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How to Attract Frogs to Your Yard

If you want your yard to be full of tiny croaking frogs and toads, you’ll need to know how to attract them. Frogs can be very beneficial to your yard’s ecosystem, and they’re also pretty fun to have around, but they have some specific needs you’ll need to accommodate if you want them to permanently move in.

To attract frogs to your yard, you can encourage insects to come to your garden, add a water source in your area, select plants that your native frogs like, and create cool, damp, and dark shelters for them. Frogs need a wet, shady place to hide from predators and stay cool.

So, let’s discuss some ways you can bring more frogs to your yard. I’ll give you a list of simple ways to turn your outdoor areas into frog-friendly ecosystems. If you follow these steps, you’ll have a yard full of happy, hopping, croaking friends in no time.

Is It Good To Have Frogs In Your Yard?

It is good to have frogs in your yard since these amphibians consume insects and other garden pests like slugs and snails. They are also very gentle and won’t harm your plants, so they always do more good than harm in a backyard.

Frogs are one of the best biological controls against mosquitoes, slugs, snails, grasshoppers, and other insects that often take over gardens.

So, if you don’t want to lose your crops to pests this year, consider inviting some frogs to do the pest control work for you.

How Can You Attract Frogs to Your Backyard?

attracting pickerel frogs to your yard
Frogs like the pickerel frog, native to North America, are easy to attract to your yard if you provide them with a damp, cool, leafy, and safe habitat.

Frogs are incredible. They dramatically control bugs, and their night sound is a song that amazes visitors from the city who mistakenly think the country is quiet at night! They are also extremely gentle.

So, there are plenty of reasons you might want to learn how to attract frogs to your backyard. However, you’ll need to do a bit of habitat tailoring to ensure that your outdoor areas appeal to amphibians.

Let’s find out how you can attract those frogs straight to your backyard:

1. Attract Insects To Your Yard

Frogs primarily eat insects, so keeping your yard full of bugs is the best way to invite amphibians to stay.

The most critical consideration when addressing how to attract frogs to your backyard should be food sources. Namely, that means insects, in the case of frogs and toads.

Here’s how to encourage insects to visit your garden so you can attract more frogs:

  • Like when attracting bees to your garden, you should grow your plants organically. Pesticides and other chemicals could wipe out the entire insect population in your yard. In the worst case, these chemicals could even kill unsuspecting frogs. So, stick with compost and natural bug repellents, using companion planting and things like essential oils to protect your plants instead.
  • Install some low-wattage lights around the yard or leave an outside light on. Light attracts bugs and will become a favorite hunting spot for frogs.
  • Plant flowers. Frogs eat mosquitoes, beetles, and other insects that may harm our garden veggies, but they also eat insects like moths, grasshoppers, and roaches, all of which prefer to hunt for food in a flower garden.

If you want a frog-safe fertilizer for your garden, you might want to try this one, which is tailor-made for attracting frogs and other beneficial critters:

2. Add a Water Source to the Shady Spots in Your Yard

Frogs get dehydrated quickly and need a place to swim, so adding a still source of water to your backyard can attract them.

Frogs love to be around water, so a pond or bucket with water plants gives them a place to live. Most importantly, though, this water source should be in a shady spot.

Frogs have slimy skin that can dry out quickly when they spend too much time in the sun. They need to be under a canopy of foliage to stay healthy and safe, so be sure to offer some sun protection for them.

You can use trees, bushes, patios, or even tarps to block off a little frog sanctuary in your backyard. Anything will do, as long as it can keep the little amphibians from getting too toasty.

Place lots of rocks and debris around the water source, so the frog has a place to protect itself. If you ensure the area stays cool and shady, you’ll attract insects and frogs there in no time.

If you want more ideas about creating a great spot for your local frogs, you might find our other article, 10+ Above Ground Pool Ideas on a Budget [DIY Swimming Pools for Cheap!], helpful.

3. Select Plants That Your Native Frogs Like To Attract Them

To attract more frogs to your water sources, grow plants with big leaves they can hide in, like bromeliads, water lettuce, lilies, hostas, and ferns. You may also want to add aquatic plants to attract pond frogs to your backyard.

When attracting your local frog population, you’ll also need to consider what’s native to your area and what’s not. Your neighborhood frogs will prefer plants that they are used to, so choosing species that already exist in your region’s local waterways is best.

If you want to find out what kinds of frogs live in your state, you may be able to use the USGS Frog Call Database. This database only covers the US states east of Texas, so you might want to do a quick google search for your state or city’s native frogs if you live somewhere that this database doesn’t cover.

