Dear Neighbor,

Toads get a really bad rap. They are made fun of and superstiously avoided. Do people really believe they can get warts from a toad? Come on! The next time you see a toad, you might want to kiss him because underneath that warty exterior is the prince of pest control. 

Toads are probably one of the most under valued pest controllers. Around our homestead, we can walk out on any given night, be startled by a leaping toad and say “Awwww, toady!” Yes, we greet them fondly. Why? We love toads! We recognize toads for the little gems that they are.

Toads eat all those bugs in the garden that we want to get rid of: slugs (nasty, slimy flower killing things!) grubs (usually the baby stage of some  leaf eating beetle) various insects, (name one you don’t like) spiders and worms. (Ok, we do love worms, in the garden, but I have to assume worms are a very small part of their diet since worms mainly stay underground.) And they do it all without chemicals. They are a true organic pest killer.

If you don’t have toads leaping about in the evening, which is when they hunt your enemies, you want to attract toads and welcome them into your garden. The number one way to attract toads is to go chemical free. We haven’t used a chemical in our yard, well ever, that I can remember. Toads, here, never eat tainted bugs or hop along poisonous grass.

You can also provide toad houses. Now, before you laugh, as I did, some people really should get a few. Toads enjoy hiding under large rocks, cement planters, porches, anything that that they can fit under and is cooled from the hot sun.  If you have a lot of those kinds of things around, you are likely housing toads without houses.

However, people who have a garden plot, let’s say, in the middle of their yard, away from everything, might need a toad house .

A toad house looks pretty much like a terracotta pot  turned upside down. If you have broken pots, you can actually make them into toad houses. Just put the pot down and a toad will likely dig a tunnel into it and make its home there. Or to quicken the process, you can chip away a doorway for the toad to enter in.

Place a toad house on each corner of your garden.  Your intentional community will fill up quickly and your new neighbors will come out at night and gobble up tons of bugs. Now those are some neighbors, huh?

Happy homesteading, S

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