Rain from monsoon season in Arizona brings toxic Sonoran Desert toads

Sep 1, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 8:06 am
(Flickr photo/Alan Schmierer)...
(Flickr photo/Alan Schmierer)
(Flickr photo/Alan Schmierer)

PHOENIX — Poison experts warn the Sonoran Desert toads that come out during the rain in Arizona’s monsoon season can be dangerous for humans and pets.

The toads produce a toxin that’s released through the glands behind their eyes.

Maureen Roland, managing director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, says a small amount on your skin won’t cause much harm but ingesting it or inhaling it will.

“It can cause hallucinations and some cardia dysrhythmias – it can be very dangerous,” Roland told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

She said the Banner Poison Center has seen an uptick in calls from people who’ve been exposed to the toads, which she added can also be dangerous for pets.

“We do have many fatalities every year, unfortunately, from dogs mouthing these toads when they see them,” she said.

The Sonoran Desert toads can be found year-round but they mostly come out when there is a lot of moisture from the rain during the monsoon season.

Roland recommends anyone who’s exposed to the toxin from the toads call the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.

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Rain from monsoon season in Arizona brings toxic Sonoran Desert toads