Ever heard of pineapple on a pizza? You must have heard of it and maybe even tried it. If you think that is weird, you should definitely hear about what frogs and toads love to eat!! In this article, we will be answering the question, “DO FROGS EAT TICKS?”
Frogs are one of the most common amphibians found everywhere, even in the busiest, bustling cities as well, and they make up to 90% of the. Due to evolution, amphibians have a unique ability to live on land as well as water, which makes them no less than superhuman.
They are cold-blooded animals with slimy skin and a catchy appearance. When it comes to their diet, they are not fussy eaters. They are insectivores who will never miss any passing chance to devour insects. And, as you guessed, ticks are one of their most loved insects.
Ticks are mite-like external parasitic organisms that live by feeding on the blood of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. They cause many infections and are considered to be pests.
So the answer to the question “DO FROGS EAT TICKS?“; is Yes, frogs eat ticks, but it is not their main choice of food. They are general predators and eat about any insects that come across them. Toads, on the other hand, are natural predators of ticks.
In this article “DO FROGS EAT TICKS?” we will discuss in detail how ticks are dangerous and how frogs and toads help in eliminating ticks.
Do Frogs Eat Ticks?
Yes, frogs do eat ticks. Frogs mostly dwell in water, while ticks are found on land. Even though frogs aren’t picky about what they eat, they prefer to eat in the water. They are much less likely to consume ticks as they won’t come across them very often. When frogs do find ticks near the water, they don’t hesitate to grab their chance to eat them.
Adult frogs are opportunistic carnivores, but tadpoles begin their lives as a herbivore. They grow up eating algal matter. As they grow older, they become omnivores; that is, they eat fruit flies, ants, and mosquitoes.
A frog’s usual diet includes earthworms, caterpillars, dragonflies, grasshoppers, spiders, slugs, and other insects. Some of the larger species of frogs, like the Bullfrog or the Pacman frog, are also known to eat mice.
Do Toads Eat Ticks?
Toads are land-dwelling amphibians, and therefore they come across ticks more often. Even though toads have a good appetite for ticks, they are not enough to eliminate all the ticks occupying a certain area. Sometimes female ticks are used as bait to catch toads.
A toad’s usual diet consists of insects and arthropods such as worms, ants, spiders, mealworms, crickets, centipedes, and many others. The larger the toad, the larger the prey it eats.
Why Are Ticks Dangerous?
Tick bites are generally not harmful and do not cause any symptoms, but their bites can pass diseases on to humans.
- These ticks are potential carriers of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria which belongs to the Borrelia species. The symptoms of this disease include fever, headache, joint aches, fatigue, and skin rashes.
- In North America, some ticks secrete a toxin in their saliva, which causes tick paralysis. This makes the person weak and fatigued. After a few days, progressive paralysis develops.
- They are also responsible for infections like rocky mountain fever. The symptoms include fever, body aches, swelling, and spotty rashes all over the body.
- Dog ticks can cause bacterial diseases such as canine ehrlichiosis and parasital diseases such as babesiosis in dogs.
- American dog ticks can spread the bacterial disease Tularemia. The symptoms include skin rash, ulcers, and swollen lymph nodes.
- They can transmit viruses that cause colorado tick fever. The symptoms of this are similar to the flu.
- They can transmit a bacteria which causes spotted fever, which is a milder type of rocky mountain fever.
How Do Frogs Eliminate Ticks?
Frogs are water-dwelling amphibians and therefore are always found near water bodies. They end up eating ticks in and around these water bodies. Unlike toads, frogs turn to ticks only when there are no other food sources.
The frogs have long, sticky tongues. In the presence of prey, it rolls out, and within milliseconds, the prey adheres to the tongue, and the tongue rolls back in. The hero of this mechanism is the frog’s saliva.
At normal conditions, their saliva is thick and viscous, but in the presence of prey, it becomes liquid and spreads all over the nook and corners of the prey’s body. Once the saliva is spread, it reverts back to its thick state. This traps the prey and doesn’t allow it to move while the frog pulls it into its mouth and swallows it.
Frogs and toads can be used as a tool to eliminate ticks near waterbodies and on the ground. They are a very good choice of pest control for your garden. They are skilled predators that have lightning-fast reflexes when it comes to catching prey, leaving them no chance to escape. They can eat an enormous number of insects in just one night.
Frogs help in preventing tick-borne diseases. Lyme disease, tick paralysis, and infections such as rocky mountain fever cause severe symptoms in humans if left untreated.
Ticks causing bacterial and parasital infections affecting dogs can be prevented. By eliminating ticks, we can prevent the transmission of other bacteria and viruses which cause colorado tick fever and spotted fever.
With this, we conclude our article on “DO FROGS EAT TICKS?“. Hope you got a very good idea as to how frogs and toads eat ticks and how it is beneficial in preventing certain diseases. We will be back with more such content. Till then, read our other articles and stay tuned for more.
Monty is a founder of How It See. Being a life science student in a reputed university, he always wonders about an eclectic correlation between science and nature. After engaging in various college projects, Monty determined to share all his knowledge with you as a writer. In the meantime, he loves to research and study about the various types of colorful animals.