Do Frogs Bite

Frogs are a different kind of pet. They are exotic, fascinating, exciting, not everybody has them, and they are relatively easy to care for. The fact that they are all these things means a lot of people keep them.

Frogs are also common everywhere in the world and, therefore, people interact with them a lot. Because many people keep frogs as pets and because there are many human-frog encounters across the world, frog bites do happen. Frogs do have a mouth and they use it when they need to. 

In this post, I will share with you everything you need to know about frogs and their bite and whether a frog bite can kill you.

So, Do Frogs Bite?

Absolutely! Frogs are very docile and very shy features. They do not like human interactions. In fact, they do not like interacting with anything bigger than them. However, humans and frogs interact a lot, frog bites do happen every now and then. They do happen mostly to pet frog owners because pet frog owners interact a lot with frogs.

So why do pet frogs bite their owners? Are they like ungrateful pets? No, most frogs don’t bite their owners out of malicious intent. They do it mostly when they mistake the hands of their owners for food. So the one time you are most likely to get bitten by a frog is when you are giving it food or when it is food time but you are lowering your hand into their enclosure to pet them instead.

While I have said frogs are shy creatures, they will bite if they feel somewhat threatened. This is because most frogs have no other defense mechanism than their bites. 

So frogs do bite. However, with this said, most frogs do not fancy human interactions. Therefore, they will jump away or go and hide when they see a human or a human hand coming at them.

Why Exactly Do Frogs Bite And What To Do?

As explained above, frogs bite only on two occasions – when they mistake their owner’s hand for food and when they feel very threatened. However, also as explained above, most frogs are usually very shy. They will try as much as possible to avoid coming into contact with humans or human hands whether they are in nature or in an enclosure. 

Nevertheless, while most frogs are shy, there are some species that will not mind biting a human hand when they feel threatened. The species include Pacman frogs. Pacman frogs are adapted to protecting or rather defending themselves from predators using their bites.

Parts of their adaptations to bite and hurt predators include razor-sharp teeth and powerful jaws. So if you are keeping a Pacman frog or if you encounter one in the wild, it will probably not shy away from inflicting a bite if you take your hand to close to it and it feels threatened. A bite from a Pacman frog can draw some blood. That is how serious it is.

However, you will probably not need to visit the emergency department of your local hospital. You will just need a Band-Aid to stop the little blood coming from whichever place they bite.

Many frogs also bite when they mistake their owners’ hands for food. This is probably what accounts for most frog bites in the Western World.

So frogs bite when they feel threatened and when they mistake their owners’ hands for food. So what do you do when you get bitten? Well, most frogs do not have razor-sharp teeth. Therefore, when they are biting you, you should try as much as possible not to vigorously shake them off. Because if you do this, you could hurt them. So just give them a couple of moments and they will let go. 

Since most frogs are tiny and do not have razor-sharp teeth, their bites will not hurt you much. 

However, in case the species that has beaten is the Pacman frog or any other frog like it that has razor-sharp teeth, you will probably see blood. And you will probably feel a bit of pain. In case you see blood, you should clean the place nicely using an antiseptic and put a Band-Aid over. Remember, this is not official medical advice. In case you feel your pain is increasing or you feel like you really need to get seen by a medical professional, you should not hesitate to call 911 or to get to your local hospital. 

Are Frog Bites Poisonous?

Many frog species are known to be poisonous. Perhaps the most famous poisonous frog species are the Poison Dart frogs. Poison Dart Frogs are known to be so poisonous that a single one of them can carry enough poison to neutralize ten grown men. This is why many indigenous tribes use them to make poison darts and hence their name.

However, it is important to note that there is a difference between poisonous animals and venomous animals. Poisonous animals like poisonous frogs will only poison you when you touch them and touch your mouth or eyes, when you lick, or when you eat them. Their bites do not deliver any poison and they have no way to pierce their predators or captors and deliver poison. In contrast, venomous animals like venomous frogs (yes, they do exist) have got some way to pierce the skin of their predators or prey and deliver their poison or venom. 

Therefore, what I am trying to say is that while many frog species are poisonous, they do not inject their poison into people or other animals using bites and so their bites are not poisonous. They only poison when they are touched, licked, or eaten. And while venomous frog species also exist, they also (luckily) do not inject their poison into people or other animals using bites and so their bites are also not poisonous/ venomous. They inject their venoms through their spiny heads which can pierce their predators or prey.

So the answer to the question “Are frog bites poisonous?” is no. Frog bites even from poisonous or venomous frogs are not poisonous or venomous.

Are There Frog Species That Like Biting?

Yes, there are. While most frog species do not like biting there are several species that actually do like biting. They include Pacman Frogs, Budgett’s Frogs, and African Bullfrogs.

  • Pacman Frogs: As explained earlier in this post, Pacman Frogs do not mind biting anything that they feel is threatening them. They have razor-sharp teeth and they can bite when you put your hand too close to them and they feel threatened. Pacman Frogs look nice and innocent but they are not. Their bite can hurt you a bit. So if you have one, you should practice giving it food using tongs.
  • Budgett’s Frogs: Budgett’s Frogs like squaring off with predators and perceived enemies. They do not mind fighting anyone or anything that threatens them. When they feel you are a threat, they will make themselves look big and start making noises. If you notice any of these two signs you should get your hand or your body away from them because they will bite you if you don’t.
  • African Bullfrogs: African Bullfrogs are nice frogs to keep as pets. However, they are also known to be biters. They like biting things because they are built for biting. They have got big jaws and teeth for biting and holding prey and they do not mind using them on humans when they feel threatened.

FAQs

Do poisonous frogs bite? 

Yes, they do. However, they do not inject any poison via their bites. They only hurt you a bit. Nevertheless, you should not be overly worried about frog bites because many frogs including poisonous frogs only bite when they feel very scared by you or when they confuse your hands for food. So if you are keeping a frog you should avoid threatening or scaring it and you should give it foods using tongs.

What happens when a frog bites?

Most frog bites will not draw any blood because most frogs are tiny and do not deliver really powerful bites. Most frogs also do not have sharp teeth since they swallow their food as a whole without cutting or chewing. So most frog bites do not draw blood. Some draw little blood. It is only on very rare occasions will a frog bite be very serious e.g. when the frog is massive.

Is it okay to hold or to kiss a wild frog?

If you try to hold or kiss a wild frog, you will most probably end up bitten and poisoned. Wild frogs do not know you. They see you as a predator no matter how good your intentions for them maybe. So to avoid getting bitten and getting poisoned by the poison potentially on their skin, you should not hold or try to kiss a wild frog.

Conclusion

Frogs are fascinating to keep as pets. They are generally very docile creatures. However, they do bite when they feel threatened or when they mistake the hand that gives them food for food.

Frog bites can hurt but they are rarely very serious. When a bite happens, you should keep calm and the frog will let go of you.

And while there are poisonous and even venomous frog species, no frog delivers or injects poison or venom via a bite.