Residents in disbelief as 'millions' of baby cane toads take over complex

The huge numbers of toxic amphibians have left pet owners in the area seriously concerned.

Residents of a suburb infested with "millions" of baby cane toads are in disbelief over the sheer number of toxic amphibians roaming their streets.

Tugun resident Jonathan told Yahoo News Australia the tiny toadlets have surrounded his family home, and are jumping up at his back door. He said the ordeal in one area of the Gold Coast suburb is "crazy" and residents are "very concerned", particularly those with pets. He said his cat was constantly trying to play with and swat at the toads.

"It genuinely felt like there were millions," Jonathan said after first spotting the explosion of cane toads earlier this week.

Remarkable images shared amongst neighbours show a road swamped with baby cane toads. Residents believe they're coming from their estate's neighbouring lake.

Hundreds of baby cane toads on a Tugun road.
The cane toads have swamped a Gold Coast complex, with residents baffled by the explosion in numbers. Source: Supplied

Residents are now considering their options, with some looking into purchasing aerosol sprays designed to kill them.

Explosion of cane toads not uncommon

Cane toads are a notorious pest and wreak havoc across Queensland every year, with fears its only a matter of time before they become widespread further down the coast in Sydney. They can impact agriculture and lead to the poisoning of thousands of pets annually thanks to toxins they release. In severe cases, pets can die in just 15 minutes after being poisoned.

Baby cane toads, like the ones affecting the Tugun residential complex, are also poisonous. Female cane toad can lay up to 25,000 eggs at a time.

The cane toads are encroaching on residents' properties. Source: Supplied
The cane toads are encroaching on residents' properties. Source: Supplied

The Department of Environment says it's "possible" for such outbreaks at ponds to be controlled, with meshing around a pond to contain them or locals humanely disposing of the cane toads.

It's a step the residents are now considering, with environment charity watergum's annual Great Cane Toad Bust next month one suggestion on the table.

One of the most common methods for humanely killing a cane toad involves cooling captured toads in a plastic bag inside the fridge before placing them in the freezer.

Despite being a major pest, the cane toad is not a prohibited or restricted invasive animal under the state's Biosecurity Act 2014.

While cane toads are not listed as a priority in Gold Coast City council's biosecurity management plan, it says support is available to residents when needed.

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