Vol. 10 Issue 2, Summer 2005
By Nicole Hamilton
Toad houses are a fun addition to the garden.
When you select one, make sure it has an open bottom since toads like to burrow into the moist dirt to keep cool. Also, be sure the door opening is not too small. Most of the toad houses commercially available have openings that are too small for our toads to fit through. For our American Toad, the opening should be 3-4 inches wide.
The toad house should be placed under vegetation so it will be a cool refuge in the summer sun. You can also make your own toad house. Something as simple as a board or large flat stone held up off the ground a few inches by two rocks will form a welcome cover for your toads.
Another idea is to dig a small hole, about 4 inches deep, and fill it with loose dirt and sand. Then build up a rocky retreat with an inside chamber area about 4-6 inches high where the toads can stay cool on a hot day.
Try to have two entrances to your toad abode so the toad is able to escape if, for example, a snake comes in one door. If you do not have a water feature in your garden, a shallow pan with an inch or two of water and a few rocks for resting will also be appreciated.