Cane Toads are among the invasive and non-native species of animals that are destroying the native species in Florida. Cane Toads were imported here believe it or not to control the bug problem in the Sugar Cane fields in South Florida over 60 years ago. Unfortunately the toads multiplied in numbers and spread to all parts of South Florida including our neighborhoods in Ft. Myers.
I took a picture of the Cane Toad in the picture above at the Calusa Nature Center in Ft. Myers which has impressive displays and many exhibits of the native and non-native animals living in South Florida. This toad is mostly brown in color, large in size with darks spots and warty bumps on its skin. The Cane toad produces a toxic milky substance on its back and when ingested by dogs or other pets who night bite into them, poisons them and often kills them. The Fort Myers Weekly newspaper published an article titled “Killer Toads” on May11-17 2016 in which residents of the town patrol their neighborhoods at night and try to catch and rid themselves of this harmful amphibian.
The Cane Toads’ diet consists of insects, frogs, small snakes, lizards, mice and just about anything they can fit into their mouths. They are tough to kill and some people catch them by pinning them down with bricks, crushing them and then disposing of them with animal waste scoopers.
I found some helpful information about Cane Toad on the Univ. of Florida Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation website. It has a good description of the Cane Toad but may be outdated because of the information it supplies about it’s spread throughout S. Florida which now consists of Lee County and other nearby arras.