6 Reasons Why You Have Frogs In Your Garden (What To Do)
Seeing an occasional frog or two in a garden is always pretty exciting. They’re pretty interesting, and you may even be inclined to offer a frog some shelter, food, or water. However, when you start to see more frogs, and more often, it can be the start of a real problem – and it’s best to get ahead of it quickly!
Frogs can be in your garden because they are attracted to water, bugs, and the shelter that your garden provides. If you have frogs in your garden, tidy up your plants, remove standing water, and use scents and plants that frogs hate to deter them.
If you’re noticing frogs more often, or already think you have a problem, it’s time to get ahead of the game and deter them as quickly as possible. Although cute, they can do a lot of ugly to your garden and bring a lot of other unwanted pests along with them.
So today, we’re going talk about why you may have frogs in your garden, and what you can do to stop them!
Are Frogs Good For Your Garden?
A frog isn’t necessarily bad for your garden in and of itself, and they do offer some benefits like controlling insects and problem bugs!
However, frogs can also do a lot of damage to your garden and plants because of their instinctual behaviors! Let’s talk more about this below!
Frogs Eat Many Garden Pests
Frogs will eat many garden pests. According to the Tennesse Wildlife Resources Agency, frogs are carnivores and will eat insects like snails, spiders, flies, caterpillars, butterflies, earthworms, moths, crayfish, and slugs!
Frogs will even eat a small snake, or another frog if the circumstance allows it.
Although it may sound great to hear that spiders will be taken care of – the reality is, some of these insects do a lot of good to your gardens. Like butterflies pollinate your plants, while, earthworms, keep your soil healthy by increasing the air and water supply in it!
The problem is -if frogs are patrolling your gardens – they’re taking all the good for themselves, which means – your garden can’t flourish!
Frog Can Burrow All-Around
Another problem with frogs is that they burrow – and when they burrow – they uproot your plants and any vegetables you are growing in your garden.
Frogs burrow in your soil so that they can sneak up and catch any insect that wanders in their path.
However, in finding that perfect spot to be a creeper – frogs will burrow within your soils, and uproot any seedlings, roots, or full plants that are in their way, just so they can stay hidden!
And yes – if you have a visual of a frog’s tongue catching a fly at full speed – that’s exactly what happens and it’s due to non-Newtonian saliva on the frog’s tongue that makes it extremely sticky – according to the National Library of Medicine.
Frogs Can Damage Plants
Because of the way that they burrow, they can also damage your plants.
Whether your plants are new, or old, are seedlings, or mature – frogs don’t care about which plant is in their way – and rather, will do what they have to so that they can burrow in the soil to catch their next bite, which usually means destroying the plant.
Anything in a frog’s food path will be damaged, and it’s not because they don’t like your plants, but it’s because their next meal is more important! I mean, we can’t blame them really.
But that’s not the only damage they cause …
Frogs Mess With The Nutrients In Your Soil
Something that we find really interesting about a frog is that frogs have permeable layers which allow gas or liquid to pass in and out of their skin.
This means that all the good liquids and nutrients from an environment are absorbed through a frog’s body and then released back into its environment, but on the contrary, all of the bad things do too – which is what causes damage to your plants and gardens.
Gases like weed fertilizers, grass eliminators, pesticides, and other chemicals can be passed into your garden just from the outer layer of a frog, which can mess with the nutrients in your soil!
6 Reasons Why Are Frogs In Your Garden
Now that we know why frogs aren’t good for your garden and just think about the fact that all the above problems we mentioned can happen just by having one frog in your garden – we can bet that you’re wondering how to prevent frogs from visiting!
Before we get to that, let’s talk about why they’re visiting in the first place!
1. Sources Of Water
One of the reasons frogs are attracted to your gardens is because of the source of water your garden provides.
Whether you have a more landscaped garden with a pond or waterfall source, or if you have soil that’s not aerated properly that puddles – if there’s water in your garden, you may be attracting frogs!
Frogs live in damp and moist areas, and they typically breed in the water! So – if you happen to have a lot of water and hear a lot of croaking (the sound frogs make when it’s a mating season), your garden can become the ideal location for frogs to breed and live.
If you have a frog-croaking problem (and we know how obnoxious that can be) the truth – is frogs kick off their reproductive cycles by croaking! Read our article about how to get frogs to stop croaking, so you can stop them for good!
2. Bugs Are Attracting Them
More than anything, bugs attract frogs. And, if you have a bug-filled garden, there’s a good chance that if the conditions allow it, your garden has become an ideal spot for a frog to live!
The thing is, frogs eat insects for almost all of their meals, and they aren’t picky when it comes to the insects they’ll eat. So, if your garden houses a lot of different insects, you may be attracting frogs without realizing it!
If you have a lot of overgrown shrubbery or vegetation that’s fallen to the ground like decaying fruits, or vegetables, there’s a good chance that you are attracting insects, which in turn, attract the frogs.
