SCARY ENCOUNTER: Cane toads can be downright frightening.
SCARY ENCOUNTER: Cane toads can be downright frightening. Nev Madsen

Eeeek! It's toad season

WELL I saw one just last week. The first one all year.

Bufo marinus . . . or to put it quite simply, a cane toad.

I hate them. Those scary bug-eyed, wart-covered creatures are the ickiest of them all in my opinion.

Especially when they jump at you from out of nowhere and give you the biggest fright of your life.

That is exactly what happened to me the other night.

I don't get the opportunity to clean up the dinner dishes and empty the bins till well after my children have gone off to bed and on this occasion it was no different.

All of the bins (which I fastidiously organise into rubbish, recycling and compost) were full to the brim.

My wheelie bins reside around the "scary" side of the house.

You know the bit I mean. It's where the outside lights don't quite reach.

The gloomy section around the corner where the boogieman lives when it's dark and pointy rocks dig you in the feet when you're too lazy to put on your shoes.

With both hands full of garbage bags and a box of recycling under one arm, I opened the screen door with my foot, then tip-toed around the yard in my PJs.

I lifted the lid of the bin with my spare pinky finger and this thing jumped on me from the top of the lid. I didn't just yell, I screamed.

Yes, like the big wussy "grown up" that I am, I jumped into the air and let out an enormous scream.

The garbage flew everywhere.

Believe it or not, I actually used to play with these creepy little things when I was younger. They generally lived in our sand pit and I would go "toad spotting" in the backyard at night with my siblings.

When I was little, toads didn't seem so scary.

In fact I think the older I have grown, the wussier I have become. Christmas beetles, snails, lizards and even mice....I used to play with all of these little creatures.

Of course the mere thought of cavorting with them now is enough to make my skin crawl.

When it rained we would then go looking for frogs to see how many we could find.

We once collected a whole bunch of tadpoles from the creek, only to disappointingly watch them grow into tiny little toads a few weeks later.

Now that I have kiddies of my own we can happily collect tadpoles that we know will turn into frogs.

Frogs I can handle. Toads. . . absolutely not.

So after giving up on the rubbish, I came back inside then jumped online to find the easiest way to "get rid of" Mr Toad. I can't say I was surprised to see that there are now animal welfare laws protecting the way toads are disposed of.

One such method was to collect the toad in a plastic garbage bag and then fill the bag with carbon dioxide.

Now, I'm unsure from where one could actually buy carbon dioxide. I'm certainly not going to waste the carbon dioxide in my fire extinguisher on one little toad . . . and I'm definitely not going to breathe on it to death.

Another involved collecting Mr Toad, wrapping him in a sealed plastic bag and then placing him in my freezer. No chance.

Finally there is an aerosol spay that is highly effective.

It was created to target cane toads and even comes recommended by the RSPCA.

So until I manage to get to the hardware store to find said spray . . . Mr Toad lives to see another day and I will be taking out the rubbish in the morning from now on.



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