PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Thousands of toxic toads have been hopping through and swarming a Palm Beach Gardens neighborhood, but the community is now taking action.
“They like to eat the algae and the freshwater clams that are in there,” said Jeannine Tilford, who owns Toad Busters, a toad removal company
Tilford is a teacher by day, and a toad buster by night. On Tuesday, Tilford and her crew walked the bank of a lake plucking adult Bufo Toads from the water and grass inside the Mirabella at Mirasol community in Palm Beach Gardens after an infestation of the toxic toads.
“If you remove the adults you remove the number of eggs that are hatched and how many tadpoles that are there,” Tilford said.
WPTV first told you about the toads taking over the neighborhood last week as they were swarming swimming pools, the sidewalks, and even streets.
“Words cannot explain unless you cane and witnessed it for yourself,” said Jenni Quasha, who lives in the community. “Like a mass exodus, like a horror movie with toads.”
Quasha and her neighbors raised concerns because the toads are poisonous. They secrete a milky substance when threatened, and can kill pets and cause harm to children.
“It felt like they were just multiplying and we were out of control,” said Barbara Bogart, who also lives in the community.
Tilford says because we had a mild winter, she is seeing the toads in record number this year.
“Females can reach about the size of a salad plate. One female can lay over 10,000 eggs,” Tilford said.
But now Toad Busters, using nets and lights at night, is removing the source of the problem. It will take multiple attempts, but the community should see a lot less Bufo Toads in the future.
“I feel at ease that they’re doing something about it and I hope it will prevent this from happening again in the future,” Quasha said.