Having a garden that is full of insects means that the insects are attracted, and there are things you can do to deter the insects as well – which we will talk more about below!
3. There’s Other Frogs Nearby
Frogs attract frogs – it’s simple and true! If you have a frog or two, there’s a good chance more will be hopping into your garden and especially to mate. Knowing the damage that one frog can do, it’s so important to control or stop any infestation before it starts.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the mating season can last anywhere from three to seven weeks. Basically, the male frogs all stay put in one location (possibly your garden), and female frogs will come by asynchronously!
From personal experience, I once was living next to an abandoned property that often flooded. During early spring, we started to hear frogs croak every night. In a few weeks’ time, the croaking was so loud that we could hear it with all the windows and doors shut! There had to be thousands of frogs by this time!
Basically – frogs attract frogs, and once it hits levels like this – it really is hard to control.
4. Frogs Love Pesticide-Free Homes
Another thing attracting frogs to your home may be your home’s naturality. Pesticide-free homes attract frogs because there are none of the smelly, deterrents around that make them uncomfortable!
I guess it can go without saying that frogs, like all pests, like pesticide-free spaces, however, coincidentally, the reason why you may not need pesticides in the first place, can be because you have frogs lurking around your property!
Frogs eat a lot of small unwanted pests and eat really all the unwanted insects and bugs that are in your gardens.
Although frogs can be a problem in and of itself, their ability to be natural pest controllers can be a win, win if you can keep control over the number of frogs on your property.
5. Some Frogs Like Lights
Lights are another thing that can be attracting frogs to your space, well some types at least. The reason why? Think of what is also attracted to bright lights …. Insects!
Lights are magnetic to many insects, and it makes sense to want to stay around bright lights if your main source of food is insects!
According to a study done by the European Journal of Ecology, some types of amphibians benefited from artificial light, while others didn’t.
For instance, the Cane Toad was among the species that benefited and actually foraged more. The American Toads were also attracted to the lights and moved closer to them.
If you’re curious about some life patterns that frogs take on, check out our article on the places where frogs live, sleep and hibernate to learn more!
Untidy Spaces Attract Frogs
Lastly, another reason why you may have frogs in your garden can be due to a lack of maintenance! And listen, we get it – it’s hard to always keep up with your garden and outdoor space!
Overgrown shrubs, log piles, tall grasses, overgrown weeds, and vegetation that has fallen to the floor like fruits or veggies from trees and plants, all attract frogs.
Frogs like to live where they can find natural shelters. Remember, frogs like to hide, and sneak up on their prey to catch it. Providing frogs with a lot of natural coverage is going to attract them to your garden.
How To Safely Repel Frogs From Your Garden
So, if you got some frogs, we’ve got some answers! There are a few simple ways that you can safely repel them from your garden by removing water, adding scents that they hate, using vinegar solutions, and more!
However, we always recommend contacting a professional before attempting to remove any pest on your own! Although tiny, frogs impact your outdoor space greatly and can be tricky to remove.
Remove Any Standing Water Near Your Garden To Keep Frogs Away
To immediately start repelling frogs remove any standing water on your property. The reason that removing the water will help repel frogs is that they will be less attracted to your garden if there is no water for them to live in!
Whether you had a large rain storm or puddling on your lawn, or if you just recently hosed your lawn and the water is puddling – removing that water is key to repelling frogs.
If you have a larger frog problem and happen to have water features in your garden, by covering up and removing any pond or waterfall feature you can help keep frogs away – for the time being.
Aerating Your Soil Helps Too!
If your lawn often puddles you may need to aerate your soil.
Not only will aerating your soil help your plants grow and your soil be healthier, but it will also help drain water when there is excess! The lack of water will be unattractive to frogs!
By purchasing a manual aerator like the Yard Butler ID-6C Manual Lawn Coring Aerator, you can easily bring water to your soil.
Clean Up Your Outdoor Space To Repel Frogs
One of the best things you can do to keep frogs from your garden is to clean up and tidy up the space surrounding it.
By pruning and trimming any overgrown shrubbery, mowing your grass and keeping it at a short height, removing log piles or other piled-up debris that can house frogs, and cleaning up garbage cans and food scraps – you can repel frogs and a whole lot of other pests!
Frogs enjoy ground cover and will choose these spaces to live in – which means your overgrown shrubs, high grasses, and piles are attracting frogs!
Cleaning up these spaces, and keeping them tidy, will deter frogs just because they won’t be able to stay hidden in your outdoor space.
Give Frogs A New Location To Live In
So, sometimes it’s hard to completely get rid of your frog problem on your own – but, if you happen to only see a couple of frogs, it may be good to attract them elsewhere, and far away from your garden!
By adding a pond, or keeping shrubbery a little taller and overgrown in an area far away from your garden and keeping a few logs in the same space, you can effectively attract frogs to another area while giving them a controlled environment to thrive!
On the other hand, you may really like taking care of the frogs, and by giving them a new space, it will be a win-win situation!
