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Cuban Treefrog

The Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. These treefrogs were accidentally brought to Florida in the 1920s, probably as hitchhikers in cargo containers on ships. Cuban Treefrogs are considered invasive in Florida because they are likely to harm our native ecosystems and also cause a lot of problems for humans. Cuban Treefrogs eat at least five different species of native frogs, not to mention the occasional lizard or small snake, and their tadpoles compete with native tadpoles for space and food. Cuban Treefrogs are common in urban areas, where they hang out near lights on the walls of houses and catch insects. They often poop on walls and windows (leaving ugly stains), take over birdhouses, and lay eggs in fish ponds and bird baths. Sometimes Cuban Treefrogs even find their way into homes, hanging out in toilets and clogging sink drains. Cuban treefrogs grow very large, and are known to cause costly power outages by short-circuiting utility switches. Our native treefrogs are all much smaller, and aren't known to cause such utility problems.

The Cuban Treefrog can be tough to identify. These invasive frogs can be white, gray, green, or brown, and can change colors. Some Cuban Treefrogs have dark streaks or splotches on their backs, while others are nearly solid color with no markings.
So what do you do about them?

The Cuban Treefrog feeds off of bugs that are attracted to lights outside of your home. There is no spray that can prevent the frogs from coming to your home; however getting rid of the bugs that are attracted to your home is an option. Have the exterior of your home generously treated to eradicate the flying and non-flying insects that come around. With no food source, the frogs will leave the area.

These frogs do not just eat bugs as previously mentioned. So while spraying your home may rid them from your walls and entry ways, they still invade, eat, and take over almost every space they enter. So, while bug eradication is a start to getting rid of these unwanted amphibians here are a few tips to get rid of them should they enter your space.
. If you find a Cuban Treefrog at your house, capture it in a plastic bag to avoid contact with the 'slime' secreted by their skin. It can irritate your nose and eyes, and may trigger attacks in asthma sufferers. After you capture the frog, we recommend that you euthanize them humanely. In fact, it is illegal (and irresponsible) to re-release them into our ecosystem. The most humane way to euthanize Cuban Treefrogs is by liberally applying benzocaine (20%) to the back or belly of the frog. At your local drugstore, you can find a variety of products containing 20% benzocaine -- first aid or burn sprays and toothache gels or liquids. After you apply the benzocaine, the Cuban Treefrog will quickly become unconscious. Next, seal the plastic bag and put it into the freezer overnight. By the next day, you can be sure that the Cuban Treefrog will not wake up and can dispose of the bag. Make sure you put the frog in a bag, in the freezer, and leave it overnight. Applying 20% benzocaine and leaving the frog alive would be an inhumane act and we do not support the killing or improper disposal of any living creature.
It is important to note that the Cuban Treefrog IS an interesting creature. Amazing adaptations help them avoid drying out or being eaten by predators. The irritating skin secretions are a great example of this. Unfortunately, human activities have resulted in the accidental introduction of Cuban Treefrogs in Florida and other tropical and subtropical areas. The presence of this frog is NOT benign. They are quite literally eating our native species alive, adding pressure to species that are already greatly affected by habitat loss. It is for these reasons that we advocate humanely euthanizing invasive Cuban Treefrogs. For questions or concerns on how to rid your home and yard of Cuban Treefrogs contact us today! 
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