What to feed wild baby toads

What Do Toads Eat? Feeding Pet and Garden Toads

Toad is the common name for specific types of frogs that have dry, warty skin and short legs.

Encouraging toads to stay in your garden helps to balance your garden’s ecosystem and means you don’t need to use pesticides as they eat many pests.

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Some of the most common wild Toads include the American, Cane and Fowler’s. Every toad is a carnivore and needs a balanced diet.

If you are a first-time owner or looking to attract some to your garden then read on to learn what to feed them…Garden Toad Eating Worms.

Table of Contents

  • What Do Toads Eat?
    • Feeding Tadpoles
    • Feeding Juvenile Toads
    • Feeding Adult Toads
  • What Do Toads Eat In The Wild?
  • What Do Pet Toads Eat?
    • What Do Juvenile Toads Eat?
  • Common Feeding Mistakes
    • What Can’t Toads Eat?
    • Do Toads Need Water?
  • Summary

What Do Toads Eat?

Wild Toads are carnivores and eat a large variety of foods. They feed on insects, rodents, reptiles and amphibians! They prefer live prey and will eat almost anything in their reach including:

  • Crickets
  • Flies
  • Mealworms, Wax worms and Super worms
  • Spiders
  • Grubs
  • Mice, rats and rodents
  • Locusts
  • Other toads and frogs

Toads eat different types of food throughout their lifetime.

As they grow from tadpoles to juveniles and then to adults their feeding pattern and diet will change.

Feeding Tadpoles

Tadpoles are the immature forms of frogs. This is also the only stage of their life where they are not carnivores.

They are fully aquatic and have not fully developed air-breathing lungs yet. Because of this they are confined to the pond or lake they are born in.

After hatching they eat what is left of the yolk in their egg sack. Once that is eaten tadpoles will feed off aquatic vegetation (i.e. algae and other plant matter).

Some species are cannibalistic and will eat other tadpoles.

Cannibalistic tadpoles are rare and this only happens when aquatic vegetation is scarce. As long as they have plenty of vegetation this should not be an issue.

Feeding Juvenile Toads

Tadpoles become juvenile toads after their tails disappear and their legs form. At this part of their lifecycle juvenile will eat smaller insects because they do not chew their food.

They should be fed four to six leaf rollers, grain moths, small earthworms or mealworms daily.

Juvenile toads swallow food whole so will choke if they eat prey that is too large (e.g. rodents).

As they grow larger their appetite continues to increase and the range of foods they will eat grows.

Feeding Adult Toads

Wild adult toads are not very picky eaters. They will eat anything that they can swallow. They should be fed six crickets, wax worms or super worms every two days.

The main limitation of their diet is their size and what they can swallow.

Larger toads tend to have a broader range of foods to eat.

Because of their all-encompassing diet they will eat both beneficial and harmful garden insects. Generally the overall impact is positive for gardens.

What Do Toads Eat In The Wild?

Toads eat a large variety of live prey in the wild. Like us they need a balanced diet so generally eat four to six crickets, worms or spiders every few days.

Generally the larger the toad the longer the list of potential foods. Larger species such as the cane toad eat rodents.

Each species of toad is different but they generally have the same dietary needs.

Adults will eat:

  • Bugs
  • Centipedes
  • Flies
  • Weevils
  • Crickets
  • Grasshoppers
  • Mealworms
  • Locusts
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Aquatic animals

Adult toads have a much larger range of food options because they are less at risk of choking. Juveniles are relatively small and can eat ants, flies, or pinhead crickets.

In your garden toads eat whenever they can find prey. In the wild they do not know when the next meal will come. They also have limited appetite control and so will continue to eat until it is all gone.

Wild species only eat live prey because dead insects and animals could carry a host of diseases.

Most garden toads eat at night because it is the best time for catching insects. Insects are attracted to light and toads are easily able to hunt them for two main reasons:

  1. The dark night allows them to camouflage and remain hidden.
  2. They have specialized eyesight for lower light.

Toads sometimes hunt during the daytime, but only after it rains.

After rainfall your garden will be cloudy, cool, and moist. Like most amphibians, toads enjoy moist climates. They will use this as an opportunity for daytime hunting as rain can draw earthworms out of the soil.

Each species of toad has its own hunting style.

For toads with long tongues such as the black, western and Natterjack they flick their tongues to snag their prey. They tend to crawl or hop around in order to hunt.

