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There has been a lot of discussion about the most humane way of disposing of Cane Toads. Below are the discussions with links for information on disposal:

Comment by Lissa just now

Quite a good article. A lot of toads were killed in many ways to achieve it.

Would be interested in getting hold of some of this Hopstop though as a chemical, I am always suspicious about such things. So often the scientists are wrong about chemicals.

I refrigerate the toads overnight or even longer before freezing. The article mentioned one hour is not enough.

Comment by Elaine coolowl 7 hours ago

Good info, will take some reading.

We've strayed off-topic here. That information is valuable and would make a great blog post Jan.

Comment by Jan Holley 8 hours ago

CAN001 Methods for the field euthanasia of cane toads

I found this document from the government on the approved methods of "dispatching" cane toads.

Amongst the acceptable methods of ending them, it lists Hopstop and details of how it works.

It seems to indicate that the product anaesthetises then kills the toads, with no indication of pain or undue distress. Obviously it upsets them, but it apparently doesn't cause the type of agony that Dettol does.

But please read it for yourself, and see what you get from it.

HopStop information is under Method 3) Spraying with Hopstop® beginning on Page 13.

Unexpectedly, freezing IS NOT considered an acceptable method of euthanising them.

Comment by Elaine coolowl 9 hours ago

Not heard of Hopstop. Wonder what is in it sounds like it might be a strong anaesthetic. I know that Dettol and salt are not humane, the toads take a long time to die with both of those substances. Freezer, no … makes sense if it's humane but how can anyone be certain who has not tried it?

Comment by Jan Holley 11 hours ago

Have you seen the "Hopstop"? I've been tempted to get some. (I really don't like the idea having toads in the freezer.) I don't know much about the product's effectiveness or any issues, though.

Does anyone here know anything more about it than what is advertised?

Comment by Lissa 12 hours ago

Yeah, I should kill them. I've been doing the fridge then freezer thing in the past.

Comment by Elaine coolowl 12 hours ago

Yes they do eat bugs but they also lay millions of toxic eggs. Every part of each life-cycle of the toad is toxic to our native wildlife. And they make great high-phosphorus fertiliser.

I'm no great shakes at killing things either and they didn't ask to come here. However if you're going to kill something at least do it quickly. The flat of a shovel whacked on their backs stuns them enough for you to reverse the shovel and sever the spinal cord. Dig a hole somewhere the dogs won't dig them up and bury them with thanks to the Universe for providing free fertiliser.

Comment by Lissa 13 hours ago

I have had a surge of toads over the last weeks. Poor things. I hate killing them. I try to justify leaving them be by telling myself they eat bugs at night time.

Comment by Elaine coolowl 19 hours ago

And just now (9.30am Thurs) with the rain really tumbling down, no sign of any birds. Frogs all 3 species are still calling as they have done all night. Great time for frogs and topping up our water table.


Well, I bought the Hopstop and used it for some weeks. I decided in the end that it not humane.

The toads react as if they have been hit with something "acidic" immediately it is sprayed on them. There was also a FB discussion about killing toads and the consensus was that the stuff isn't good to use. The can went in the bin.

I've gone back to refrigerating overnight then freezing.

This warm season I would have killed between 80 and 90 toads. A huge amount compared to other years. Ranging in size from a couple of giant jobs to currently very small immature animals maybe 5/7cm long. I caught 7 of these night before last.

Plastic bag over the hand with a light shone in their eyes. Bag gets tied up, all the bags get wrapped in a large towel and it's put into the fridge then the freezer next morning.


New weapon against toads to be used in North Qld waterways

February 8, 2016 11:55am

New traps targetting cane toad tadpoles could soon be in use across the North Queensland. Pics Adam Head

A NEW weapon with the potential to severely hamper cane toads is set to be unleashed on northern waterways following successfultrials in Brisbane.

The funnel traps use toad “pheromones” identified through research at the University of Queensland to attract tadpoles.

In parts of South East Queensland where the method has been tested, catches of thousands of cane toad tadpoles have been reported.

Environment groups who have monitored the waterways have reported the return of bird and frog species not seen in decades when the traps are used in conjunction with the physical removal of adult toads.

But UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience professor Rob Capon, who has led the research, cautioned the traps couldn’t be used in every waterway.

“The limitation is in still water – if they’re placed in a roaring river it’ll wash away and the chemical will be diluted” he said.

“It will work in still water, like dams, parklands, golf courses, but in heavy rain it’s going to be compromised.”

