Hoppy Trails! (How to Catch and Relocate Frogs to a Different Area)

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You’ve discovered that there’s a frog (or many) on your property. While you have no intention of harming the creature(s), the night-time croaking has become unbearable or you simply don’t want the frog around so close. The frog needs to go.

But how do you catch and relocate frogs to a different area while doing so humanely? With the right knowledge and techniques, a safe and successful relocation for your amphibian visitor can be done by just about anyone.

Note: If you just want to get rid of frogs, read this guide.

Understanding Frog Behavior and Habitat

Before you embark on your frog-catching and relocation mission, you need to have a good grasp of the behavior and habitat preferences of Kermit to have the best chance of success.

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Common Frog Species and Their Habitats

frog in garden

To start, research the frog species native to your region. Some common species include the American Bullfrog, Green Frog, and Leopard Frog, each with their own unique characteristics and habitat requirements.

Frogs generally prefer moist, wetland areas such as ponds, streams, and marshes, where they can find plenty of food and breeding grounds. Unfortunately, your swimming pool may also be a tempting spot.

Frog Activity Patterns

Now, consider the frog’s activity patterns. Many frog species are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night when the air is cooler and more humid. This is the best time to search for and catch frogs, as they are more likely to be out and about.

However, some species, like the Green Frog, may also be active during the day, especially near water sources.

Seasonal Considerations

During the breeding season, which typically occurs in spring and summer, frogs are more active and vocal as they search for mates. This can make them easier to locate but also more sensitive to disturbance.

In colder months, some frog species hibernate, burrowing into the mud or finding shelter under logs or rocks. Homeowners even report frogs getting into their septic tank during this time. Avoid relocating frogs during hibernation, as it can disrupt their natural cycles and decrease their chances of survival.

Prepping for Frog Capture and Relocation

how to get rid of frogs

Choosing the Right Time

As mentioned earlier, most frogs are nocturnal, so the best time to search for them is at night or during the early morning hours when the air is still cool and humid. Avoid attempting to catch frogs during the heat of the day, as they are less likely to be active and more prone to stress.

Weather Conditions

In addition to the time of day, check the weather forecast. Frogs are more active during or after rain showers when the humidity is high. Overcast days can also be favorable for frog catching, as the cooler temperatures and diffused light create a more comfortable environment for them.

Gathering Necessary Equipment

Before setting out on your frog hunt, make sure you have the proper equipment. You’ll need:

  1. Nets or traps – A long-handled net with a fine mesh is ideal for catching frogs. Alternatively, you can use live traps specifically designed for small amphibians.
  2. Container for transport – Use a ventilated container, such as a bucket, plastic container, flower pot, or box. Leave the top open if it’s large enough to prevent escape or partially cover if needed (they need plenty of air), to safely transport the frog to the relocation site.
  3. Moistening materials – Place wet moss, damp paper towels, or a shallow dish of water in the transport container to keep the frog hydrated during the journey.
  4. Gloves – While not always necessary, wearing disposable gloves can help protect both you and the frog from potential diseases or skin irritants.

Identifying a Suitable Relocation Site

frogs in the yard

Before capturing the frog, scout out potential relocation areas. Look for areas that closely resemble the frog’s original habitat, such as wetlands, ponds, or streams, depending on the species. Make sure that the new location has adequate vegetation, hiding spots, and access to water.

Consider the distance from the original location when choosing a relocation site. Aim to release the frog far enough away to prevent it from returning to your property but not so far that it becomes disoriented or unable to find suitable resources.

Read Also: Are Frogs Harmful Around Your Home?

Safe Capture

With your equipment ready and relocation site identified, it’s time to safely capture the frog. Remember to approach the task with patience and gentleness to minimize stress to froggy.

Locating Frogs

Start by carefully scanning the area where you last saw the frog. Look for movement in the grass, under leaves, or near water sources. Frogs often hide in damp, shaded spots during the day, so be sure to check beneath rocks, logs, and dense vegetation.

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Many frog species make distinct sounds, especially during the breeding season. Familiarize yourself with the calls of common species in your area, and use these sounds to help guide you to their location.

Approach and Capture Methods

#1 – Hand Capture

holding frog

If the frog is within reach, you (or one of your kids) can attempt to catch it by hand. Approach slowly and quietly to avoid startling the frog. When you’re close enough, quickly but gently cup your hands around the frog, securing it without applying too much pressure.

#2 – Net Capture

For frogs that are difficult to catch by hand, use a long-handled net. Position the net behind the frog and guide it into the net with your free hand. Once the frog is inside, carefully lift the net and transfer the frog to your transport container.

#3 – Trap Setting

If you’re having trouble locating or catching the frog, consider setting a live trap. Place the trap in an area where you’ve seen the frog or near a water source, and check it regularly. Once the frog is caught, transfer it to your transport container.

Handling Frogs Gently and Minimizing Stress

When handling frogs, always prioritize their safety and well-being. Wear disposable (nitrile) gloves if desired, and make sure your hands are clean and free of any lotions, oils, or other potential irritants.

Support the frog’s body with both hands, and avoid squeezing or applying too much pressure. Frogs have delicate skin that can easily absorb toxins, so minimize contact as much as possible.

Once the frog is securely in your transport container, keep the container in a cool, shaded area until you’re ready to relocate the frog. Avoid exposing the container to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, which can cause stress or harm to the frog.

Frog Transport

frog in container

With the frog safely captured, it’s important to transport it to the new location as quickly and comfortably as possible to minimize stress. When possible, have a someone tag along who can keep an eye on the frog while you focus on driving.

Plan your route to the relocation site in advance to minimize travel time and disturbance to the frog. If possible, choose a direct path that avoids rough terrain or heavy traffic areas.

During transport, keep the container steady and secure to prevent excessive jostling or sudden movements that may cause stress to the frog. Avoid playing loud music or making sudden, loud noises near the container.

Throughout the drive, periodically check on the frog. Look for signs of distress, such as excessive mucus production, lethargy, or abnormal breathing.

If you notice any concerning symptoms, consider stopping your journey and releasing the frog in a suitable habitat nearby. It’s better to prioritize the frog’s health over reaching the original relocation site.

Releasing the Frog at the New Location

Once you’ve arrived at the chosen relocation site, the last thing to do is release the frog into its new habitat. Proper release techniques will give the frog the best chance of survival and adaptation to its new surroundings.

Choosing the Best Spots

Most frog species require access to water for hydration, breeding, and various stages of their life cycle. When selecting a release spot, choose an area close to a pond, stream, or other water source that matches the frog’s natural habitat preferences.

Frogs also need suitable hiding spots and vegetation for protection from predators and to regulate their body temperature. Look for areas with dense foliage, logs, or rocks that provide ample cover and shade.

It probably wouldn’t be the best feeling if you’ve gotten to this point and then released the frog in an open field where a nearby predator such as a hawk or fox thought you were bringing it a meal.

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Acclimating Frogs to the New Environment

Before releasing the frog, give it some time to acclimate to the new surroundings. Place the transport container on the ground near the chosen release spot and open the lid or tip it sideways, allowing the frog to exit on its own terms.

Avoid handling the frog directly during the release process. If the frog seems hesitant to leave the container, gently tilt it to encourage the frog to hop out.


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