It’s been a tough few months for the people who live along the North Carolina coast. First, it was abnormally heavy rains in June and July. Then, in September, Hurricane Florence hit and left the area battered and flooded.
And now, it’s raining frogs and toads.
The conditions are all related. The heavy rains earlier in the summer, and the many puddles left by Hurricane Florence, created ideal conditions for tiny critters like the eastern spadefoot toad. It’s one of a number of frogs and toad species that thrive in such conditions — and are biologically designed to go from birth to mature reproductive adulthood in a very short period of time. In short, it’s high times for the eastern spadefoot right now, and it and the other frog and toad species are taking advantage of the many available love-puddles to engage in “explosive breeding.”
Once the frogs and toads take care of that biological imperative, their rapidly growing legions go searching for drier locations — and, because the conditions are so damp, that means houses, and cars, and other places where people don’t want or expect to encounter frogs and toads. The darned things are everywhere, croaking and hopping and staring at people with those big yellow frog eyes. Carolinians are finding frogs and toads in their kitchens, clinging desperately to the windshields of cars, and falling on them when they leave their houses. It’s got to be unsettling, to say the least.
Over time, the puddles will dry out, the conditions will change, and the frog and toad population will return to its rightful balance. For now, though, the people of North Carolina have to be wondering what’s next. Locusts, perhaps?