So, you’ve got a frog problem, and you want to get rid of frogs ASAP. And you want to look for a way to get rid of them from your garden.
You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll go over some common ways to get rid of frogs using various solutions that range from natural, DIY home remedies to other more advanced techniques.
By the time you’ve tried all these methods, you should have a frog-free, or at least a diminished frog population, in your yard, garden, pond, or whatever else you’re dealing with.
Sound good? Read on.
Last updated: 1/21/21. Updated page for accuracy.
Frogs and their role in nature
Ribbit! Frogs are typically harmless in nature and help keep the ecosystem in balance.
You see them featured in many zoos, aquariums, and other exhibits. When you attract frogs to your garden or pond, that means there are plenty of bugs for them to eat and they’ve found a new home- even though you don’t approve of it!
Without frogs, you may be pestered with other bugs- like flies, spiders, and other various bugs. They’re a vital part of the natural ecosystem and often prey upon native populations where food is present.
Just because you’ve found them in your pond or yard doesn’t mean they’re going to invade and take over. They’re actually very easy to get rid of and you’ll need to be careful when doing so because you could seriously harm the frog population.
Watch out for endangered species
Some frogs and toads are on the endangered species list and if they’ve taken shelter in your backyard, you may be heavily fined or face other consequences for messing with them.
You need to identify the frog or toad species first before you start trying to get rid of them. If you’re unsure, contact your state or local conservatory and get professional help first.
It’s always preferred to make your garden less favorable by getting rid of water, food sources, and shelter. Removing what they need to sustain themselves will naturally repel them, rather than killing them. They’re considered a beneficial species, so EXCLUDE when possible.
Get educated first. Sure, you probably just want to get rid of them ASAP. Who wants a noisy, slimy, nest of frogs jumping about? But then again, who wants to get slammed with a hefty fine later on? Be patient and make the right decision.
Do some research online and find out what type of frog you have. There are way too many to list here (and this isn’t a frog ID guide- this is a “get rid of frogs” guide), so you’ll have to find another resource or post on some frog forums to get a proper frog ID.
Here are some resources you can check out:
Sorry I couldn’t give you step-by-step instructions. But I just don’t have the time to write a whole frog dictionary! And there are tons of free resources out there already, so I’m going to have to refer you to take the initiative and do some research.
Here’s what I can help you out with:
- Take clear shots of your invading frog species
- Look for exact match images on Google
- Look for frogs that match yours on froglife
- Post a thread on frogforum
Those are just some ideas. Once you get your species identified, find out if it’s endangered or not. Do a search online by typing something like “[your species] endangered” on your favorite search engine.
And if you’re really not sure, consult your local conservatory or animal control and ask them. Lastly, you can hire an exterminator. Many times they offer free quotes. Have them come over and check out the situation. You can at least get the type of frog and more information from someone with knowledge and experience.
By continuing to read this guide, you agree that you’ve safely identified the frog or toad in your yard and you acknowledge that they’re not endangered and safe to repel or exterminate.
Why are there frogs in your garden?
Frogs are funny creatures.
Finding them in your garden or pond means that there’s an attractant present. They don’t just show up for no reason. There’s something they really dig about your yard.
Here are the two main common reasons why you have frogs in your yard:
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An abundance of bugs (Food)
Everyone knows the green, cartoon frog sticking his tongue out with pinpoint accuracy and grabbing the annoying fly.
This is one of the main reasons why people get frog infestations in their yard. If there’s an abundance of bugs and insects, then you’ll have a problem. They like flies, mosquitoes, and other flying bugs to be excellent sources of food. We’ll discuss how to fix this problem later.
Frogs especially like flying insects, but they’re not picky. They’ll eat anything that can fit in their slimy mouth whether flying or not. If you have frogs roaming around, you probably also have a ton of bugs roaming around also.
Common bugs that frogs eat are:
- Moths, dragonflies, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, worms, fleas, flies, gnats
- Termites, slugs, spiders, snails, roaches, crickets
- Fish (goldfish, koi, minnows, pond fish, etc.)
- Small rodents (field mice, etc.) (large frogs only)
- Larger frogs can even eat rats, lizards, turtles, snakes, and other small amphibians
- And anything else that they can fit in their mouth- frogs are far from picky
Look at this bull frog eating a whole bat:
If you can control the supply of their food (read: flying insects), then they’ll starve and can’t sustain themselves. This will make them go away on their own.
A source of water
Frogs live on both land and water and are considered amphibians, so they can live in multiple environments.