Species without long tongues do not have teeth and so cannot chew their food. They swallow it whole instead.

What Do Pet Toads Eat?

People who keep pet toads tend to feed them crickets, or worms (e.g. mealworms or super worms) as this prey is readily available. Some will catch wild prey such as mice or insects but this is not recommended because of the risk of bringing in diseases or sick animals.

If you are keeping a pet toad, make sure you research the specific species to ensure you are not feeding them food they do not usually eat.

They should still be fed a variety of prey they naturally hunt in the wild.

Make sure any prey or insects you feed are alive. Feeding live insects will encourage them to hunt.

If your pet is large enough to eat rodents then you can feed it but make sure to monitor them. Rodents can scratch or bite your toad – especially their eyes.

Pet toads are different from wild ones and recognize routine. They need consistent husbandry and feeding times.

You should feed toads at the same time every day to help them establish a constant feeding routine.

Because they are nocturnal the best time to feed is around 21:00. using the schedule below:

14x Leaf rollers6x CricketsCalcium (both)
24x Pinhead cricketsNothingCalcium (juvenile)
34x Grain moths6x Wax wormsCalcium and Multivitamins (both)
44x Small earthwormsNothingCalcium (juvenile)
56x MealwormsNothingCalcium (juvenile)
64x Ant6x Super wormsCalcium and Multivitamins (both)
74x Fruit fliesNothingCalcium (juvenile)

In captivity they eat less frequently than in the wild. They prefer live food and will eat everything within 15 minutes. 15 minutes after feeding remove any leftover food to prevent it from rotting or from overfeeding your toad.

If you are feeding insects from a pet store then make sure to gut load them first.

Gut loading is the process of feeding fruits and vegetables to crickets or worms before you feed them. This improves the range of nutrients your toad eats.

Pet store crickets and worms normally are lower in nutritional value when compared with those found in the wild. Gut loading is the best way to provide them with nutrients.

Another deficiency found in for pet toads is UVB. Toads that live inside do not get the same amount of sunlight exposure and nutrients as wild animals.

Specifically they lack UVB light that helps them absorb calcium and other vitamins

To help them get all of the nutrients they need you should dust any food with calcium and vitamin supplements. Calcium should be added every meal and multi-vitamins should be given once a week.

What Do Juvenile Toads Eat?

Baby toads should be fed every day. They typically eat pinhead crickets, small earthworms or fruit flies. You should feed four to six items from the food list below every day:

  • Small crickets
  • Pinhead crickets
  • Leaf rollers
  • Grain moths
  • Small earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Aphids
  • Ant
  • Fruit flies

The trickiest part about feeding juveniles is making sure their food is the correct size. Toads do not chew their food so it is very easy for them to choke on meals.

Make sure the food you feed is no bigger than the width of their head.

If small crickets are too large then feed fruit flies or gnats. Other good foods include pinhead crickets, mini wax worms or super worms.

They should all be gut loaded with many different vegetables, including kale, carrots, or spinach.

Common Feeding Mistakes

There are three common feeding mistakes that keepers can make when feeding toads:

  1. Feeding wild caught insects.
  2. Feeding insects that are too big.
  3. Feeding dead prey.
  4. Feeding the wrong food.

If you feed wild caught insects or prey without properly checking if they are healthy to eat you can cause severe parasitic infections.

These infections are typically caused by giving a toad prey that has an illness.

It must be treated by a vet.

The best way to avoid this is to only feed toads store purchased food.

Overfeeding and underfeeding is common among captive toads. Vets can inspect fat deposits and tell you if they are overweight. Obesity can lead to a shortened lifespan if not treated.

Finally, not feeding enough nutrients can result in vitamin or calcium deficiencies.

This is characterized by lethargy and swelling in certain areas of the body. This is easily treated with regular supplements and a UVB light in their enclosure.

What Can’t Toads Eat?

Toads will eat anything given to them. However, that does not mean every type of food is good for them. The foods below are dangerous for toads and should not be fed:

  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Seasoned meat
  • Salt or sugar
  • Processed food
  • Pesticides
  • Expired food

Toads are carnivores and prefer to eat live prey or meat. They do not eat previously killed prey or dead meat.

Generally they will eat anything that fits in their mouth.

It is safe for them to occasionally eat fruits and vegetables but they might not be happy doing so.

You should not feed a toad any foods that humans eat such as leftovers, processed food, salt or sugar. Salt and other seasonings can hurt their gut and dehydrate them.

