Frogs in the fall.

Asked October 12, 2019, 12:30 AM EDT

I understand that frogs are getting ready for winter. Therefore we may see them more as they find where they want to be. This year, we have an abundance of frogs. A couple toads in the summer is normal at my place. Just not frogs. They are everywhere. Even in my house. I’ve never had a frog in my house in the 10 years I’ve lived here. This rings true with snakes this year also. Even in the house. Again. Never have had snakes. What is going on? Are there any old wives tales to this, for winter? I can only find things for spring. They are coming in all sizes! Thank you in advance.

Montcalm County Michigan

1 Response

I cannot quite tell the frog in your hand, but I am suspicious that it is a wood frog (Rana sylvaticus). They are small brown frogs that live in moist woodland areas.

Frogs, toads and snakes all undergo fluctuations in abundance, and those fluctuations can vary at regional and/or local levels. At local levels, one area may see the numbers get higher and the other area lower. In contrast, large scale issues such as disease outbreaks, widespread weather extremes, widespread reductions in predators, etc, could cause changes across many local areas.

On a local level, think about what may be different this year and may have led to an increase. Did you have an outbreak only this year, or did numbers gradually increase over the last few years? If it is a slow increase over many years, it is simply that the population has had many years of favorable conditions along with increasing numbers due to exponential reproduction from year-to-year. If just this year, it just may be this year's conditions. All of these animals lay numerous eggs at once each year in hopes that at least a couple of the offspring make it into adult life. It may be that only a few toads, frogs and snakes laid eggs in your yard, but the survival of all of those young was very good this year.

Feel free to share any more thoughts. Understanding changes in population sizes of animals, as you can see from my comments so far, can involve many different factors.

It is quite exciting news to hear of healthy populations. Wood frogs, especially, are a frog species here in Michigan that lives in woodlands and is often under-recognized and appreciated in the frog world....