Toad Houses: Fun and Useful For The Garden
How to Build Toad Houses
If you're like me you don't like to use pesticides or harmful chemicals to prevent insects from entering your home or chewing all the plants in your garden. One of the most effective ways to reduce pest insects is to encourage their natural predators. Toads are one of the predators that do a great job helping clean gardens of insects and harmful pests.
Here in the Eastern US we have the common American Toad (Anaxya americanus). There is also the Eastern American toad, the dwarf toad, and Fowler's toad in our region. In the Western US there is the Western toad. Regardless of the species, they all play an important role in their ecosystem, they LOVE eating insects!
As you know toads are amphibians, but unlike frogs they can move farther from water, because they do not rely on moist skin to breathe. However, they do need water or ponds to reproduce. To support a population of toads in your area you need to provide the standard food, water, and shelter. The food will be the insects around your house or garden, but you will still need to provide water and shelter.
Water can take many forms, from damp vegetation to shallow dishes of water (changed regularly to prevent mosquitoes), or even nearby ponds and streams, but toad houses are where you can get very creative!