PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (CBS Local) — Thousands of poisonous toads have seemingly come out of nowhere to overrun a community in Florida, posing a potential danger to children and pets, according to an expert.
They started appearing last week in a neighborhood in Palm Beach Gardens and now seem to be everywhere, swarming swimming pools, sidewalks and the street outside Jenni Quasha’s home.
“I just see a massive amount of toads or frogs everywhere,” Quasha told WPTV. “You can’t even walk through the grass without stepping on one, they’re covering people’s driveways.”
Toad Busters, a toad removal company, says the pests are cane toads, also known as bufo toads, which secrete a toxic milky substance.
“With the warmer winter and then we had a rain two to three weeks ago, a torrential rain, that caused them to go into a breeding cycle,” said Mark Holladay, a lead technician with Toad Busters. “They’re not safe for pets or children. If a pet was to ingest too many of them, even at that small size, it would cause a problem.”
Quasha said she contacted her homeowner’s association, but was told it’s her responsibility to handle the problem. Meantime, she says with her three kids on spring break, her caughter is scared to walk outside.
“There’s no swimming in the pool and no playing outside and enjoying the outdoors. Just hoping we can figure this out so we can put an end to it.”
Holladay said the problem may not go away anytime soon.
“There will be another influx like this in 22 days when the next batch hatches out, and this is in every community in Florida,” said Holladay.