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‘Explosively breeding’ frogs are literally dropping from above in NC, experts say

A population explosion of tens of thousands of frogs and toads has emerged on North Carolina’s coastal plain, leading to social media reports of frogs found hopping on kitchen counters, crawling in beds and even falling on people as they step outside.

“They’re all over my windows…I had one jump on my face laying in bed,” one unhappy Manteo resident told the Outer Banks Voice last week. “And I had another in the kitchen on the cutting board. (They’re) everywhere!”

Blaming Hurricane Florence’s record-setting floods for this Biblical-style plague is justified but not entirely accurate, experts told the Charlotte Observer.

What’s happened, says state biologist Jeff Hall, is a convergence of two types of frog and toad population explosions along the coast.

The first wave is the tadpoles born during the abnormally heavy rains of June and July, and the second is a boom of “explosively breeding” toads — like the eastern spadefoot toad — that found a perfect habitat in tiny puddles created by Hurricane Florence.

In their case, it can take only two weeks to go from swimming in a puddle to hopping around someone’s yard, said Hall, an amphibian conservationist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.