From there, determine if the frogs are tree frogs or water-loving frogs. Then, you can tailor your gardening pursuits to suit them best.

4. Provide The Frogs With Shelter

attract frogs to your yard with pipe shelter
Frogs need places to hide from predators and stay cool during the day, so any small, cool, dark, damp shelter will do.

Everything needs shelter, so if you want to attract the most frogs to your yard, you’ll need to give them a cool, damp, and shady home to hide in.

There are many ways to provide shelter for frogs, and your imagination is the only limit. Still, here are a few of the things that have worked for me in the past:

Frog Shelter Clay Pots

For a quick and easy frog “house,” lay some terracotta pots on their sides and bury them halfway in the ground, making a tiny frog “cave.”

You can add some moss inside the pot to make it even more attractive to your local amphibians, or leave it bare and wait for most to creep in naturally.

PVC Frog Shelter Tubes

Put some short pieces of PVC pipe into the ground and regularly fill them with water. We have frog pipes around our yard, and each is filled with a family of frogs. Kids love filling them up and seeing the frogs float to the top!

Plant foliage around the pipes so you’re not wasting water – the water drizzles down from the tube into the ground, effectively watering your plants.

The ideal PVC pipe size will depend on the type of frogs in your area. My most successful “full” pipe was 2” wide in diameter.

As for the length, I’d recommend using a pipe that is at least at least 3 ft tall. In a 6” tube, the frogs are exposed to birds and other predators.

I know that may be unsightly in the garden, but you can paint them or place them amongst foliage plants. The more protection for frogs, the better.

If you want to see what the tube will look like and see a visual tutorial, check out this video from Texas Parks & Wildlife. This guide is for tree frogs, but if you want to attract water-loving frogs, don’t drill the drainage hole, don’t add the end cap, and drive the tube into the ground instead of hanging it:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) For Attracting Frogs To Your Yard

Want to learn more about how you can make your yard enticing to frogs? Never fear – if you have more questions, I have the answers.

Also, if you have questions I did not answer here, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Where Do Frogs Live?

Frogs live around freshwater sources, but each frog species prefers different conditions. Some frogs live almost entirely in water, while others may live on trees in forested areas, muddy banks, caves, or shallow streams with dense underbrush.

What Do Frogs Eat?

Frogs eat any insects they can catch and fit in their mouths, but they will also eat snails, slugs, worms, small fish, or small mammals. However, tadpoles generally have a vegetarian diet of plant matter and algae.

Conclusion

Now you know how to attract frogs to your garden, it’s time to add some bugs, shelter, and freshwater to your yard!

Once you have a frog or two in your yard, they’ll quickly start popping – or hopping – up everywhere! They’re so much fun to have around and low maintenance, too, so there’s no reason not to invite them in.

How to Attract Frogs to Your Yard

Authors

  • Elle

    Jack of all trades, master of some. Wild garden grower. Loves creating stuff. From food forests and survival gardens to soap and yoghurt. A girl on a farm with two kids and one husband (yep, just one - although another one would be handy). Weirdly enjoys fixing fences and digging holes. Qualified permaculture teacher and garden go-to.

  • Aimee LaFon

    An enthusiastic fiber artist, woodworker, and experimental archaeologist, Aimee LaFon loves spending time spinning fiber from invasive plants, foraging for dye materials and medicinal herbs, snuggling with her two dogs, reading up on historical crafts, crocheting, caring for her large brood of indoor and outdoor plants, and dreaming up her next project. She has tall dreams of becoming a professional yarn maker and herdswoman and will never stop writing about her experiments. No matter where she is, Aimee would rather be crocheting in a field right next to a cow.

Kim

Friday 27th of November 2020

This is going to sound really dense, but I assume you BURY the PVC pipe into the ground vertically? So a 3 -4 foot pope would require a 3 - 4 foot hole? So as the water level retreats from the top, won't the frogs become trapped in the pipe?

Elle

Friday 27th of November 2020

Hey there Kim! Nope, I don't bury it - way too much work to dig a 3-4ft hole :P. I just bury the bottom, enough so it stands up. The frogs actually "stick" to the side, they're very capable of climbing out. We've had them in many pipes where we don't want them, mainly for their own safety, but they stick like glue :D. You can try it with a shorter pipe first - it just doesn't give them as much protection. We've had whole families living in the pipes, they'd "float" to the top when the pipe fills up in the rain, then all retreat back down as the water level drops. They like anything smallish that holds water. Right now, there's a couple holed up in my water gauge!

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