How to Keep Cane Toads out of Your Garden

Posted on: 27 March 2015

Cane toads are rapidly spreading across Australia despite the government's best efforts to stop them.  If you have cane toads in your area, you don't want them to invade your garden; they are poisonous to pets, kill native species and can cause nasty skin irritation if their toxin comes into contact with your skin. 

Here's how to keep cane toads out of your garden.

Toad-proof fencing

Cane toads are attracted by water in which they can breed.  If you have a swimming pool or fish pond, you'll need to toad-proof it by installing fencing around the perimeter. Making existing fencing toad-proof is pretty straightforward, and everything you need can be obtained from your local DIY or hardware store.

  1. Clear the existing fence line around your property of vegetation, leaving a firebreak either side.  
  2. Lay out shade cloth rolls along the outside of the fenceline and staple it to the fence up to knee height or to about 50cm.  
  3. The remaining 50cm of shade cloth should lie flat along the ground angled away from the fence in an L-shaped skirt.  
  4. Weight down the bottom of the skirt using soil and rocks and cover it with sharp sand.  It's a good idea to use small tent pegs to secure the skirt too as this prevents toads from getting into your garden under the fence.  
  5. Attach 6mm thick rubber strips to the bottom of gates to seal any gaps through which toads might gain access.  

Monitoring your fence

Once the cane toad fence is set up you'll need to monitor it on a daily basis for toads and other wildlife. Keeping an eye on the fence will tell you how many toads you have around your property as well as enabling you to determine how effective your fence is at keeping them out.

Light sources

Outside lighting attracts insects on which the cane toads feed. Turn off your outside lights to keep insect activity to a minimum and deter hungry toads.

Remove and dispose of cane toads

Cane toads are nocturnal. A walk around your fenceline an hour or so after dark will doubtless reveal the toads lurking around hoping to get into your garden. Remove the toads by placing them in a large heavy-duty plastic sack. Always wear gloves to protect your skin and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Remember that cane toads are poisonous at all stages of their life cycle and even when dead, so always handle them with extreme care.

If you live in an area with a cane toad problem, your local council will have a depot where you can deposit live toads for euthanasia and disposal.  Alternatively, contact a local pest control company like Impact Pest Control to remove the toads for you.