View Research: Toad Traps

Toad Traps

There are an number of trap designs that will allow you to catch Cane Toads. Some are simple traps you can make yourself, others you can buy.
The Traps can be set up to catch toads in any location but different types of traps are more suited to different locations. The discussion below will give you more information.
Lights water and food have been used to attract toads to the traps.
A key issue with traps is the management of bycatch, this is other things that get caught in the trap. A number of other native species may fall into the trap and will need to be released. Frogwatch is working on trap designs that automatically release native animals and hold Cane Toads.
There are many issues about where to set them up and management of any bycatch that need to be considered. We will contiunue to supply information through this site as our testing programme reveals new results. We have been successful in catching toads, especially in the cage traps and have caught all the toads around the houses where we have tested so far. One trap has cought more than 100 toads in a month.

Author: Graeme Sawyer Ian Morris 18-Oct-2004
Last Updated: 14-Jan-2005
Category: Cane Toad » Toad proofing your yard


  • This simple pitfall trap catches toads because they cannot climb out of the trap because of the plastic liner and the fact they are wet from the water in the trap. They are easy to make and quite effective, especially in the dry season if there is no water in your yard.
    The light is the main attracting element.
    There is some by-catch of lizards and small reptiles which you can let go when you check the trap. Most native frogs can get out of the trap by jumping or climbing. Those that cannot can be released when you clear the trap.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 18-Oct-2004
  • The domestic trap designed by action sheet metal is a pitfall trap with a rotating disk lid. It comes in a variety of configurations form a single trap up to 9 trap doors in one . The image attached shows the basic 3 door version.
    This trap is set up over a hole dug into the ground and the toads fall through the rotating doors as they cross the trap. They are attracted by lights. The hole in the ground should be 50-60 cm deep to stop toads getting out. There is also a sleeve to line the top of the hole to make the trap fit more easily.
    This trap may also catch other animals which you will need to release when you check the trap.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 19-Nov-2004
  • The one-way gates in the cage traps have proven to be quite effective and have been easy to manage and move around. The image above shows one of the early prototypes in operation at Ringwood Station.
    The traps can be made at a range of sizes and the trap gate doors inserted in the sides. A light provides the primary attractant. We have caught hundreds of toads in these sorts of traps during our trials in 2004 dry season.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 14-Jan-2005
  • The FrogWatch SuperTrap is a large cage trap set up as a semi permanent installation in the bush. It has a solar based power supply and a swith system to turn the light on and off. Trials by FrogWatch have shown that small cage traps can catch all the toads in an area around a house or block in a few weeks and that once the toads are gone any new toads moving into the area seem to be quickly caught in the traps. Test sites have been kept relatively toad free by a single cage trap. The Supertrap trial is to see what happens on a billaboing out in the bush. The first SuperTrap has caught 27 toads in the first three nights. This indicates the traps are going to be effective during the wet season as well as the dry season which is a significant boost to our confidence that the strategy we have developed to stop toads overwhelming Darwin and Palmerston will be successful.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 14-Jan-2005