Though you may not know it, there’s a good chance that you’ve already encountered a captive-bred gray tree frog. These frogs are commonly found in pet stores, and they are popular pets due to their gentle nature and unique colors. But, many potential owners hesitate to bring one home for the fear of being poisoned. So, are captive-bred gray tree frogs poisonous?
Gray tree frogs are undoubtedly mildly poisonous amphibians that need to be handled with proper care. Their toxic and salmonella bacteria can cause mild irritation for the healthy while having a serious effect on weak immune persons.
So, let’s take a closer look at the details that are gray tree frog poisonous.
Are all gray tree frog types poisonous?
You will find 2 types of gray tree frogs. One is an eastern gray tree frog and another is Cope’s gray tree frog.
Surprisingly both are identical when you look at them. But, you can distinguish them by their call. While the eastern gray tree frog makes a melodic trill, the Cope’s gray generates a high pitch trill.
Among these frogs, the Cope’s gray tree frog is more poisonous. But you need to be aware while handling any type of frogs.
Is a captive-bred gray tree frog poisonous?
The answer is a bit complicated. In the wild, gray tree frogs are known to be poisonous, and their toxins can cause mild to serious health problems in humans. But, captive-bred frogs are typically bred in environments that are free of the toxins that cause these problems.
As a result, most captive-bred gray tree frogs are safe for humans to be around. Of course, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wash your hands thoroughly after handling any frog, just to be safe.
Are gray tree frogs venomous?
Common people often fail to understand the difference between poisonous and venomous. Both terms mean toxicity, but there’s a bit different so let’s see how it differs.
The process of venom includes and requires injection through any type of sting, barbs, fangs, etc. While position infection is a passive process and the victim has to ingest it through organs like the mouth, lips, nose, eyes, and open cuts.
So a gray tree frog is mildly poisonous but not venomous.
Why Is the Gray Tree Frog Poisonous?
Gray tree frogs get their poison from the insects they eat. These insects store toxins in their bodies, and when the gray tree frogs eat them, those toxins build up in the frogs’ systems as well.
As a result, touching a gray tree frog can cause humans to experience several symptoms, including pain, swelling, and numbness. In severe cases, people have even gone into comas after contact with these frogs.
Are Gray Tree Frogs Dangerous to Humans?
As we’ve seen, gray tree frogs can be dangerous to humans if we come into contact with them. It is important to remember that these frogs are not aggressive by nature and will only attack humans if they feel threatened.
That being said, it’s still best to exercise caution if you come across one of these frogs in the wild. If you’re lucky enough to spot a gray tree frog, you may be tempted to reach out and touch it.
But, there are good reasons to keep your hands to yourself. These frogs secrete a sticky substance that can cause skin irritations, discomfort in the eyes & lips, and also in the mucus lining or any open cuts. If you must handle a gray tree frog in captivity as an owner, be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Read More: Are White’s Tree Frogs Poisonous?
Not only toxins but Salmonella is a threat too
As the gray tree frog belongs to the amphibian family, so they have a higher chance to carry salmonella bacteria. They can carry these bacteria within their digestive tract. And they leave it out with their poop. The twisted part is the frog has no health issues with these bacteria but if it gets transmitted to any human then there are things to worry about.
While touching a gray tree frog, normally, you can get the bacteria inside your body. Even if you don’t touch the frog but the place where it was resting or the water where it sits for a while.
But, if these bacteria are transmitted, it will lead to an infection which is known as Salmonellosis. You can easily detect the infection by some symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and stomach cramps. If you notice any of these symptoms right after handling a gray tree frog, most probably you are already infected.
In general, this infection is a mid and nothing fatal. But in rare cases, this bacteria gets access to the bloodstream which can cause serious health hazards. So the solution to saving yourself from this bacteria is to wash your hand thoroughly just after touching a gray tree frog.
Caution: Please never let any children under 5 years old touch the gray tree frog with bare hands. Because children have a habit of sticking their fingers inside their mouths often, so it can turn out to be something bad.
And another group is people who have a very low immune system and can become seriously ill by touching these frogs.
Safety measures during handling a gray tree frog
Due to their soft, delicate, and absorbent skin type, it’s always best to avoid touching the magnificent gray tree frogs. Because there remains a chance of you getting infected and also the frog getting affected by the remaining soap, oil, lotions, aromatic chemicals, and insect repellent particles on your hand.
But when you keep a gray tree frog to take care of and clean jobs, you need to handle this beautiful creature once in a while. Let’s see in the following how to handle these frogs.
- Wash both hands so well that no chemicals or dirt remain in your hands.
- Then dry your hand fully and re-moist it using de-chlorinated water.
- If you want to use gloves you have to make sure its powder-free vinyl gloves. Wash the gloves with de-chlorinated water before handling the frog.
During handling time
- Don’t bring the gray tree frog too close to your eyes, and mouth. Make sure the frog has zero contact with your entire face.
- Be extremely gentle during handling the tree frog. Because if you handle them a bit rough then out of stress it will secure toxins on your hands.
- Keep the frog handling time very short. Long-term handling will make their skin dry, which is quite harmful to these frogs.
Post handling work
- Again wash your hand thoroughly using an antibacterial soap. Wash at least for 1 minute to make sure no bacteria is chilling on your hand.
So the bottom line is that the gray tree frog is mildly poisonous which can give a healthy person mild irritation but can be deadly for people with a weak immune system. Don’t stress the gray tree frog and most probably you won’t get any toxic issues. And never forget to maintain the safety procedure of handling these frogs.
Hope this article gives an ample amount of info on the gray tree frog’s poison’s affect.