Dealing With Armadillos

You go out to get into your car and see all your carefully planted bulbs knocked from the ground or missing. Half dollar sized holes are all through your carefully prepared and planted flower beds. You lawn looks like an army of poor golfers came through during the night, leaving scores of divots all around the place. What could do so much damage and Iguana Removal? Animal, Armadillo, South America

This is the way most people discover they have an armadillo living close to them. Armadillos are tank like animals you see by the side of the street after they have lost a battle with a vehicle. As their range has increased and they’ve moved further north, more and more people are having issues with armadillos.

Armadillos have evolved to be digging machines. The armadillo has poor vision but can smell a pest a long way off. They’re 8-17 pounds, about the size of an opossum. Armadillos have one litter a year consisting of four babies of the same sex. They are born in a nest at the burrow.

Armadillos are rarely seen because they are mostly active at night throughout the summer, even though they may work during the day in the winter. They spend most of their time searching for insects. In actuality, 90% of the diet is insects, with the rest being fruit, berries, and tender roots.

The difficulty comes in that once the armadillo smells an insect in your garden. She does not need the plant, however, digs it up so she can get to the insect beside it. So while on one hand she is valuable and eats insects, on the flip side, she’s destructive.

The best method of coping with these problems is a fence. I planted a number of bulbs and when I came out the next morning to water them, they were dug up or missing. I realized the holes were armadillo holes and place four foot welded wire fencing around the replanted bulbs. The morning after, I could see holes all over the backyard, but none within the fence. Problem solved.

If fencing is not practical, though, you have two options. You can shoot the armadillo, if you are somewhere that’s allowed, or you can trap it. I would go with trapping it, myself. Armadillos can be difficult to trap because they don’t follow a set pattern.

If you trap the armadillo, do not touch it. Armadillos carry leprosy and it’s illegal, at least in Texas, to handle a live armadillo for that reason. Additionally it is illegal to release an armadillo on someone else’s property without written permission. That leaves lethal disposal. Most pest control companies will come out for a fee and trap the armadillo so you don’t have to do this yourself.

Armadillos have been in existence since the era of the dinosaurs. They were the size of Volkswagens then.  Remember, they were here first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *