Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

October 1987


In southern New Jersey a new agricultural pest problem has seriously impacted production of green beans for plant processing. Newly acquired harvesters inadvertently capture frogs, which are difficult and expensive to remove from harvested beans. Goals of this project were to (1) define the biological properties of the pest problem, and (2) identify biologically sound and effective methods to manage the problem.

Fowler's toad (Bufo woodhousei fowleri) was the most numerous (82%) of 9 species sorted from harvested beans, and it was also the most common in field censuses (76%). Density estimates based on field censuses were higher than when based on samples sorted from harvested beans. Harvesters selectively captured large frogs. Relatively few fields produced most problems; only 17% (74 of 433) produced more than 4 frogs, while 83% (359) produced less than 4 (44.8 % had none). Continuing research will develop quantitative models using features of habitat and environment to predict the "pest potential" of fields so that these can be managed individually.