Water tends to always be nearby anywhere there’s a group of frogs, as the liquid medium provides both a place to hide from predators and a source of food as mosquitoes, dragonflies, and other flying species tend to breed there.
Gardens with stagnant water are especially prone to mosquitoes, which in turn will attract frogs. Other times, backed up drainage, pools of water, or specific landscaping all may form miniatures ponds throughout your yard. This can also be nesting ground for mosquito larvae and frogs will come to feast on them.
How to kill frogs (or control the population)
Okay, so now that you have a better knowledge of why these amphibians are taking over your yard, now we can go over some methods to get rid of them- for good.
First, we’ll go over some artificial ways to kill them or get rid of them. If you want natural, DIY remedies, you can skip to the next section which covers that.
Get rid of the food source
This is what attracted them to your backyard in the first place- food!
If you get rid of the food, what else do they have to feed on?
So get rid of the bugs that the frogs are eating and you’ll get rid of the frogs. Simple enough, right?
Chances are that there are one species that are breeding a lot in your yard. Find out what it is and eliminate it. The easy part is that often that species and all neighboring species can be killed using the same pesticide or trap.
Look for areas with flying bugs
For example, if the frogs are eating dragonflies, you can get dragonfly repellent which also repels other flying insects at the same time, like flies, wasps, and fleas. Or if they’re eating a land-based bug, let’s say snails, for example, you can get a snail killer which will also kill slugs at the same time.
When you find the right target bug and get rid of it or greatly diminish its population, the frogs will greatly diminish in population as well. That’s how nature works. It’s always trying to reach a balance called equilibrium and frogs are no exception.
This is a very effective treatment but it does involve some work of finding out the target food source for them. But once you do, you’ll drive them away for good as long as you keep the food source limited. Party’s over, frogs. Go home.
Use effective herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides
Herbicides are things like weed killers, grass killer, and stump killer. Basically, anything that kills “herbs,” which are plants. Pesticides kill pests. And fungicides kill fungus.
When you kill plants with herbicides (or any of these really), evidence suggests that some of these plant killers will also sterilize male frogs. When male frogs get sterilized, they can’t reproduce, which will effectively thin out a population over time. Sure, you won’t get rid of them quickly, but the population will dwindle slowly until they’re extinct- well, at least from your yard.
Do you need a specific type of herbicide? Of course. Look for the following herbicides that sterilize frogs:
This is the most common herbicide and over 80 million pounds of this stuff is applied in the US alone each year. This will effectively feminize male frogs and easily stop any frog population from further breeding.
This popular weed killer will kill frog populations quickly. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in this herbicide, which is used globally and over 190 million pounds were used by US farmers at one point in US history.
Monsanto produces Roundup, which is the same brand that provided us Agent Orange. This still has been known to be lethal to frogs, and probably humans as well. Be very careful when using Roundup.
A very popular fungicide in the US and mostly used on peanuts, tomatoes, and potatoes. This still will kill tadpoles of Cuban Tree Frogs, Squirrel Treefrogs, and Green Tree Frogs within a day.
Pesticides will also kill bugs (that’s what it does) and will eliminate the frog’s food source, which may eventually drive them away. However, if a frog eats a bug that was killed by pesticides, it will also become poisoned through contact. They’re doubly dangerous to frogs.
Orajel is a drug used for numbing the mouth. This stuff contains Benzocaine which helps reduce pain by numbing the user. Depending on how much is consumed by the frog, it can kill them over time if ingested. You can spread this stuff wherever they feed and hide.
Snake deterrent is another popular choice because frogs seem to hate the stuff just as much.
This kind of repellent can easily be found at any garden center and usually comes in the form of pellets. Use as directed as cover your yard. Frogs will be repelled from the poison and won’t come back depending on the effectiveness of the product (do your research and read reviews).
This won’t kill the frogs, but rather drive them out of your garden and keep them out until it’s time to replace the repellent.
This is a handy way to get rid of frogs if you don’t want to kill them.
How to choose a snake repellent for frogs
When choosing a snake repellent for frogs, use the following tips and pointers to choose a good and effective repellent:
- Go for 100% natural ingredients for a safer and less destructive approach
- Go organic when possible
- Research the main ingredients and read about them
- Get one that’s easy to use and apply
- Use one that doesn’t require reapplication often
- Get one that has good reviews online
Look for snake repellent that has reviews from other people using it for frogs (this way you know it works for frogs alongside snakes)
Natural ways to get rid of frogs
The following list consists of ways to get rid of them naturally- that is simple things you can do that won’t pollute your yard to keep it safe for pets and children. I suggest you try these methods if you want to minimize risk and control the frogs without doing too much environmental harm.
