What has four legs, can jump, swim, and is essential to the health of your backyard? If you guessed a frog, you got it right! While they might startle you when they jump out of the dirt, amphibians taking up residence in your garden is an excellent sign.
Frogs and toads are all-natural pest control for your plants. They love to snack on mosquitoes, beetles, and slugs and will eat thousands of them throughout the growing season. However, much like our pollinator populations, frogs are disappearing at an alarming rate.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature says 1 in 3 of all amphibians is on the endangered list. FrogWatch USA and the National Wildlife Federation say pesticides, pollution, invasive species, increased UV radiation and climate change are destroying their natural habitats. We can all do more to help them not only survive, but thrive.
- Frogs and toads love water. Consider adding a fishless, shallow and sloping pond to your property. They prefer still water, so ditch the pumps and waterfalls.
- Creating cover is essential. Plants such as native ferns, veronica, and swamp milkweed will do the trick!
- Ditch the toxic chemicals and reap the rewards. Remember; frogs are a natural pesticide!
- Add a cute little toad house to the garden. It looks whimsical and shelters them from the sun and potential predators. Make sure you leave the dirt exposed; these guys love to burrow.
Once they have a safe and healthy environment, your amphibian friends will return year after year to help you and your crops dodge the bugs. Ribbit!