How to Get Rid of Tadpoles in a Garden Pond


While frogs can be cute in movies or as lawn ornaments, their offspring can spread like wildfire. Tadpoles can be pests, infesting a well-manicured garden pond and clouding the water with their presence only to mature and spawn more tadpoles. While they pose no threat, tadpoles can be an annoyance worthy of removal. With a few items, the baby frogs can be removed with moderate effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Encyclopedia
  • Pond goldfish
  • Chlorine
  • Insecticide
  • Net scooper
  • Determine the species of the tadpoles. Using a standard encyclopedia, identify what type of tadpole infestation affects the garden pond. The most common frogs in North America are the bullfrog, green tree frog and gray tree frog. Knowing the species of the tadpole will help determine the frogs' size, which will help determine the proper netting to keep the egg-laying frogs out.

  • Use fish for pest removal. Many types of fish are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat both meat and the protein flakes that comprise types of fish food. Regular store-bought pet goldfish of any variety will eat tadpoles if in the same environment--provided they are not fed anything else. Stock the pool with a dozen goldfish for pest control.

  • Introduce chlorine into the pond. Using chlorine in the pond water will not only remove algae and bacteria, but it will also kill tadpoles. However, chlorine will also kill the goldfish if they remain in the pond. Chlorine can be used in its crystallized form or liquid. Consult the container's instructions for use. Experiment with low doses, incrementing amounts until tadpoles are dead.

  • Use insecticides. While insecticides do not kill frogs, they will kill the bugs that the frogs live off of. By killing off the bugs, the frogs will either die off or leave, taking their egg-laying and future tadpoles with them. Consider insecticides that target flies, and spray around collections of wood, dead leaves and deposits of standing water. Be careful of spraying around healthy plants as they could die from the poison.

  • Remove egg clusters. With the goldfish in place and their food sources being destroyed, the tadpole population should be dropping considerably. However, egg clusters may still be in the water. Use a simple mesh net (like the net used for fish) to scoop out clusters. They may be floating in the water or adhered to grass or other vegetation near the pond.

Tips & Warnings

  • Knowing how large the frogs are that the tadpoles belong to, consider erecting a mess-netting fence to keep them out.
  • Be careful of using insecticides to avoid poisoning pets.

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