If you want to take your frog environment to next level – you can purchase these really cute Wildlife World Ceramic Frog Houses, that frogs will actually live in! I mean – come on!
Add A Barrier To Your Garden To Keep Frogs Out Of It
Barriers are sometimes the simplest solutions to keeping frogs and any other unwanted pest out of your gardens, and can easily be added immediately to help deter frogs.
Firstly, if you’re in the works of creating your garden and want to do some prevention, we suggest going in and adding a landscape fabric like this 125 gsm Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric, that you can add right above the soil before planting.
This works so well because frogs like to burrow in the soil and it’s going to be a hassle for them to get through, which will make them stay away.
Another barrier that you can add to your garden is a physical one like this Garden Netting Pest Barrier. This barrier simply goes right over your garden, and will keep all pests out, and all the good stuff in!
Let The Frogs Help Your Garden
If you’re not really sure if you want to take the measures to deter the frogs – maybe, planting some plants that can benefit from frogs, is a good alternative!
In order to do this, thinking of what a frog does and what it’s good at, which is soaking up excess water, adding plants that require little water, or plants that need some assistance with drainage to your garden, can work wonders for your frog situation!
There are plants like Sage, Agave, Desert Roses, Succulents, and Jade plants that require little water and shouldn’t be over-watered. In that case, adding these plants to frog-prone areas of your garden may actually help your water problem, and help your plants thrive!
Add Scents That Frogs Hate To Your Garden To Keep Them Away
There are a bunch of scents that frogs hate, that if added to your garden will keep them away. Some of these scents are coffee grounds, baking soda, and lemon juice.
According to the USDA Forest Service, frogs have a keen sense of smell that they use to navigate and find food. Using scents like those mentioned above will overwhelm the senses of a frog while masking their sense of scent making it hard for frogs to navigate and find food.
Here are some ways you can use these scents!
● Coffee grounds – by sprinkling coffee grounds throughout your soil, you are actually giving your plants some nutrients that they may need like nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and chromium, and keeping frogs away!
Fresh coffee grounds work best, but for no waste purposes, rather than throwing your coffee grounds out after you make a pot of coffee, throw them directly in frog-prone areas!
● Baking soda – although rather scentless to us humans, baking soda smells awful to a frog, and they will stay far away from it, at all costs! By creating a baking soda barrier around high-traffic frog plants, and your garden as a whole, you can easily keep frogs away from your garden.
● Lemon juice – another way to keep frogs away is to add lemon juice around your garden. To add lemon juice, you can take cotton balls and soak them in lemon juice, and then strategically place them in areas that need protection from the frogs.
Use Store-Bought Frog Sprays To Keep Them Away From Your Garden
Another way to keep frogs out of your garden is to use an actual frog/amphibian repellent to do so.
The Exterminator’s Choice – Frog Defense Spray is a great product to repel frogs and toads.
This a great repellent to try out because it uses natural things like citronella and lemongrass oils to repel frogs! You can use it around your home, your garden, and anywhere that frogs seem to be migrating towards.
Spray The Area With A Vinegar Solution
Believe it or not, one of the most natural repellents that you can use to keep frogs away is a white vinegar solution – and get this, it’s not because they hate the smell, but, because it actually is a frog irritant.
Vinegar is an effective frog repellent because frogs hate the way vinegar feels on their skin. If a frog walks on vinegar, it will bother its feet and it will quickly get away from it.
The reason why vinegar bothers the feet of a frog is because of a frog’s permeable layer. Remember when we spoke about how frogs absorb all the liquids and gasses in the environment they are in, well, they will absorb the vinegar, and it will be irritating to them.
You can make your own vinegar/water solution! Grab a spray bottle, add equal parts white vinegar and equal parts water, and then shake it up. Once your solution is complete, you can generously spray your entire garden to create a barrier, while spraying any other areas that may attract frogs too!
If you have frogs in your potted plants, this is a great option to spray near the plant!
That’s A Wrap!
All in all, if you have some frogs – we have some solutions! These typically harmless creatures should be given care and attention; thus, safely deterring them is all we can ask.
If you are unsure how to do so we advise calling a professional as soon as possible!
Let’s go over why you may have frogs in the first place!
- Standing water attracts frogs.
- Insects and other bugs attract frogs to your garden because they love to eat them!
- If you have one frog, you may inherently attract more frogs.
- Pesticide-free homes attract frogs.
- An untidy landscape may attract frogs.
- Certain species of frogs are attracted to lights in your garden.
Dutta, Himangshu. “Insights into the Impacts of Three Current Environmental Problems on Amphibians.” European Journal of Ecology
Noel, Alexis C, et al. “Frogs Use a Viscoelastic Tongue and Non-Newtonian Saliva to Catch Prey.” Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, The Royal Society, Feb. 2017.
Wheeler, Clara A. “Mating Strategy and Breeding Patterns of the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana Boylii).” US Forest Service Research and Development, 1 Jan. 1970.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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