Toad Busting!


“If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of the toads, he would have made them cute and furry. ” ― Dave Barry

IMG_3544As of today, call me the Cane Toad Buster.  I walked into my casita to clean it for guests and instead witnessed a scene right out of Hitchcock’s The Birds, except with Cane Toads. Piles of warty, tough-skinned, bug-eyed, poison dripping, big lipped, ugly monsters stared at me from every corner of the room daring me…taunting me…teasing me to bring it on!

“Julio,” I shouted, “bring a shovel and a big bucket.” Cane Toads are the largest toads in the world, sometimes weighing up to five pounds. They huddled together in the dark corners of my casita, under the bed, on top of the linen trunk, and under the rocking chairs. When I slid the shower curtain aside, the Latin named Bufo marinus were salsa dancing on my tiled floor.

Armed with a broom and a spade, we shoveled and swept the obnoxious amphibians into a bucket. They were hopping mad…secreting their milky bufotoxin from every gland in their bodies. Their deadly chemical cocktail can kill an animal in 15 minutes if they swallow it. Oh the horrors of these vile creatures! The nerve of them defiling my casita!

They must be stopped!

Cane Toads are common in Central and South America. We usually see a few of them in the dry season, especially in March, their mating season. But, this year, I have chased more Cane Toads out of my house and porch than I have ever seen before. We slip in their pee puddles, and slide on their poo patches.

They must be conquered! 

In 1935, Australia had the brilliant idea to import Cane Toads to wipe out the pesky greyback beetle, which was eating their sugarcane crops. But, it backfired when the beetles were left untouched and the Cane Toads prospered and multiplied…actually their population exploded from 102 originally imported to 1.5 billion. The ugly vile critters have no problem finding mates and reproduce faster than rabbits. They have no natural predators. Native species are disappearing because of their veracious appetites.

Is it possible to reconcile with these horrible hoppers? You decide!

No Cane Toads were killed in the making of this post.

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24 thoughts on “Toad Busting!

  1. Enough already. My attorney surrendered his license this morning after having almost 1,000 pounds of toads, and all the “stuff” that goes with them deliverd on his door step(s), in his car and also the mail box. Now the ones that are left are chasing the tourists down 6th street.

  2. I remember those poor, sweet, innocent toads! Just kidding. I’ve both seen “Cane Toads” and once had an experience once at a really nice (but now closed) B&B outside San Juan del Sur with a swimming pool that got taken over at night by those monsters. You wouldn’t believe the racket! We didn’t sleep a wink. Go get em Debbie!

  3. I’m laughing and crying. When are the “experts” going to stop tampering with mother nature? Every country has their horror story of imported whatchamacallits to get rid of the other whatchamacallits. I feel for you. Not a pleasant thing to encounter.

    • Lynne, I wasn’t laughing at the time I was trying to sweep out and catch the nasty critters. But, when we got them cleaned out of the casita, Julio and I started laughing until we cried. Just the sight of all those ugly toads hopping all over the place had us in stitches. We’d scoop them in the bucket, then they would hop back out. It was like a game of toad hockey, toad basketball, and toad cricket all in one. 🙂

  4. I have a few small toads outside my front door at night hopping for a chance to get in but never seen cane toads here. Life on the beach- chayules, cane toads, what’s next?

    Lots of cane toads in Hawaii. I’ve stepped on a few stumbling home in the dark, not a pleasant experience and pretty gross to wash off if the end is facing your other foot. My neighbor’s dachshund would try to eat one a couple times a year, then lay around and foam at the mouth for a few days after. Wish I’d thought to take pics!

    My main complaint is a horse that jumped the fence last night and trampled everything it didn’t eat! Oh well, job security for the gardener I suppose.

    • I found one soaking in my cats’ water dish. I think it ate my cat food, too. That big ugly thing is hiding somewhere in my kitchen. Now, I have to put the cat food and water up every night. YIKES! Maybe all your Cane Toads are vacationing in Nicaragua. 🙂

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