Q: I live on the Chattahoochee river and we are inundated with frogs! Some nights their noise is so loud we can’t go to sleep until midnight. Is there anything that will repel them – or at least teach them to whisper?
A: As chance would have it, Dr. Paul Thomas, Extension horticulturist, called me on anther matter and I posed your question to him. He said that he was recently washing his car in late afternoon, playing classical music on his car radio. That evening, he went back outdoors to replace his car mats and noticed how loud the frogs were singing nearby. He listened to music for a moment as he worked, then turned off the radio. He says it was startling how quiet the neighborhood had become! Curious to see if the music had quieted the frogs, he waited 30 minutes until they had become noisy again. Thirty seconds of Vivaldi shut them up a second time. He did not experiment with the music of Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister.
If your neighbors object to using noise to fight noise, perhaps you could try snakes. Frogs are a favorite reptile food; the addition of a few rat snakes or water snakes could bring the frogs under control.
If the snakes become too numerous, import pigs. They love to hunt and eat snakes and would plow up your back yard as a free service. In late fall you can host a pig roast and plant fescue grass on your newly tilled and fertilized back yard.
Q: My husband and I just bought a new home with a pool. We really love everything about it except we seem to be overrun with frogs, especially in the pool area. Do you have any suggestions as to what we could do to minimize their presence?
A: The way to discourage creatures from living in an area is to modify the environment they find attractive. Snake snafus? Remove the rock piles and log piles in which they find food. Chipmunks cheeping? Make sure your bird feeders don’t spill seed onto the ground.
You know instinctively that the frogs are attracted by the dampness near your pool. Your chore now is to keep the pool area arid and to remove any places they seek shelter. Adjust your irrigation system to keep the grass near the pool as dry as possible. Mow frequently, to expose traveling frogs to predators. Remove hiding places under large pots or big-foliaged plants. Better yet, dig a shallow pool on the edge of your property so the frogs have a nice place to gather rather than at your concrete pond.