Only feed toads food they would hunt in the wild, supplements and vitamins.

Make sure you do not feed expired or old vitamins. These supplements usually expire after six months.

Do Toads Need Water?

Yes. Toads are amphibians so it is important for them to have a large dish of water. Interestingly they do not drink water but instead soak it through the skin on their bellies.

Their water bowl should be cleaned and dechlorinated every few days to prevent them from soaking up unhealthy chemicals.

Make sure that their water bowl is a good depth for them to soak in, but that they can always climb out unassisted. Although adults live in aquatic environments their lungs develop to breathe oxygen from the air (instead of from water) and can therefore drown.

The humidity generated from a water bowl helps them to stay hydrated too. You can also use a misting system. Toads need an enclosure with high moisture.

Make sure that whatever enclosure you purchase has a tight-fitting lid as they are prone to escaping.


Toads will eat most insects and prey they find in your garden. It is safe to feed toads crickets, flies, spiders and worms.

Tadpoles and juveniles eat every day compared to adults who eat three times a week.

They should not be fed seasoned meat, salt, sugar, processed food or pesticides.

If you are keeping a pet toad you should stick to a constant feeding schedule and dust their food with calcium and vitamin supplements. Also make sure that you provide a water dish so they can soak and stay hydrated!

If you follow this article you are sure to have a happy and healthy toad – either as a pet or in your garden.

Have fun with their diet and let us know what you feed your pet in the comments.

What do Baby Toads Eat in the Wild and as Pets?

For years, many people mistakenly believed that touching a toad would cause you to grow warts! We know that’s not true, but toads have never received the same love that frogs get. Have you ever heard of a princess kissing a toad? Didn’t think so. Still, their popularity is growing, and people are starting to keep these carnivorous amphibians as pets.

If you’re planning to get a baby toad, you’ll need to figure out how and what to feed it. There are some differences in a baby toad’s diet if they’re in captivity versus the wild. But there are also some notable similarities. Starting at tadpoles, we’re going to discuss the main foods that toads will eat in the wild and in captivity, so you can be sure to feed your toad the proper diet.

What do Tadpoles Eat?

Toads are hatched from eggs, but they don’t come out with legs. Rather, they’re born as tadpoles. They don’t even have air-breathing lungs yet, so they’re stuck in the water until they mature.

When a tadpole is first born, it will eat the remaining yolk in its egg. After that, the little tadpole will rely mostly on plant matter to sustain itself. This means eating algae and little floating plant particles. However, if there’s not enough plant matter for the tadpole, it might turn to cannibalism. While this is uncommon, it’s far from unheard of.

  • Yolk in their egg sack
  • Algae
  • Plant matter
  • Other tadpoles
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

What do Baby Toads Eat in the Wild?

In the wild, a toad is going to eat a diverse array of food. They have varied diets and are open to eating pretty much anything that comes along that will fit in their mouth. Remember, toads are carnivorous, so they strictly eat living creatures. For baby toads, those creatures are very small.

Any type of crawling insect or bug is a great meal for a toad in the wild. They’ll munch on small crickets and grasshoppers, which will increase in size as the toad does. Even small mice are fair game for a toad, though they tend to eat these more once they reach maturity.

Worms of all kinds are delicacies. Mealworms and earthworms are common cuisine for these four-legged amphibians. As the toad gets larger, bigger meals also become available. Snails, slugs, and locusts will all be eaten if they stray too near to a large enough toad. Centipedes and flies aren’t safe either.

  • Centipedes
  • Flies
  • Bugs
  • Small mice
  • Crickets
  • Grasshoppers
  • Mealworms
  • Earthworms
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Locusts

What do Baby Toad Pets Eat?

For toads in captivity, nutrition looks pretty similar to that of wild toads. However, there are some foods that pet toads are unlikely to eat. For example, centipedes and locusts might be common meals for a wild toad, but you’ll have a hard time purchasing feeder centipedes from the local pet store!

You never want to feed a pet toad something that you caught in the wild. Though these insects are on their meal list, wild-caught specimens are liable to have bacteria, diseases, and more that can negatively affect your toad’s health. Even if it’s a food your toad eats all the time, such as crickets, you’ll want to stick to store-bought crickets and never feed your pet toad crickets that you caught.

You might notice that some of the insects on this list are different from what wild toads eat. A lot of that comes down to what’s available. Since you have to get sterile insects that haven’t been out in the world, only insects that are grown as feeders are appropriate.

