Hi my name is Brendan Mangnitz, I have been in the Nuisance Wildlife Removal industry now for nearly 6 years since I graduated from College at UF with a background in Entomology and Wildlife Biology. I have seen and controlled just about any wildlife issue you may think of. I have dealt with Armadillos in apartments complex, Armadillo removal from your everyday house hold, Armadillos in the Attic, Armadillos digging up yards, Armadillos in Pools, Armadillos stuck in Chimney’s, and the list goes on and on. I have used several different control and removal methods for Armadillos and that’s what I want to share with you guys here at Animal-Pros.com.
Armadillos can be a more than a pesky garden pest. These invasive species will dig burrows that can damage the foundation of your house and also create ideal Gardens for other animals including venomous snakes, skunks, and rats!
You have probably encountered one of these cute little armored animals before. In Spanish, the name armadillo translates to “little armored one”. Armadillos are native to Central America, as they typically seek warmer habitats, however the Nine-Banded Armadillo has migrated its way into the southern states in America. Armadillos prefer hot climates, as they have no real fatty tissue on their bodies to keep warm, and they prefer a looser sand-like soil to dig their burrows in. Armadillos leave tiny holes in their wake as they search through the ground for insects with their snouts. They have poor eyesight so they will walk slowly, following their keen sense of smell. They live in burrows and so in order to dig them, armadillos are also equipped with sharp claws and strong legs!
Aside from the numerous small holes they will leave behind, armadillos dig a burrow which is their main home. They will curl up and sleep in those burrows for up to sixteen hours a day. They look for their food mostly during the early morning hours and the late evening. However, you may find one out during the day on crisper afternoons to soak up the sun.The burrows are also used during the winter for armadillos to hibernate in. Burrows are easy to identify as they can be up to 15 feet wide! Armadillos will eat meats as well as vegetation and fruits, although they normally are found to eat insects and their larvae. They love to find beetles, and ants, as they are closely related to the anteater family.
Armadillos are solitary creatures, you most often will not see armadillos together. They only are together for mating purposes, and then to take care of the babies. Babies become independent relatively quickly, around 6 months, and go off on their own. Sadly, one of the most common places you’ll see armadillos is on the side of the road, they often try to cross roads late at night and will wind up getting hit. While their armor can protect them from most enemies, our cars are not one of them.
So, how do you get rid of them before they start causing serious damage? One of the best ways to prevent armadillos in the first place is to have fencing that also goes under the ground at least a couple of feet. Armadillos may not be able to climb fences, but they can dig under them very well. Fences also need to extend at least a couple feet high to prevent them from trying to climb over them. Another great method of deterring armadillos from considering your yard as their new home, is to make sure there’s no excess of yummy insects to lure them. If you have a garden full to the brim with worms, they will be tempted to come investigate. If possible, try to eliminate bugs that may be incentive for the armadillo to move in.
If you do have an armadillo moving into your backyard, the best option to get rid of him is to live trap and then relocate. This is the most humane way to take care of the problem, as well as the most effective. However, there are traps that can kill the armadillo immediately, most lethal traps will not work on armadillos due to their hard shell, so it is important to make sure you get one that is designed for armadillos. There are no real poisons or repellents that work on these animals. You can try to shoot the armadillo, but the likelihood of him being out during the day where it would be an easy kill is slim. Armadillos can also run pretty fast if they feel as though they are threatened.
Armadillos are not dangerous animals and killing them is not a necessary thing. They pose no real threat to humans or animals. This is why live trapping would be the best option.
Leprosy is one of the most common issues associated with armadillos. Many people believe these animals to be carriers of the disease. In case you aren’t sure of what EXACTLY leprosy is, it is an infectious disease that causes lesions on the skin as well as potential nerve damage. Today, leprosy is not considered highly contagious and is a curable disease. Armadillos have been known to be carriers of the disease, and have the capability to spread it to humans. Don’t panic! This doesn’t mean that if you touch an armadillo on accident, you’re going to get lesions and lose feeling in that part of your hand. Typically, leprosy is only transferred from armadillos to humans by consumption. Yes, consumption, as in eating them. It is not uncommon in rural southern areas for people to eat roadkill, and some of that road kill just happens to be armadillos. What’s for dinner, ma? Mmmmmmm, leprosy.
Other than leprosy, armadillos do not carry many other diseases. This is probably due in part to their low body temperature, which makes it difficult for many virus’ to survive in their bloodstream. While uncommon, it is not completely impossible. You may on occasion come onto an armadillo with rabies. An armadillo with rabies may not necessarily be aggressive, but they will be much less shy than a normal armadillo. They will also be more common during the day. Armadillos can also be carriers of salmonella, which can be contracted from handling an armadillo. It can especially affect young children and older people. Their feces is also known to carry tapeworms. These worms attack the intestines of the host, and especially in humans can cause severe weight loss and severe intestinal problems. People often can only contract this by coming in contact with armadillo feces, possibly when investigating the burrow.
While armadillos may not carry a whole slew of diseases, they do carry some serious ones. It is important to wear gloves and other protective gear if you feel you may come in contact with an armadillo or their feces. Also, just for safety measures, please don’t eat your armadillo.
Once you’ve decided to go forward with trapping, it is important to make sure you equip yourself with the proper tools and information. You need to get large traps to catch an armadillo, otherwise you can run into the risk of it being too small. You’ll want to try to place the trap near their burrow for when they come out, you can camouflage the trap by hiding it in a bush or under debris. Remember that armadillos are nocturnal animals, so your chances of catching one increase during the early morning hours or overnight. You must check your traps regularly, not only will this prevent a trapped armadillo passing away in your yard, but armadillos are very strong and can bust out of the cages that they are trapped in so you want to remove them as soon as possible to prevent this.
Unlike most wildlife animals, you don’t have to use a bait to trap an armadillo. Most of their foods are insects found underground so they aren’t normally tempted by food baits. You can most often trap an armadillo with no bait in the trap at all. So, you may be wondering how you can coax an armadillo into your trap without bait. This is best achieved by creating a funnel with wire material. You can start the funnel at the burrow entrance leading into the trap. They will follow along the makeshift fence and walk into the trap.
Trapping armadillos is not an easy task, so you should not expect to catch your guest within the first day – or even the first week. It takes time and patience, as armadillos are naturally timid creatures and may be weary of the cage. Try not to move it around too much though, as this will significantly decrease your chances of catching anything. You may also end up catching other wildlife in the area, which can also get frustrating. Once you’ve caught the armadillo, rehome it to an area where it will prosper. As an added measure, you may want to fill in the burrow so that other animals don’t come to investigate or to potentially use that burrow as their own.