Remember as we talked about earlier, the reason frogs are there in the first place is because of the food source, which is often bugs.
If you take steps to remove or deter bugs from your property, you’ll get rid of the frogs. This should always be your first approach.
So, here are some ways you can keep the bug population in check:
Use natural bug repellent
This comes in hundreds of varieties from sprays, pellets, to traps. Get whatever is appropriate for your garden. Identify the bugs and get the proper control method for them.
Use a natural or organic control method when possible. You don’t want to kill the frog if it’s not necessary.
REPEL and EXCLUDE.
Get citronella candles
These candles naturally repel many insects that frogs eat. Use them around the yard as directed. If you leave your garden or porch lights on at night, consider turning them off or use these citronella candles as your light source instead. Also, consider getting motion-activated lights that turn off after a period of time to reduce bugs getting attracted to your yard.
Prune veggies and fruits
Food is probably the only attractant for bugs getting and staying into your garden. Keep your veggies and fruits in check and harvest properly to stop bug populations from spawning (and thus frogs).
Perform regular yard maintenance
This means pulling weeds, cutting the grass, getting rid of dried leaves, pruning, and draining backed-up gutters all contribute to a lower pest population. Also, drain and refill fountains and keep water flowing. Never have standing water- anywhere. This will contribute to mosquitos and frogs.
Keep ponds clean
Don’t let ponds stack and pile up with leaves. Control bacteria, algae, and aquatic populations. Don’t overfeed fish if you have any and always practice proper pond care.
Perform regular pool maintenance
If you have a pool, it’s imperative that you keep it maintained. Dechlorinate and shock the water as directed. Keep it covered if you don’t have the time to do this. This goes with spas and other bodies of water.
Get rid of leftover pet food
If you feed your dog or cat outdoors, remove the food as soon as they’re done. Or bring it indoors. This will attract pests, bugs, and frogs because some are known to eat pet food.
Catch them yourself
This is the most obvious and manual way to get rid of frogs.
You can catch them using a net with a long handle and scoop them out of your pond. Get a secure container to place them in as you collect them- a basic garbage can works well. If you have a friend, you can both catch them at the same time to speed up the process.
Tip: Frogs can jump very high. Use a container and lay it over with a net. When you catch a bunch of frogs, remove the net when they’re not jumping and dump them in. Then seal it again. Having a friend really helps.
Frogs are also mainly nocturnal, so they’ll be most active at night. If you go out at night with a bright flashlight and shine it at them, they’ll temporarily be stunned. You can catch them and remove them this way. They’ll not move for a few seconds which gives you a period of time to quickly catch them up!
Remove the tadpoles and eggs
You can get rid of future generations from spawning by getting rid of the tadpoles. They’ll be at the bottom of your pond or pool. Use a net and scoop them out and leave them in the sun. They’ll dry out and die by themselves.
You can also find eggs within the pond. They’ll look like a gelatin blob that’s transparent. Remove this and let it dry in the sun just like the tadpoles.
As you catch them, place them in a container and release them in a nearby pond.
Build a barrier
Most frogs can only jump about two feet high, so if you get some fencing or some kind of small barrier to keep new ones from entering your garden, this will control the population effectively. Then all you need to do is take care of the frogs that are currently inside your yard.
You can get fencing at any hardware store by the foot. Just make sure the fencing doesn’t have holes that they can crawl through or climb on. Solid fencing works best. Go for wood if possible.
Everyone hates the smell of pure coffee grounds, right? It’s bitter, strong, and downright gross.
Frogs think the same (and so do many other pests), which is why coffee grounds are so popular in the DIY pest care world.
You can buy coffee grounds from the grocery store and sprinkle them around your yard. But the more effective way to do first use the grounds and then recycle your used coffee grounds as a frog repellent. Sprinkle them in areas where you see frogs congregating and sprinkle them liberally.
Watch out for acid
They also contain valuable nitrates which plants will lap up and grow. It’s sort of like plant food. But then when the frogs come into contact with the coffee grounds, they get discomfort upon their slimy skin which keeps them away from areas littered with coffee grounds.
But be sure to check out your plants before you go sprinkling this stuff all over your yard because they take a long time to degrade and you’ll have a tough time removing them should you change your mind.
Also, some plants are sensitive to acidic soil, which coffee grounds are composed of. This may harm some of your plants which may be sensitive to low pH.
Frogs hate salty water believe it or not. You’d think because they spend their time partially bathed in lakes and ponds they’d get used to the mineral buildup and the salinity of the water. But that’s because the salt concentrations are low in natural ponds.
