Here is recording of the recent webinar I did on frog pond construction and frog conservation, and answers to the questions submitted by the viewers. Click here to see a blog post I did on this subject a few years ago. Here are also three other articles I did later on as frog pond updates: Here and Here and Here.
| I have some hard-shell liners that fill up with debris and cleaning
them is difficult. How do you keep your pond from silting in. Cleaning organic debris is tedious but necessary. We manually remove
excess leaves, dead aquatic plants and algae in the spring after the
hibernating frogs and other creatures become active, but before frogs
begin laying eggs. If we don’t don’t do this, the algae gets out of control
which causes depletion of dissolved oxygen and nutrients
| Did you bring in frogs or did they just come when you were done?
We finished the pond in mid April, and by May frogs had begun to arrive
and breed in the pond.
| why did the skin on the frog,( that you played in slow mo), look like
it was peeling off? This was a gray tree frog, and the skin looks mottled
to camouflage against the bark of trees where it spends its life except
when it is breeding near a water source in the early summer or
hibernating in the ground or deep in dead logs or leaf debris.
| Do the bull frogs eat the smaller frogs in your pond? Yes, frogs will
pretty much eat anything that will fit into their mouths, including
smaller frogs. It is a frog eat frog world.
| Approximately how many frogs reside around your pond? This
number varies greatly throughout the spring, summer and fall. Normally
there are maybe a dozen aquatic frogs (bull and green) that live in the
pond all the time, but dozens and dozens more will show up during
their species breeding time, such as when the many tree frogs and toads
arrive in May and June to breed.
| How long did it take for the wildlife to find your pond? We are lucky
to live in the forest, near natural water sources, so wildlife already
resided in the area, but frogs, aquatic insects and predators arrived
within a month of the pond being filled with water.
| Do all of the frogs and toads in your pond area coexist? Yes, they
coexist as they do in a wild water body. They compete for food, and
sometimes prey on each other.
| You don’t need rocks, excavate a hole, use railroad ties for boarder
Yes, there are many ways to build a pond. As long aa there is constant
water, the creatures will use it.
| What if you don’t have location to have a small pond, what else can
you do to help frogs? By being very careful about the chemicals
you use to control weeds, insects, and fertilize your yard, you are helping
frogs as these chemicals wash into wetlands and waterways. Planting
native plants, which nurture native pollinators, helps, as these are often
prey for frogs and toads.
| Do frogs hibernate? If so, where and for how long? This depends
on the species. Aquatic frogs, like bullfrogs and green frogs, will lay
on the bottom of the pond, or in the mud and organic material, and
remain inactive until the water warms up (when daytime temps
rise into the 60s/70s. Terrestrial frogs, like wood frogs, tree frogs, and
toads will bury themselves in the ground, or in piles of leaves.
| What prevents bullfrogs from decimating other frogs and toads in
its native range? In their native range, evolution has reached a balance
among its native residents. Frogs and all creatures are often vulnerable
to invasive species, as they have not evolved defenses or behaviors to
defend and hide from them.
| Where does the water come from for the pond near your house? We originally filled the pond with well water. After that, rainwater
maintains the level. During very hot dry periods we top it off with our
well water via hose. You can use city water that has chlorine, because
the chlorine evaporates in 24-48 hours, but using dechlorinated water
is the best method if possible.
| How does a frog or toad breathe while calling? The call is all from
| I have a really small pond in my yard. Are cats a problem? I see the
cats but don’t have the pond on web or trail cam. Cats will prey on
frogs. Frogs are most active at night, so if you bring your cat inside
at night it will reduce predation.
| I turned off the pump to encourage tadpoles and frogs. Did I do the
right thing? I don’t think the pump will deter frogs and tadpoles. Be
careful that you have mesh over the pump so tadpoles are sucked in.
| How do you introduce the frogs into the pond? It is best for frogs
and toads to find your pond naturally. If this is not possible, you
could introduce them. It is possible, but not really recommended
to capture them and transplant them from the wild, I would suggest
eggs or tadpoles instead of adults. It is possible to order live tadpoles,
but make sure the species is native to your region!
| Do deer come to your pond and eat the flowers? Deer in this area
are pretty shy and they haven’t done this yet, at least to our knowledge.
Rabbits and ground hogs do. We use a product called “repels all” when
damage is occurring. It is safe and natural, and is made from animal
blood. Herbivores smell it and avoid the area, as it can attract predators.
| What is the altitude of the Ozarks and how high is it where you live?
