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Invasion Of Tiny Poisonous Toads Alarms Florida Community

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PALM BEACH GARDENS (CBSMiami) -- A Florida community is up in arms and uneasy after their neighborhood is swamped by tiny poisonous toads that seem to have come out of nowhere.

Thousands of toads started appearing in the Mirabella neighborhood in Palm Beach Gardens last week. They are in pools, patios and spread all across the streets.

Experts say they are Bufo toads, not native to the West Palm Beach area. Exposure to these toads are dangerous to pets since they are attracted to dog and cat food.

"I just see a massive amount of toads or frogs everywhere," said one homeowner. "You can't even walk through the grass without stepping on one; they're covering people's driveways."

"It's not 100's, you're talking 1,000 of these little baby frogs," said resident Carollyn Rice.

Toad Busters, a toad removal company, says these are cane toads, also known as Bufo toads, which secrete a toxic milky substance.

"With the warmer winter and then we had a rain 2-3 weeks ago, a torrential rain, that caused them to go into a breeding cycle," said Mark Holladay, the lead technician with Toad Busters.

He says the critters are coming from a lake in the community and they can be extremely dangerous to pets and children.

"If a pet was to ingest too many of them, even at that small size, it would cause a problem."

Jenni Quasha, a resident in the neighborhood contacted her homeowner's association, but says she was told it is her responsibility to handle the problem.

With three kids on spring break, Jenni says her daughter is scared to walk outside.

"There's no swimming in the pool and no playing outside and enjoying the outdoors. Just hoping we can figure this out so we can put an end to it."

Unfortunately, the problem may not go away any time soon. The toad removal company expects another wave of the amphibians in about three weeks, when the next batch hatches out.

(©2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report via WPTV.)

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