Are Frogs in the Garden Dangerous?

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Frogs are generally safe, though some species may cause infection and poisoning.

Frogs in the garden can be beneficial as they eat pests. However, they also become a nuisance as they vocalize loudly and lay eggs in swimming pools, which can clog the pool skimmers and filters. Frogs in the garden can also pose a health risk to both humans and pets.


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Poisonous Frogs

All frogs have poison glands in their skin, but their toxins are weak in most frog species. Some frog species, however, have toxins that can harm humans and pets. Some poison dart frogs in the rain forests of Central and South America and some Hawaiian islands can kill small animals and even humans. Invasive marine toads in Florida can be fatal for small animals. Contact with the skin secretion of any frog can lead to skin and eye irritation.

Infection Danger

Contact with frogs can cause an infection because they may carry salmonella bacteria. These bacteria can cause the disease salmonellosis, which may lead to diarrhea, fever and stomach pain. Children under 5 years of age and individuals with weak immune systems are especially vulnerable to salmonella infection. Reptiles -- such as lizards, snakes and turtles -- and other amphibians, including salamanders, can also cause a salmonella infection.


Safety Precautions

After touching a frog, you should wash your hands with soap and water immediately. Refrain from touching your eyes before washing your hands because to avoid getting the frog's skin secretion on the eyes. Also don't eat or touch food before washing your hands because the toxin of some frogs can cause illness if swallowed. Warn young children not to touch any frogs when they play in the garden and keep them under close supervision.

Eliminating Frogs

Depending on your area and the species of the frogs in your garden, you may be able to eliminate them if they are dangerous. For example, the invasive Cuban treefrogs endanger the native wildlife in Florida and biologists recommend that you kill these frogs by spreading benzocaine ointment on their bodies and putting them in the freezer. Determine the species of the frogs in your garden by contacting your local extension office and request advice on how to handle them.



Edriaan Koening

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.