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Sonoran Desert Toad Season Is Coming

Sonoran Desert Toads, or Colorado toads, are common in Arizona during the spring and summer, especially during the monsoon season. You are most likely to see this toxic toad after they emerge from hibernation between May and September, commonly seen at night when it is cooler, and the moisture levels are higher. Unfortunately, Sonoran Toads are not a pest that Affordable Pest Control can provide protection against, but we can provide some education about them and how you might be able to prevent them.

How do I know if I have a Sonoran Desert Toad?

These toads have large, white tubercles (also known as “warts”) around their jaw. Aside from large glands and lumps around their hind legs, they have otherwise smooth skin. Sonoran Desert Toads also range in color from tan to green with orange or red spots on their backs. They are most active during rainy months and at night. If you think you’ve spotted one of these poisonous toads, it’s best to keep your distance and put your pets away.

Can you touch a Sonoran Desert Toad?

While other toads are harmless, that is not the case for this common Arizona toad. The secretions from the Sonoran Desert Toad are toxic to animals and humans. Touching or ingesting the toxic secretions can make a human very ill, and it can be fatal for a pet.

Can a Sonoran Desert Toad kill my dog?

In short, it can be fatal for a dog to ingest the secretions from a Sonoran Desert Toad. Symptoms can include foaming at the mouth, excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, and an irregular heartbeat. If you suspect that your pet has encountered a Sonoran Toad, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian can provide treatment to help minimize the effects of the toxin and prevent further complications. In general, it is best to avoid handling Sonoran Toads or allowing pets to interact with them to minimize the risk of exposure to the toxin.

What to do if my dog has licked or ingested a Sonoran Desert Toad?

  • Rinse your dog’s mouth out with water. This can help to remove any residual toxin from the mouth and reduce the severity of symptoms.
  • Do not induce vomiting. Vomiting can increase the risk of aspiration, which can be life-threatening.
  • Monitor your dog’s vital signs. Keep an eye on your dog’s breathing, heart rate, and temperature, and seek veterinary care immediately if you notice any changes.
  • Keep your dog calm and quiet. Try to keep your dog as calm and relaxed as possible to help reduce stress and prevent the toxin from spreading.

How to prevent Sonoran Desert Toads?

While there are no widely accepted repellents or deterrents specifically designed for Sonoran Toads, there are some general steps you can take to discourage them from spending time in your yard. You’ll want to act fast as a single female Sonoran Desert Toad can lay up to 8,000 eggs and they hatch within 2-12 days, starting as tadpoles.

  • Reduce the availability of food and water sources. This could involve minimizing standing water and eliminating sources of standing water around your yard, as well as minimizing the use of outdoor lights at night, which can attract insects that Sonoran Toads feed on.
  • Create a physical barrier to discourage Sonoran Toads from entering your yard. This could involve installing fencing or using netting around your yard to create a barrier that Sonoran Toads would have difficulty crossing.
  • Hire a pest expert to eliminate excess bugs in your yard! It is possible that bugs in your yard could attract Sonoran Toads. Sonoran Toads are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of insects, including beetles, ants, and grasshoppers, among others. If your yard has a healthy population of these insects, it could provide a food source for Sonoran Toads and make your yard an attractive habitat for them. Doing regular pest control will keep the population of bugs to a minimum and help reduce the risk of Sonoran Toads coming into your yard.
  • If you encounter Sonoran Toads in your yard or elsewhere, it is important to observe them from a respectful distance and not to disturb them or their habitat. If you have concerns about the presence of Sonoran Toads or their impact on your property, it may be helpful to consult with local wildlife authorities or conservation organizations for guidance on how to manage your property in a way that is consistent with the protection of this endangered species.

Our best advice when it comes to Sonoran Desert Toads is it’s more about prevention than elimination in the case of the Sonoran Desert Toad. While we cannot eliminate Sonoran Desert Toads, we can provide some helpful tips for preventing your yard from becoming a sanctuary. Affordable Pest Control offers free inspections, along with same-day and next-day appointments. Schedule your free pest control inspection today.

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