Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by admin
Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals that love to live in areas with lots of food, water, and cover. They are known for their characteristic hard shell, also called osteoderms, consisting of bony plates covered by horny scales lying on the surface or below it. Five species of this mammal can be found in North America. It is the only animal with this type of protection in the US. Their body resembles mammals like anteaters, sloths, and some species of edentates. Although they are not rodents, they have continuously growing front teeth which cause their teeth to be worn down.
Food of armadillos
Armadillos may cause damage to human property when looking for food/water or shelter. They may eat vegetables and fruits from gardens, flower bulbs and can become a nuisance when they dig for insects in lawns.
Armadillos create disturbance
Armadillos are most active at night, and during the day, they sleep under thick bushes or rock piles. Armadillos can be seen outside their dens sunbathing during hot weather until they find enough cover to keep them cool again. Sometimes you will hear loud shriek sounds coming from within an armadillo’s den, indicating that this sound is used as a warning signal to the same members of its group about danger presence nearby. Armadillo latrines include small mounds containing mostly hair, nails, and other things that enter these animals’ diets through self-grooming activities.
Their droppings are similar to that of squirrels. Armadillo is the only animal known for carrying leprosy (also known as Hansen disease) to humans. They contract this disease by eating small animals like mice. Armadillos are affected by Haemophilus influenzae type b, which causes severe damage to their brain and central nervous system, making them highly susceptible.
Methods of getting rid of armadillos
If you have got enough information about these animals, it is time to learn methods to get rid of armadillos.
First, if armadillos are not causing any problem, it would be better not to interfere with their natural behavior. Prevention methods must be put into action before any problems occur. If they invade your property, you can try some of the below-mentioned methods to get rid of armadillos.
1 Live trap/Steel jaw trap
Live traps are designed to allow them to catch even big-sized armadillos without causing them any harm. These traps are also known as cage or wire mesh live traps, which work on the most fundamental principle ‘to live by eating.’ Some people use steel-jaw traps, but they cause severe damage to animals’ bodies and bones. Also, these traps can hold animals for a very long time. It is better not to keep wild animals captured in cages for a more extended period because they become stressed from living in captivity and can pass diseases to other animals through saliva, which causes more harm.
2 Fencing and repellents
Using fencing for a garden or farm is best to keep armadillos away from your property. It can be wire mesh, plastic strips, or even electric fences. But make sure that the height of fencing should be at least 12 inches high to prevent armadillos from climbing over it. Repellent sprays are also available, which work well against these animals but also cause harm to other wildlife species like raccoons, opossum, etc. If you want to know how to get rid of armadillos without killing them, this method may work. (see #4) If armadillo’s population keeps increasing in your area, it is better to consult pest control experts for professional help.
3 Armadillo traps
Armadillo traps are practical and can be used with other methods like fences, repellents, etc. For instance, if you have built an electric fence around your farm/garden and want armadillos to come in a while sleeping, place these traps at one side of the wall where they enter at night.
It is important that the ‘trap door’ be closed during the daytime. Otherwise, animals might escape through it before getting electrocuted. These traps are designed to only kill armadillos by electrocution or suffocation when they are inside the web.
4 Repellents and repellant methods
You can try some methods to keep armadillos away from your property, including pouring mixed ammonia water in a spray bottle, adding a few drops of dishwashing liquid to this solution, and spraying on plants. You can also add cayenne pepper to the ammonia solution for better results. Place mothballs around your farm/garden, but make sure they are kept at least 10 feet away from the area you want to protect because they are highly flammable. Use garlic-based repellent powder or cream or both for similar results. If you desire instant results, then place fox or coyote urine around the boundary of your garden. This will undoubtedly keep armadillos at bay.
5 Killing armadillos
It is not recommended to kill these animals. It may sound cruel but killing them is a difficult task because their skin is too hard. Some people use shovels, axes, or other tools to break open their tough shells, which cause severe damage to animals’ bodies and increase the chances of being contaminated with spotted fever infections. This process can be made more accessible by placing armadillos in the freezer for one day before chopping the shell away, so the meat remains intact without any harm. But this process should only be used as a last resort. Otherwise, you can try methods as mentioned above first.
- Why do armadillos dig?
Armadillos are burrowing animals and spend much of their time underground. They dig for several reasons, including looking for food, water, and shelter. Armadillos are mainly insectivores in nature but have also been known to eat small mammals and reptiles. Armadillos do not hibernate, but they will tunnel into the ground and remain dormant during cold winter weather.
- How can I prevent armadillos from digging?
The most effective way to control armadillo damage around landscaping is to trap and remove the animals. These burrowing animals are very persistent and may continue to excavate for food, water, and shelter. Once a home is established, it can be challenging to get rid of armadillos by harassing or blocking their entrance because they constantly look for food and water.
- Can I poison armadillos?
Poisoning is not a practical, safe, or legal option to remove armadillos in most cases. Chemical repellents are not effective and can be hazardous.