Image Credit: pixel2013, Pixabay
  • Grain moths
  • Small crickets
  • Pinhead crickets
  • Small earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Ants
  • Fruit flies
  • Aphids
  • Leaf rollers

How to Feed Your Pet Toad

You have to be aware that juvenile toads eat their food whole. If you provide prey that’s too large, they’re likely to choke. Ensure that the insects you choose are no larger than the width of your toad’s head.

Gut Loading

Also, make sure to gut feed the insects you’re going to provide for your toad. Gut feeding is the process of loading the insects up with nutrients by allowing them to feed on fruits and vegetables before giving them to your toad. This ensures that your toad is getting as diverse of a nutrient intake as possible.

Image Credit: CassidyMarshall, Pixabay

Buy from Reputable Sources

Though you want to make sure to purchase all of your feeder insects from reputable sources, you will have plenty of choices to pick from. And you should feed as many of these to your toad as possible. It’s a good idea to feed them different foods each day. For instance, you might feed your toad earthworms on Monday, crickets on Tuesday, Aphids on Wednesday, and so on.

Establish a Routine

Another good habit is feeding your toad at the same time every evening. Keep in mind that toads are nocturnal, so feeding shouldn’t be done during the day. Captive toads do best on a feeding schedule since they recognize routine. Your toad will be healthiest if you feed it at the same time each night; around nine o’clock.

One more good rule of thumb is to only feed your toad for 15 minutes. Put the insects into your toad’s cage and let it go to town. But after 15 minutes, remove anything that hasn’t been eaten. This prevents overfeeding and ensures that dead insects don’t rot in your toad’s environment.

  • Related Read: What Do Tadpoles Eat in the Wild and as Pets?

Things to Never Feed a Toad

While toads certainly need a diverse and varied diet, there are plenty of things that you should never feed a toad; wild or domestic. These foods can cause serious problems for any toad. Take salt or seasoning as an example. They can cause a toad to dry up and dehydrate, which could spell death.

You’ll also see that feeding meat to your toad is a terrible idea, even though toads are carnivorous. These animals only eat live meals though. They aren’t scavengers. You should take care to only feed your toad living insects, though you can also feed rodents when they’re large enough.

Make sure to never feed your toad any leftover human food. While this might be ok for dogs, it’s a terrible choice for toads and can lead to disastrous consequences.

  • Salt
  • Seasoning
  • Pesticides
  • Expired Food
  • Sugar
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Meat
Image Credit: ekamelev, Pixabay


Toads have a pretty diverse palate. In the wild, they’ll eat pretty much anything of an edible size that comes along. Worms, bugs, centipedes, slugs, and more are all tempting choices for a wild toad. But toads in captivity need more structure and safer feeding. They haven’t been exposed to all the same bacteria and could get sick from eating wild-caught insects. As such, baby pet toads should only be fed feeder insects from reputable pet stores to ensure continuing health and longevity.

  • Related Read:10 Best Pet Reptiles for Beginners (With Pictures)

Featured Image: ROverhate, Pixabay

Common toad. Keeping and caring for the common toad at home

The common common toad is a very common species in nature, which many terrariumists love. It lives both in Russia and in Europe and Africa. This is a fairly large amphibian , reaching 15–20 cm in length. Under favorable conditions in captivity, the toad may well live 15, and in rare cases, all 30 years. It is best to purchase animals that have already been born in captivity. Such pets almost do not experience stress when they get into a new home. In addition, if you take a toad from the wild, then against the background of stress and changes in living conditions, a number of diseases can appear, including those associated with parasites that live in the gastrointestinal tract. nine0007

Toads are very intelligent animals, quickly getting used to the owner. However, it must be remembered that they have poisonous glands on both sides of the head, which they use when they feel danger. The venom of these toads can cause burning and allergic reactions .

To keep the common toad at home you will need the horizontal terrarium . The volume should allow the amphibian to move freely so that it does not suffer from physical inactivity (at least 40 liters per animal). It is best to use an enclosed terrarium with good ventilation to prevent your pet from escaping. nine0007

Toads prefer loneliness, so they need to be kept separate from their fellows and other animals.

