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Heat, rain creating breeding ground for toxic toads, iguanas in South Florida

Wildlife experts say bufo toads can pose danger to pets, young children
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Posted at 3:57 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 17:55:14-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The heat, humidity, and recent rain have created the perfect storm, allowing toxic toads and iguanas to reproduce and pose a major threat to your pets and possibly young children.

"We had a lot last year. We’re seeing even more this year," said Jeannine Tilford, the owner of Toad Busters, a poisonous toad removal company.

Wildlife experts are issuing a new warning after an explosion of toxic toads.

The invasive species has been multiplying through the winter months with a lack of cold weather, and is now posing even more of a danger.

"The amount of feces that they leave in the pool and around the deck is just not healthy for kids to be stepping in or dogs to be stepping in and bringing into the house," said Tilford.

And if threatened, the cane toads or bufo toads secrete a white substance that’s could cause seizures and kill dogs or cats.

With all our recent rain, Cuban tree frogs are not only causing a disturbance, but they are also toxic.

"In basically one night, I’ve got like 50 calls because people can’t sleep because they come out late and they’re so loud," said Tilford.

Toad Busters is bringing them in by the hundreds, and now the company is teaming up with Iguana Busters.

Large iguanas are wreaking havoc in South Florida, and we’re told there are now reports of them in Martin County.

"When they burrow, they can go as deep as 10 to 15 feet, collapsing sea walls and any type of cement foundation, including sidewalks," said Steve Kavashansky with Iguana Busters.

Tilford said the bufo toads and Cuban tree frogs can also cause an allergic reaction if you rub your face after touching them.

So if you’re handling them, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and also wear gloves.