Monitoring and Excluding Frogs from Agricultural Fields in South Florida

Veg Pro International, headquartered in Québec, Canada, produces spring-mix lettuces and other leafy vegetables. During the winter months Veg Pro operates in Florida and grows crops in muck fields leased from sugarcane growers near Belle Glade. Frogs were entering Veg Pro’s fields and were sometimes found in the final lettuce product. Dr. Steve Johnson studied methods for excluding frogs from Veg Pro's fields -- and hopefully from the final salad mix! The objectives of this project were to:

1) Refine aquatic trapping methods,
2) Test the effectiveness of PVC pipe "traps" along canals,
3) Test the effectiveness of cover boards to monitor frogs,
4) Train Veg Pro staff to use these monitoring and trapping methods, and
5) Develop standard operating procedures for Veg Pro to use in the future.

We used several different methods to monitor frogs and prevent them from entering fields: barrier fencing, PVC pipe refugia, cover boards, and aquatic traps. We looked at capture success, cost, durability, ease of use, and the potential to exclude amphibians from fields for each method. We recommended that Veg Pro personnel continue to use PVC pipes, barrier fencing, and aquatic trapping to monitor and exclude amphibians from fields. This integrated approach using all of these methods together is important in order to effectively exclude and monitor frogs.


 catching frogs with net

frogs in a jar

searching for frogs in agricultural ditches

frog trap