Chill out,..relax,..hey we're all just trying to help each other understand nature, right ?

This post was edited by jofus on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 10:16


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The GW stands for Garden Web NOT Garden War. I get tired of all you nitwits taking pot shots at each other. Settle down and grow up.... show some character!

Nuff said,
Lou


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I think 'jofus' missed the point of 'Wisconsitoms' original post. These frogs are not 'bad guys.' They are 'good guys' in the wrong place. They were brought to a different place and found a way to survive and thrive. I don't think they could find a way to return home!

If anyone is guilty, it isn't the frogs. Its the poor policy regarding shipping which introduces foreign species on our shores.

Jane


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I agree, I missed the point,...my bad.


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