Residents in South Florida are witnessing what looks like a scene from a B-movie, thousands of little toads hopping around all over the place. Large swarms of toads are darting across roads, clogging pool filters, invading gardens, and hanging out in yards in droves. May sound silly to worry about but the residents have a right to, these are not common toads, these are Cane Toads.
These Invasive (not native) amphibians are named after the sugar cane fields they should be hanging out in down in South America. What makes them different than other toads in North America is their size, and that they’re highly toxic. The poison glands on the back of its head are the largest in the toad species and capable of killing larger animals, they are known to kill crocodiles in Australia. It’s not just the adult toads that are poisonous, their tadpoles are as well!
In Florida, those most at risk of being poisoned by the toads are children and pets (especially dogs) so parents and pet owners should take extra precaution. Cane Toads have been in Florida for years but why the sudden surge in population? Wildlife experts say the answer may lie in the weather, with all the rain and warmer temperatures in that part of the state it’s safe to say it kicked off a mating frenzy within the Cane Toads and the numbers are expected to double.