10 Reasons Why Frogs Croak At Night

Bullfrog in water

Do you lay in bed at night counting sheep and end up counting frogs? They can get into your head wherever you are with even the slightest bit of nature. Yes, there are urban frogs and toads, and if you have more than one tree with even a small bit of water, you will get them.

Frogs and toads generally croak only at night but they can croak at any time. Out of all frogs, bullfrogs croak the most. In general, most frogs and toads croak when the temperature changes and during the mating season, especially during the spring. Croaking attracts frog mates.

There are some interesting reasons frogs croak at night, so let’s get into that. Read on to understand the infamous frog song. 

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Frogs Croak Croak When The Temperature Changes

What? Yup. They have to lay their eggs in a space with no extreme temperatures. So, not too hot and not too cold. They have to come out at the most crucial times to lay eggs. Different species croak when the temperature either lowers to a certain degree or raises to a specific point. 

The myth here is that they only croak at night when really, they croak according to the air and or water temperature they are in. You may just hear them the loudest at night when the noise of the neighborhood isn’t a factor. 

Frogs Croak To Attract Mates During The Spring

Green Marsh Frog croaking in the water. Pelophylax ridibundus.

Frogs understand that if they croak during mating time, they have to be heard. At the same time, they spend most of their day in the water. This is so they don’t dry out. They think slimy is sexy, so they have to keep it up. 

When they need to croak the mating cry, they have to step out of the pool and dry off on a Lily pad or rock and get to it. A still windless night is just right to get a croak to pass by the ear of the right frog. But, if it’s windy, the frog or toad won’t even try. They’re quite clever. 

Frogs have a fabulous way of adapting to any atmosphere. They are rather inclusive and will adapt to many other species without a hitch. Find them croaking like crazy in the springtime. 

Frogs Croak After The Rain

Frogs and toads love it moist. After it rains, they’re in heaven. Frogs know that to procreate, they need to provide a watery space of just the right temperature so they can lay their eggs. Their song is annoying to people, but this is serious business to amphibians.

You should get the picture that frogs and toads, like most of the wild, are all about the reproductive process. They are fine-tuned to the climate and atmosphere they must be in so the linear persists. And they’re darn good at it.  

Reproduction is important, but other things are just as important. If they do not have a substantial food source, then breeding is out of the question. This brings us to the next topic.

Frogs Croak When They Have Food

You’ve seen the cliche about frogs. They sit quietly and patiently waiting on a Lily pad waiting for a fly to come to them. Then, like lightning, the tongue strikes quickly and the frog gets lunch. 

Eating has a lot to do with the rain, moisture, and temperature. Why? Frankly, the juiciest morsels come from the Earth after rain. Frogs love earthworms and other crawling creatures. 

When springtime comes and April showers begin, all sorts of bugs are in the air. Flies, mosquitos, and every type of flying insect are easy game after the rain. Have you ever been eaten alive by mosquitos or attacked by gnats after rain? They are a buffet for a toad or a frog.

Interesting fact: Frogs and toads are great storm predictors. Yes, that means they’ll croak up a storm-no pun intended–before the rains come. If you want a heads up on the weather–ask a frog. When you hear them on a clear day, wait 24 hours or less and notice if it storms. 

Frogs Croak In Their Home Environment

Bullfrog in the water nature background

Here, we will solve the issue of croaking frogs in your space, as well as explain the simple reasons they are so loud. 

Here’s an experiment. Next time you hear them, try closing your eyes and tuning in to what direction the frog song is coming from. The next morning, go out into your yard and find out if you have anything that creates the perfect environment for them. Read on to find out what that could be. 

  • A Woodpile: One used for scrap or firewood if you’ve let it collect any dampness or the surrounding area floods or forms pools of water, even if you think it’s not a lot. It would surprise you what a toad or frog can do with a small amount of rainwater. 
  • A Pile of Rocks: Any rocks that you have piled together, even for landscaping, otherwise, why would you have rocks piled, right? There are little rock pools that you see on beaches and areas with streams. These are also ideal tadpole making spots.
  • Wet Leaves: Leaves may not hold enough water to spawn in, but the damp atmosphere will attract frogs into a prime croaking area. 
  • Cracks in Surfaces: Yes, they can be small and squishy enough to maneuver cracks and crevasses. As long as there’s water and food there, you will find them. 

Quick tip: The best way to find them is to take a hose and flush em out. When they are hiding, you may witness them jumping from the area. You can then relocate them if you put on some gloves and launch them somewhere else. Some frog and toad skin is dangerous if you touch your face directly after, so protection is key.

A salt solution is also a way to prevent them from coming back, eventually. Froggy feet dislike the feeling salt gives them. After all, it is a drying agent, and that is precisely what the amphibian wants to avoid. 

After fully flushing areas where you see the frogs, lay out a good amount of salt water. It may take a few times, but they will eventually leave and not return. 

Frogs Croak As A Form Of Communication

Unsurprisingly, it is the male of any species that croaks. The deep, guttural, loud, and annoying sound is a male toad or frog. If the frog song seems as if they’re trying to speak over each other, then you may be correct

This is the mating call. They communicate lots of statistics in their croak appeal. 

