There’s nothing like having the windows open on a warm summer night and hearing the chirps and croaks of frogs outside.
However, if you find your backyard to be too quiet and want to introduce more nature into your life, you might want to ask how to attract tree frogs to your yard.
Luckily for you attracting tree frogs and other frogs to your yard is pretty straightforward once you know what they like. Continue reading to discover some interesting facts about frogs and what you can do to make your yard irresistible to them.
How to Attract Tree Frogs to Your Yard (7 Tips)
1. Stop Using Pesticides
To attract tree frogs to your yard, the first step to take is to eliminate any harmful chemicals you’re using in the garden or lawn.
Frogs have permeable skin that allows them to absorb moisture from the environment. This means that they also end up absorbing harmful chemicals and pesticides as well.
The widespread use of insecticides, pesticides, and even synthetic fertilizers is one of the contributing factors to decreasing frog populations. These harmful substances cause deformities and birth defects.
These chemicals also remove all the tasty insects in your yard that frogs like to eat. If there’s no food source, it’s highly unlikely that frogs will want to hang around.
If you’re worried about having an infestation of bugs on your property, fear not. Once you have frogs nearby, the bug problem will take care of itself.
2. Provide a Water Source
Frogs need moisture to survive, so providing a shallow, non moving water source is essential to attracting them to your yard.
If you don’t have a pond or water source on your property already, there are a couple of makeshift ideas you can try. Place large, shallow dishes filled with clean water around your yard near trees in shady spots. Change the water weekly to keep it fresh.
Alternatively, take a small kiddie pool or plastic tub and partially bury it in the ground so that it’s top edge is at ground level. For best results keep these ponds out of direct sunlight and put a ramp on the inside so they can climb in and out.
Building a small pond on your property is an ideal way to attract frogs, but is a larger commitment. This method requires digging a shallow hole of variable width and covering it with a rubber or plastic liner. You can easily find liners made specifically for ponds online.
Once built, let rainwater fill it up, or add water from your local pond to introduce beneficial microorganisms.
3. Make a Shelter
They spend a lot of their time off the ground, so tree frogs don’t like to hide in the same ground level structures as other frogs.
An alternative to typical ground frog shelters is a 5 foot long PVC pipe driven into the ground. Make sure about half of the pipe is exposed. Place it at the base of a tree near a water source so the frogs have everything they need closeby.
Similarly, you can hang PVC pipes in trees to create tree frog shelters. Cut the pipes to about 2 feet in length and put a cap on the bottom opening. Drill a hole about 3 or 4 inches from the bottom so that some water collects, but excess water can drain out. Take the caps off once a month so old water can be replaced.
4. Provide Plant Cover
Frogs and toads are tasty snacks to predators like birds, foxes, or even cats. Giving them plenty of safe areas to hide and take cover makes your yard even more attractive to them.
Plant understory ferns, native wildflowers, shrubs, grasses, and other native, leafy plants around the base of trees and water sources to attract frogs. More vegetation also offers them plenty of bugs to eat.
5. Don’t Trim Foliage
Like the plants mentioned above, the foliage on trees, shrubs, and bushes provides a natural habitat for tree frogs.
Keeping trees, shrubs, and bushes full offers protection and cover while also encouraging more insects and food for the frogs
6. Use Outdoor Gardening Lights at Night
Having an outdoor garden light on at night attracts bugs like moths. For tree frogs that hunt at night, having an area where these bugs are concentrated makes catching them a lot easier.
Solar powered lights are a great option that are cost effective and environmentally friendly. These lights are waterproof and feature adjustable settings. Plus they’re attached to stakes, so setting them up is a breeze.
7. Be Patient
So you’ve completed all the above steps and still haven’t seen or heard a single tree frog. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong — sometimes it just takes a while for frogs to come and inhabit your yard.
If you really want to speed up the process, try buying tadpoles and stocking your pond with them. Be careful to choose native species, though. Introducing invasive, non-native frog species is detrimental to the local ecosystem.
Why You Want Frogs in Your Yard
Aside from being fun to watch, there are a few reasons why you’d want frogs in your yard.
They feast on insects like slugs, grubs, mosquitos, and other pests, making them an eco-friendly, non-toxic alternative to pesticides and chemical insect repellants.
One frog can eat 100 insects in a day and roughly 10,000 bugs a season, so you won’t have to compromise on effectiveness, either.
Because amphibians are the most endangered group of vertebrae animals in the world, creating a haven for frogs is also a wonderful way to help restore their population.
What’s The Difference Between Frogs and Toads?
If you’re interested in attracting frogs to your yard, it helps to understand the difference between frogs and toads. Though toads belong to the frog family, and are technically a classification of frog — there are some key differences between them.
Toads have dry, bumpy skin and spend more time on land than frogs do. For this reason they are usually more common to find in yards and gardens. They like to burrow and hide underground to hibernate in the winter.
On the other hand, frogs have slimy, smooth skin that’s very prone to drying out. They spend more time in and around bodies of water such as small ponds.
Tree frogs are slightly different from other types of frogs as they are more arboreal rather than aquatic. Since they mostly hang out in trees on branches and leaves they are usually smaller than regular ground frogs. They have sticky toe pads that help them climb.