Q&A: What's the cause of repeated frog invasion?

An American green tree frog clings to vegetation in Pasco’s Jumping Gully Preserve.
An American green tree frog clings to vegetation in Pasco’s Jumping Gully Preserve.
Published May 27, 2013

How to keep frogs out of toilet

Help!!! How does a frog (of a pretty good size) get in the toilet? We had one a number of years ago and then again just Sunday.

There are any number of ways a wayward frog or toad can wind up in your toilet. Among them:

• It can swim there from the closest sewer opening. This is probably unlikely, unless there is a sewer opening really close to your home. Otherwise that's a pretty long swim, even for a frog.

• It can enter your sewer line through a crack or hole and swim to the toilet tank.

• It can get into your house through an open door and jump in the toilet. Even if the lid is down, there might be enough space for it to squeeze through.

• It can fall into your bathroom vent pipe and end up in the toilet.

This one is probably the most likely, according to experts. They say that tree frogs like to climb trees and jump or drop onto the roof of a house. The frogs apparently like the warmth of the shingles.

Once they've warmed up, frogs start looking for a cooler area, and the toilet vent pipe is often the most convenient. Some fall into the pipe and end up in your toilet.

There are a couple of things you can do to diminish the chances of finding a frog in your toilet:

• Trim the tree branches that are nearest to your home and its roof.

• Put a mesh wire screen over your toilet vent. This keeps frogs out, but also small twigs and leaves that can clog your line.

• Don't keep outside lights on at night. Lights attract bugs, giving frogs a powerful incentive to hang around for a meal.

Pancreatic cancer test stalled

I saw a video of Jack Andraka, who has invented an early detection test for pancreatic cancer. Has a pharmaceutical company picked this up?

Several pharmaceutical companies are reportedly interested in what has been described as Andraka's "potentially revolutionary" test for pancreatic cancer, but it remains in the developmental stage.

Andraka, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Crownsville, Md., developed the test in 2011, and recently told National Geographic that his "test costs 3 cents, takes five minutes to run, doesn't require specialized training, and it's a lot smaller than the current test."

Anirban Maitra, a Johns Hopkins pathologist and pancreatic cancer researcher who is Andraka's mentor, told Smithsonian magazine that Andraka must perform more tests and publish a peer-reviewed paper and warned him that marketing the test might take a decade. has reported that Andraka has hired "a really fierce patent lawyer."