The power and strength of that croak tells a mate their strength, virility, species, and health. Nature has a simple way of getting the message across in the perfect timing for a species to procreate. 

So, what do female frogs do? In response, they sort of chirp. It is hard for us to hear under all the male-dominated croaking, but easy for the frogs. After all, nature has tuned their ears to it.

Light Can Disturb Frogs And Cause Them To Croak

Isn’t that sweet? Well, do not take it too much to heart. If you have artificial lighting at night you are disturbing the natural cycle for the frogs and frogs in your neighborhood. According to froglife.org, 50 lux of light can be enough to disturb frogs.

So you will always have frogs with flood lamps and security lighting, etc. Take some kind of action to either rid your property of frogs and toads by a removal of your choice. You could have lamps for a limited time at night or none at all depending on what you deem a waste of time. 

When it comes to the annoyance of frog croaking, there is not much concern whether it is a toad or a frog, for instance. However, for locating and relieving the issue, you will look in the wrong place if you confuse the two. 

The reasons they croak are almost the same as the bog-standard toad or frog. They are in the throes of mating, curb crawling potential mates, or responding to climate and environment. 

To be rid of them, contact a professional and make an educated decision after they provide you with options. 

Bullfrogs Croak The Most

Close up view of a bullfrog in the water

Giant males of any species of frog or toad compete with other males. Once they find a prime egg-laying site for their potential females, they fight for their position and the female toad or female frog. 

So, the opera of strong guttural croaks will ensue as soon as he has located his optimal space. 

The species most likely to croak the longest are the long breeders, bullfrogs. They will do so in spates if there is water around for them to swim in. They will swim to find a receptive female and defend their spots from rival breeds.

Atrazine Pesticide May Be Triggering Frogs & Toads

This happens in a roundabout way. If you or your gardener have used a pesticide laced with atrazine, your male frogs may turn to females or become emasculated. Essentially, it affects the frogs hormone balance and affects their breeding rituals, but since croaking is a big part of it, your toads and frogs may get a bit frustrated. 

Interesting fact: When they pair up the affected males and mate them, they get around a 50% success rate. Out in the wild, they fear they would not stand a chance.  

Tips To Help Keep Frogs And Toads Out! 

We have gone to great lengths to help you understand the life cycle and mating habits of the frog and toad, as well as all the probable reasons for their croaking. However, we will go a step further and extend the solutions we have also mentioned.

First, the key to keeping frogs and toads at bay is to remove the habitat. This may mean a lot of things to different people. Every one of you is unique, and we don’t want to suggest anything that will not resonate with you. 

There are certain truths we need to mention, as the choices are fairly limited.

Croaking European tree frog (Hyla arborea) in a tree

Hire Wildlife Control Specialists

There are no formal wildlife control specialists. It is not a title; it is an area of specialization certain professions cover. Pest control companies in the countryside in some places may find a viable solution suited to you. 

In this case, frogs and toads multiply easily and swiftly in great numbers. Pest control may be something you must do each time a new generation of frogs and toads are born. Keeping up with eradicating them may prove too costly.

You can find a pest control specialist near you, here.

Take Away The Frogs Habitat

This means you have to remove several things that can make or break a garden. The water source and plants. If you have clay pots or any planters that do not immediately drain water, you must throw them out.

The milkweed in your garden might attract frogs and toads, which is probably not why you planted it. You may have this there to attract butterflies. It would be a shame to destroy that beautiful habitat you are providing for an endangered species.

Ferns are another plant that grows wild and multiplies abundantly, along with Joe-Pye weed, cardinal flowers, and black-eyed Susans.  

Any water feature with standing water or any water with minimal movement like a pond attracts frogs and toads. A more violent water movement with a fountain or several water agitating pieces, or moving the water feature, can help decrease their population. Fish may or may not agitate the water enough. 

This Alpine Corporation Light Floating Spray Fountain is a great option for agitating your water features. It comes with three colors of LED lights and separate power sources for water flow and lighting. 

Use Impact Glass In The House To Lighten Frog Croaking

We are not trying to be funny here. If you love your yard or live in the country and love all the springtime brings, consider impact glass to repel the sound. 

You could also soundproof your favorite rooms accosted the most by the frog serenade. 

Final Word On Frog Croaking issues

The bottom line is, there aren’t many solutions to the frog croaking issue. Decisions about lifestyle and morality, whatever that means to you, must be made. The consolation is, springtime is the worst of it. 

Maybe, if you love nature to a certain extent, you could learn to enjoy the serenade. At the most extreme, a seasonal pair of earplugs may be the cure. 

References

Crossland, M. R., Haramura, T., Salim, A. A., Capon, R. J., & Shine, R. (2012). Exploiting intraspecific competitive mechanisms to control invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1742), 3436–3442. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.0821

Komine, H., Koike, S., & Schwarzkopf, L. (2020). Impacts of artificial light on food intake in invasive toads. Scientific Reports, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63503-9

Yasumiba, K., Alford, R. A., & Schwarzkopf, L. (2015). Why do male and female cane toads, Rhinella marina, respond differently to advertisement calls? Animal Behaviour, 109, 141–147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.08.015

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