State Government funding for the project has also ceased, and Prof Capon has been driving to different sites in his own time to deliver bait to community environmental groups.

He said he was hopeful the success of these small trials would encourage investment and donations from the community.

“In terms of pulling cane toads out of publicly accessible water bodies we can make a huge difference,” Prof Capon said.

“Once pulled out as tadpoles you don’t get the next generation – the anecdotal feedback we’re getting is that it’s really making a difference.”

A donation website, which has the backing of UQ, is likely to go live in March.

Soon after, Prof Capon hopes to be able to send the bait in the post to environmental groups around the country, who would then assemble the easy-to-make traps.

Beyond that, he hopes government funding will eventually allow for staff and resources to distribute the baits.

The traps won’t result in the complete eradication of toads – but Prof Capon said research had already identified other potential ways to strike the toads’ weaknesses.

“They are still very much on the lab bench... this is using one pheromone,” he said.

“We have learnt a lot about cane toads in our studies and we think there are some other achilles heels we could have a go at.”

More information and information on how to donate will be available through the UQ website,, next month.

December 2016

And some new information about eradication possibilities from Christa: CANE TOAD TADPOLE CONTROL.


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Comment by Lissa on March 16, 2015 at 10:22

I think it's when the spray gets in their eyes that they react the way they do. Bit hard to avoid though.

Comment by Lissa on March 16, 2015 at 6:33

I can't come at the shovel / decapitation Elaine. It's freezing or HopStop for me. And yes, not sure it's humane due to their initial reaction.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 16, 2015 at 6:12

Can't understand how the authorities can say that stuff is humane. No better than Dettol or salt if it does not kill them instantly.

A shovel does. Boom to stun, whack to sever the spinal cord. Not a pretty sight but they do not move any more.

Comment by Lissa on March 16, 2015 at 5:40

Ok - HopStop works. Dead by the next morning. Bit hard to find the bodies as once sprayed they get very agitated, hunch up like it's irritating them, and hop off in all directions (usually towards my feet!). I have found a few next morning that I could identify as dead as a doornail (strange saying) but the bulk of them have disappeared into the under growth to die a lonely death.

I feel a bit sorry for them. But the alternative is to leave them to breed out of control.

This has possibly been the worst summer for toads I've ever had. Heaps of babies around and some giant adults with plenty in between. I've killed maybe 50.

Comment by Lissa on March 5, 2015 at 20:25

It's a good idea. I will think about registering but I know I will forget to go and post info.

Comment by Lissa on March 4, 2015 at 19:06

Bought some HopStop today and went just now, after dark, to spray some toads. Not much around apart from tiny toads after my efforts in the last week. 

First thing I noticed was the relatively loud noise generated when you hit the pistol grip. Frightens the toads almost immediately. All the toads I sprayed hopped off into the undergrowth despite my intention of catching them and keeping them close until they died.

The pistol grip is right underneath the spray nozzle. Pretty hard to avoid getting the chemical on your finger. Wear a glove. I found myself running inside to wash my hands with soap, twice, just in case I stopped hopping and hunched down on the kitchen floor just before I died!

No doubt the toads I sprayed will be dead by morning but no hope of spraying the poor things a second time as suggested if they kept hopping as they had disappeared into the undergrowth.

Comment by Lissa on March 3, 2015 at 5:23

Yes, will have to get hold of some. Perhaps can achieve that today. I've killed about 30 toads or more in the last few days.

Warnings include don't spray it on foliage :/

A little hint - if you shine your torch in the eyes of the toad they tend to sit still in one spot which can make catching or spraying more effective.

Comment by Susanne on March 2, 2015 at 21:24
I was following the RSPCA's guidelines of cooling then freezing.

The only downside was when my sister was visiting, she opened the fridge for breakfast makings.
I had put put the old yoghurt container with the previous nights cane toad catch on its side with the clear lid facing out. She didn't enjoy the sight of a sleeping cane toad first thing in the morning.

Anyway after seeing this discussion I went back to the RSPCA web site and 4 months ago they changed their guidelines in response to this research.

They put Hopstop first, then stunning and decapitating then CO2.

Looks like I'll go out shopping for a spray can of Hopstop.

Will have to restrain the pup as you are advised to leave them in situ for a couple of hours while they die.
Comment by Dianne Caswell on February 27, 2015 at 18:17

No, I haven't been doing anything, I don't think we have many.

Comment by Lissa on February 27, 2015 at 18:10


Have you been using the HopStop yourself?

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