To understand why there are tiny toads suddenly appearing on your property it is important to know their life cycle and how your yard plays an important role…
The Western Toad is the only species of toad found in BC. Despite a wide distribution throughout the province. It is experiencing a significant population decline, mainly due to loss of habitat.
When the toads are 3-5 years old they migrate to a wetland during the night in the early spring to breed and lay eggs. The fertilized eggs develop and hatch into tadpoles that swim and feed together in large synchronized schools. After several weeks, when the water warms up, the tadpoles metamorphose into tiny toadlets that emerge from the pond and migrate en-masse towards forest, grassland, and other moist terrestrial habitats where they spend the majority of their lives. Unlike the adults, tiny toadlets migrate during the daytime, and since they migrate en-masse they can be quite noticeable crawling through fields, backyards and roads.
If you do see toadlets migrate through your property you can help them survive by…
- Watching your step! The toadlets are tiny (about the size of a dime) and due to their colouration they can be hard to see.
- If you have a large number in your yard try and avoid areas where they are congregating- in most instances it only takes them 2-3 days to pass through your property.
- Do not pick them up, as this is a very stressful time for the toads and they will be disoriented when you put them back down on the ground. As well, products on our skin can be harmful to them.
- Ensure that your pets do not harass the toadlets
- Avoid mowing your field or lawn where the toadlets are found
- They will be most active during the cooler times of the day, during the hot midday they tend to hunker down in shaded areas to wait it out. If you notice that they are crossing a road in your neighborhood, use an alternate route during the morning and evening hours when they are most likely out on the roads.
These mass migrations happen only once a year, so within 10 days they will have moved on, hopefully to a safe forest home.
If you do find toads on your property and/or you have any questions/concerns please do not hesitate to contact us via email or phone 604-625-0066
Thank you for helping the toads in your community – they will return the favor by eating lots of pesky bugs!