Coconut chips can be used as soil (it retains moisture well and is not covered with mold), moss, special soil containing earth and foliage. The thickness of the soil should allow the toad to burrow into it. In addition, you need to put up a shelter that is large enough so that the toad can easily turn around in it. You also need a reservoir in which it can completely fit. It is advisable to change the water daily, as toads prefer to go to the toilet there. nine0007

Lighting is not necessary as toads are crepuscular animals. The temperature gradient should be within 18–28 degrees. The heating point can be created by a heating lamp, a thermal mat or a thermal cord. It is possible (especially true for growing animals) to install an ultraviolet lamp with a level of 2.0 or 5.0 for daytime exposure. At night, all lamps and heating must be turned off.

Humidity should be maintained at the level of 50–9 by water and regular spraying0%.

They are unpretentious in food. It is not difficult to feed a toad, her appetite is excellent. And when the pet gets used to the owner, then fearlessly begins to take food from the hands or from the tweezers. The diet consists of various insects. In captivity, it is best to feed crickets, cockroaches. Large toads can be periodically fed with small mice. The food should be diluted or purchased, since insects caught in nature can be poisoned (when processing neighboring apartments, plants in summer cottages). Insects must be rolled in mineral and vitamin supplements for reptiles in order to exclude the development of hypovitaminosis, rickets . It is enough to feed adult toads once every 3 days, and young ones - daily.

If you decide to start breeding toads at home, then you will need to provide the animals with wintering for a couple of months, with a gradual entry and exit from it, maintaining low temperatures and humidity. After wintering, the breeding season begins, the toads are planted in a terrarium with a spacious reservoir in which they lay their eggs. Sexual maturity is reached at about 3-4 years of age.

The common toad is a rather unpretentious, peaceful animal, which is why its popularity as a pet is only growing. nine0007

You can ask questions about keeping common toads on the forum in section "Questions to the herpetologist" .

Health to you and your pets!

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Keeping green toad (Bufo viridis)

Due to the undemanding conditions of keeping, the green toad is suitable for beginners . nine0054 But it should be remembered that she has very delicate skin, which is easily injured. To create all the conditions, you will need a horizontal type aquaterrarium (with a volume of 50 liters or more). A mixture of peat (sand), garden soil, sandstone and tree bark is used as a substrate...

Green Toad Aquaterrarium

Type: Horizontal Aquaterrarium.
Dimensions: 50 liter terrarium (for two adult animals).
Substrate: peat/sand mixture, garden soil, sandstone, tree bark. They like to dig, so the substrate layer should be thick. nine0041 Cleaning/cleaning: every 2-3 weeks with light disinfectants.
Temperature: daytime - 23-26°C, nighttime - 21°C.
Heating: not required.
Lighting: daylight hours - 12 hours. Lighting with ultraviolet lamps.
Humidity: up to 50%.
Plants: needed in large quantities. Plants should be tough and strong.
Reservoir: An additional reservoir is optional.
Decoration: You need to build some shelters from stones or tree bark. nine0007

Feeding green toad

Can be given: any live crawling insects - earthworms, slugs, bloodworms, crickets, cockroaches, flies, moths, etc.
Feeding frequency: adults - 2-3 times a week with a mixture of insects, young (growing) - daily.
Water: a small saucer of fresh drinking water is required (the depth should not exceed the height of the toad). Water is changed daily.
Mineral supplements/vitamins: powdered vitamins and calcium. Young animals are fed 2-3 times a week, adults - 1 time. nine0007

Related article Green Toad (Bufo viridis, Bufotes viridis)

Socialization / domestication

Domestication: fast.
Character: calm.


Psychology: green toads stay awake until midnight, even until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Green Toad Breeding

Preparation: The breeding season comes after hibernation (6-8 weeks). During hibernation, the temperature in the terrarium is lowered to 10 ° C and below. After spawning, the animals are returned to the terrarium. nine0041 Adjustable terrarium / aquarium: volume 50-60 liters, aeration is required.
Male to female ratio: 1:1
Gestation/incubation period: after mating, the female lays two strands of eggs 3-4 meters long. At room temperature, tadpoles appear after 5-6 days.
Feeding young people: scalded nettle, hercules, small (cut) tubifex, "live dust", dry fish food.
Growth rate: fast. Landing in 55-58 days. Starter food - crickets.
Molting: after molting, toads eat the old skin. nine0007

Related article Setting up a terrarium for ground frogs


For the main diseases see here diseases of amphibians

its skin secretions, getting on the mucous membrane (in the eyes, mouth) can cause severe irritation, and in large quantities - even poisoning of varying severity.

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