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Build a Frog Hotel

Home > Brisbane > Family | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published May 1st 2020
Build a safe environment to attract frogs to your garden
Over the last few decades, frog numbers have declined worldwide. Australian frogs are increasingly threatened by human activity, loss of habitat, and introduced species such as cane toads.

Hop Inn - our completed frog hotel
Hop Inn - our completed frog hotel

Despite the pressure frogs are under in modern-day Australia, there are many things we can do to protect them even in urban backyards. Backyards with a lot of vegetation will attract frogs, especially if there is a water source. However, frogs are sensitive and absorb water and chemicals that their skin comes into contact with. For this reason, it is important not to use pesticides on plants when providing a safe habitat for frogs. You can find more information on frog friendly gardens here.

Although Australian frogs are threatened by human development, they still frequent many backyards
Although Australian frogs are threatened by human development, they still frequent many backyards

An easy and small frog environment that can be created by almost anyone, and installed in the smallest of gardens or courtyards, is a "frog hotel". This project is ideal for parents to include their children in, and is a great introduction to the principals of conservation. Alison Begnell created this set of easy step-by-step instructions, and although she doesn't have a website she generously gave me permission to include it in this article.

Frog hotel instructions courtesy of Alison Begnell
Frog hotel instructions courtesy of Alison Begnell

We began our frog hotel, which we decided to name "Hop Inn", with a trip to Bunnings. Here we purchased a pot that was tall enough to deter cane toads, PVC pipe (some people choose to use bamboo, but as frogs can apparently get splinters from this we went with PVC), a variety of stones, and a pond loving plant. We already had a variety of solar lights at home in our camping gear, so we didn't purchase a new one. This small project can be a great way to recycle various old pieces of garden equipment.

Components for our frog hotel
The main components we needed for our frog hotel

When we got home we chose a shady part of the garden and plugged the hole in the bottom of the pot with rubber foam (silicone also works well for this). We then began to lay the stones. Once they filled the bottom of the pot, we added the pond-loving plant and PVC pipes, before stacking more stones up around them.

Constructing our frog hotel
Constructing our frog hotel

Following this, we filled the pot with water, to just above the level of the plant's soil, and installed the solar light so that our frog hotel includes a restaurant. At night we hope this light will attract insects, that will, in turn, attract hungry frogs. We then checked each pipe to ensure that water from the bottom of the pot was filling the bottom of the pipe to create the humid environment that frogs love.

Installing a solar light adds a restaurant to your frog hotel by attracting insects
Installing a solar light adds a restaurant to your frog hotel by attracting insects

Now all there is for us to do is wait and hope some frogs decide to check in to Hop Inn, and remember to keep topping the pot up with water.

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Your Comment
Great idea, am keen to hear if and when your 'guests' arrive, Meg!
by Elaine (score: 3|8126) 358 days ago
This is a wonderful idea.
The grandsons will love helping create the Frog Hotel.
Fun, and an important and compassionate lesson.
by Debra (score: 1|67) 348 days ago
We have lots of green tree frog at our place with most of them in the walls, saw the frog hotel and spent $200 on pipes and elbows, pots, dirt, plants, set up 2 and managed to get them out of the wall about 2 weeks ago but nothing in the frog hotel yet, i think i just waisted $200, very disappointed,
by raesi (score: 0|2) 106 days ago
Hi, just adding a photo of one of the frog hotels to my last comment
by raesi (score: 0|2) 106 days ago
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