Now that summer is here, there are lots of activities to do outside! One thing you can do is help toads by building a toad house.
Why toads might like to have a house
Toads, like their cousins the frog, are amphibians. While frogs live near a water source, such as a pond or stream, toads prefer cool gardens where they can catch mosquitoes, slugs, earthworms, and snails. Toads—because they live on dry land—need shelter from the sun and some water nearby.
What you need
- Garden space: Find a shady place in the garden, near a tree or a shrub. Toads are more comfortable when the house is a little hidden.
- Clay pot: Clay pots work well because they remain cooler inside than the outside air.
- Small saucer or lid
For fun, decorate your house
- It’s not clear if the toads appreciate the extra work, but it is a lot of fun to create a special house.
- Collect decorations such as rocks or shells
Make your house
- Take your trowel and dig a hole so that when you lay your clay pot on its side, it is about halfway in the dirt.
- Take the extra dirt and bury the back end of the pot.
- Make sure there is an entrance for the toad to go in and out.
- Place the small saucer or lid face up in the dirt and fill it with water.
- You can make your toad house as plain or fancy as you want with glued-on rocks or shells and paint.
Watch for toads
Check regularly to see if a toad finds your house. Toads need water, so if you want the toad to stay, check the water often.
Article written by Nancy Good, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.
Adapted from Felder Rushing and Wayne Vincent’s Better Homes and Gardens, New Junior Garden Book: Cool Projects for Kids to Make and Grow, 1999.