Our house is 700 feet.
| I used a flexible pond liner that I could mold to the side but put it directly on the dirt. I don’t remember what kind it is. I live in Southern California. Do you think it is leaking? If the pond level drops
constantly, it could be. If it isn’t raining, the level will naturally drop
due to evaporation. if there are no sharp rocks under the liner
you are likely OK.
| Will a small pond attract frogs? Yes, but the larger the pond the more
frogs, of larger sizes will be able to live there. A small pond will attract
small frogs, toads and tree frogs during breeding season.
|Did you import your frogs or did they come into your pond naturally from the big pond? They all arrived naturally.|
| Can you make a resource guide for next week for us to print from
the webinar? I will provide resources. For ordering pond supplies and
asking for support, The Pond Guy is an excellent source.
| Suggestions for mosquito control? If your pond if healthy, dragonfly
larvae and adults are deadly mosquito larvae and adult predators. There is a product called mosquito dunks, which is a bacteria that kills mosquitos that you can put in water. I don’t use this because I dont need to, and
do not want to risk eliminating other insects. It is supposed to be safe
for non target species, but I don’t want to risk it.
| What’s an indicator species? A species whose status provides
information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other
species in that ecosystem. They reflect the quality and changes in
environmental conditions as well as aspects of community composition.
Frogs are very sensitive to toxins in the water because their skin is so
permeable (to allow them absorb Oxygen through their skin), so the
presence or absence of frogs is am indicator of water quality. Lichens
are very sensitive to air pollution, so their presence indicates good air
|But wasn’t Roundup BANNED? Certain areas and cities in California
the Pacific Northwest have bans, but it is not banned federally. Many
nations have banned roundup.
Most of the glyphosate restrictions or bans throughout the world were introduced following the 2015 IARC report on glyphosate. The IARC report
concluded that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.”
According to the report, the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure were found to be non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other hematopoietic cancers. The report further concluded that glyphosate exposure caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, as well as genotoxic,
hormonal and enzymatic effects in mammals.
Other glyphosate studies have linked the chemical to a number of health
issues, including, but not limited to ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism,
Birth Defects, various forms of cancer, Celiac Disease, Colitis, Heart
Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease,
and Parkinson’s Disease.
| So how deep in center? Edges? The pond has a deep section around 3
feet. We have a shallow end which caters to aquatic vegetation around
| Most of the time I hear the frogs at creek bed, but find it impossible
to find them. Is it better to look for them with a flashlight in the
dark? They can be seen basking in the sun during the day, but it is much
easier to find them with a flashlight at night by following their calls.
| What can I do to stop the city from using Roundup in our
neighborhood park? I would maybe try petitions and contacting
| Happy Wednesday! Just thought I’d mention that CA has labeled
round-up a carcinogin and may have limited its sales already! Amira
Yup! that is great news.
| Do the various species of frogs eat each other; bigger ones eating
either smaller ones or their eggs or tadpoles? Thanks Many many
creatures eat frogs, eggs and tadpoles. Predators include other frogs,
snakes, fish, water spiders. raccoons, birds, cats, otters and more. This is
just part of the natural balance. Frogs lay many many eggs, so some
| Do all these species live in the pond at the same time and how long
do they live? Many species only visit temporarily for their breeding
periods. Green, leopard and bullfrogs spend their whole life in and
around the pond.
|Would the big frog bite? No.|
| Does the frog pond attract other predators – I’m thinking of larger
birds or maybe raccoons, etc.? Yes, the sound of frogs is a call for
predators. I think the large frogs are too fast at escaping into the water
for raccoons. Otters, if present can catch frogs easily in the water. Our
biggest frog predators are snakes, owls and herons.
| Okay, have to ask, do they ever find it hard to sleep with all the
noise? And if they have a dog, does the high pitch bother it? I think
I’d have trouble sleeping! It isn’t loud from inside the house, and we
love the sound. It can be a little loud next to the pond for some people.
| Wow, I totally wish I had a huge backyard now! Even a small backyard
can be enhanced habitat. A fountain, pond, native garden, bird feeders etc….
| Do all toads secret a poison? To my knowledge, they all do, some
are much more toxic than others. No toads in the USA are any more
than a possible skin irritant to humans, but can make cats and dogs
sick. Some toads around the world are much more dangerous.
|Are the guteral pouches used to attract mates & for sound
enhancement? Yes, the vocal sac is used as a sound amplifier which
|Does the dwarf American toad do all that singing on one breath? Yes! It is amazing!|
|Will frogs eat wasps? I haven’t seen it, but I have read they will.|
| Where can I find floating islands to buy? I bought ours at home depot.
You can also order them online, on amazon, or from The Pond Guy.
| I have a bird /dog bubbler. Three rocks piled up with heater thru
winter in Wisconsin. wonder if I could enlarge it to include frog
habitat? I am sure it would work if frogs are in your area!