If you sprinkle salt or a saltwater solution on your yard walkways, asphalt, pond boundaries, bricks, and other pathways, you’ll be creating essentially an electric fence for frogs. The saltwater will sting their feet when they jump on the salt, so they’ll be repelled. This works well for some species of frogs, but others may be immune. You’ll need to experiment and find out.
Watch out for plants!
Also, be very careful about where you spray this stuff. Salt will readily kill plants, so it’s best not to get it mixed in the with the soil where you grow plants.
Use a solution of 60% salt and 40% tap water. Mix it hot and let it dissolve into a complete liquid. You can also try sprinkling plain table salt around your yard, but once you do, you can’t go back. So be careful.
This is a simple, natural, and effective approach to keeping frogs at bay. It’ll take them a while to learn about the salt traps, but they’ll eventually steer clear of it. You just need to keep watch and make sure they don’t migrate somewhere else in your garden because of the salty areas. You need to sprinkle salt everywhere you see frogs congregate. This is mainly feeding and sheltered areas.
Get dry citric acid from your hardware store and mix it with water. Use 1 pound of citric acid for 1 gallon of water and mix it well. Then spray this directly onto the frogs and their habitat. This will kill them, so be ready to pick up dead frogs upon using.
Vinegar is another natural remedy to frogs and works well. Pure vinegar is natural and will evaporate cleanly with time. Frogs seem to hate vinegar because it stings their skin and has a very unpleasant smell (for frogs).
All you need to do is the following to make this mixture:
- Get 1 gallon of tap water (distilled works best).
- Get 1 gallon of pure vinegar.
- Mix together in a container.
- Pour into a spray bottle.
That’s it. Then use the spray bottle and apply a nice, solid layer in all the areas where you see them hang out. The spray will last for about a day before it evaporates. Apply it at night- every night until the frog population diminishes.
This is another DIY home remedy to get rid of frogs naturally. It’s safe for pets and children, but NOT for plants. The acidity in the vinegar may kill plants. So be careful where you spray.
Create a frog sanctuary
The last option is to create a sanctuary for the frogs- AKA “haven.”
You’re probably thinking: “why would I want to create a home for these pests when I’m trying to get RID of them?”
The thing is, if you can’t get rid of them, join ‘em!
Okay, enough screwing around. If you really have a bad frog infestation, you may not be able to control the population. Even with all DIY home remedies, you may still have frogs just showing up out of nowhere even after you’ve tried everything.
This solution is to zone them to a specific area so they don’t keep running around your yard. If they have a nice place to stay, they won’t go out into the public eye- that’s the reasoning behind it. Keep the frogs confined to one area by creating a haven for them. This will keep them out of your veggies, fruits, and taking shelter in your tools and settees.
Setting up a frog haven
To do this, you’ll need to choose an area to confine the frogs. This depends on whether or not you want the frogs to be visible, easily accessible, or how far from your house you want to keep them.
If you have frogs on your porch, you can zone them to a specific area to remove them from taking over your porch.
Consider all the factors such as:
- Distance from your home’s entrance to avoid frogs getting inside your house
- How far from away they’ll be from your edible plants
- Whether or not they’ll be visible to you and others
- How they’ll affect water sources nearby
- Whether or not you want them to control certain pests around certain areas (they can be a form of pest control!)
- Where you’ll want them to leave their feces and waste
After thinking about these factors, you can set up an area in your garden by placing water and shelter alongside some plants that attract flying bugs for them to eat. All you really need to confine frogs are the following:
You can use pots, wood stacks, cardboard, or pretty much anything that gives them a way to hide from sunlight.
A water source
Use a pond or stream of water for them to bathe and bask in. This will also spawn bugs for them to eat. The water doesn’t have to be clean, but not too dirty either.
Plants that attract bugs
Get some plants that attract flying insects. Anything from sunflowers, daisies, to basic flowering plants work.
Some other plants that attract bugs that frogs eat include:
- Carum carvi
- Cosmos “white sensation”
- Peter Pan goldenrod
- Marigold “lemon gem”
And that’s about it. Frogs will mainly inhabit that specific area if ferritin is set up properly. Just be careful of attracting too many pests from this setup.
That’s about the last resort you can take to manage frogs in your garden. That’s the easiest way to get them in control without killing them or harming the environment.
Otherwise, you may have to hire a professional to handle this problem.
Did you get rid of your frog problem?
If you’re still having a bunch of frogs taking over your yard, leave a comment about your situation in detail and I’ll give you some suggestions you can do at home.
Or if you’ve dealt with this problem before and you got rid of them, leave some words of wisdom!
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.