SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Toads that grow to the size of dinner plates are invading Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city, and local authorities are planning an elaborate program to get rid of them.

''For toads in Brisbane, this summer is shaping up as a nightmarish scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre,'' the Sydney Morning Herald said Tuesday, the day the eradication project was announced.

Plans include ringing the city's suburbs with recordings of the rattling call the male toad uses to attract females. When the unsuspecting females arrive, trappers will shove them into plastic bags and freeze them, said Greg Stegman, a city councilman in charge of the eradication plan.

Residents who find toads around their homes are being advised to sprinkle detergent on them because it ''does the job quickly,'' Stegman said.

He promised that the city of 1 million in the northeastern state of Queensland will be toad-free within five years.

The Queensland Museum said the toads pose a major threat to Australia's fauna and wildlife. Biologists say the toads, when cornered and frightened, squirt a liquid that can asphyxiate a dog the size of a German shepherd.

The cane toads were first introduced to Australia in 1935, when they were brought in from South America to end a beatle plague that was destroying crops.

Since then, they have marched across northern Australia and are heading south. The biggest weigh more than five pounds, and children occasionally use them as footballs.

Stegman said the current infestation began after the toads began to wake up after their winter hibernation.

''They're in plague proportions,'' he said. ''I'm not advocating that people stamp them to death or spear them with pitchforks, but something has to be done.''

Anne Nakano of Brisbane complained that the space underneath her home, which is built on stilts, is crawling with toads. ''We stamp on them when we open the front door in the morning to pick up the milk,'' she said.

The city council decided against offering a bounty for every toad killed because ''knowing the Australian entrepreneurial spirit, they'll start breeding them,'' Stegman said.

The state of Queensland is holding a contest to find the biggest toad to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. The leading candidate is Mary Lou, who measures one foot across, weighs six pounds, and eats 11 mice a day in addition to eggs mixed with insects.