PART 1 - About 9-Banded Armadillos
An armadillo is a nocturnal mammal which has a protective shell armor that covers the body. Armadillos come in a variety of species and the species is identified by the number of bands they have. Species of Armadillos vary from the small pink fairy armadillo to the nine-banded armadillo; however, only the nine-banded armadillo is found in the United States. They are mostly found in Texas and in the central and southern areas of Oklahoma State.
Armadillos are commonly found in dense bushes, forests and woodlands. They use their strong claws to dig in the ground when searching for food and that is why they prefer moist and lose ground; easier to catch their food means less work for them.
The Armadillo Menu
Armadillos feed on worms, spiders, beetles, ants, scorpions and other insects. They will also feed on vegetables and fruits; mostly berries and roots. It is said that armadillos can eat up to 40,000 ants in one meal and 200 pounds of bugs in a year.
They also love feeding on vertebrates such as snakes, frogs and lizards which is why you will also find them near rivers.
Armadillos and Your Home
Armadillos love to and need to dig to get their meals. They use their strong legs and sharp claws to tear up the ground, which includes your beautiful rose gardens and well-manicured lawns. You will also find them digging burrows under the trees, the shed in your backyard, the driveway, home and foundation. They dig large burrows which they use to travel and escape. These ‘tunnels’ can play serious havoc on your foundation if they are not caught in time.
Digging and tearing up your landscape is not the only irritation associated with Armadillos; they are also noisy creatures. Armadillos do not have table manners; they make a lot of irritating grunting noises as they eat and since they can eat up to 40,000 ants in one meal, this means a lot of annoying grunting. Their squealing sounds and screaming becomes a nuisance especially at night, making it very difficult to sleep.
Do armadillos carry diseases?
Well, yes, but it would be incredibly rare to catch one. They could theoretically transmit diseases to humans by attacking with their claws which can be infected with the bacteria that causes leprosy. They don't really carry rabies, a disease people worry about, since it can lead do death of animals and humans. They carry tapeworms which can be transmitted to humans and salmonella bacteria that cause diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Humans should avoid contact with armadillos especially those active during the day.
PART 2 - Trapping armadillos from your yard and lawn
We always say that prevention is the best cure and of course it would be the best method to keep armadillos away. There are many types of prevention methods you can use and here are a few ideas to help with your armadillo prevention plans.
One of the best prevention methods to consider is by putting up a strong fence. You should dig a foot or more into the ground for it to be effective since the armadillo is a master at digging. Armadillos do not see well, so they travel along walls and fences; this is also where they will dig and the reason for making sure that the holes for the fences are deep enough to deter the animal from digging in that area. Treat the problem areas with castor oil which is a good taste deterrent to bugs and worms. Since armadillos feed on worms and bugs getting rid of them means getting rid of armadillos. Castor oil will also work on armadillos because of its taste. You can apply it on the fence and in the holes they live in. To control armadillos, you should eradicate any insect infestations by installing insect control systems to keep worms and bugs away.
Another effective method is by using a cage to trap them. Place the animal cage traps around the burrows where they are expected to return looking for food as well as along their travel path; which means along fences and sides of buildings. Put wood planks on the ground to help direct them into the cage.
Homeowners are also advised not to kill armadillos since it takes long for it to decompose. It also brings other problems like unpleasant odor in the compound and the decomposing critter attracts maggots and flies.
For best results, it is advisable to contact your nearby wildlife trapping experts. They not only trap the animal for you but also give you professional prevention measures.
Equipment for Trapping Armadillos
Having the right equipment is necessary if you are going to try to trap an armadillo. There are a number of good animal cage traps available in the market that you can choose from. The size of the cage must be large enough to accommodate an armadillo. Experts suggest 12” x 10” x 30” works well. Also, the cage should be strong enough to hold the animal inside. These days multiple traps are also present in the market which increases the probability of catching an Armadillo. The cage with a trap door acts as a perfect tool for the job.
Using Bait to trap Armadillos?
Surprisingly enough, bait is not necessary to trap an armadillo. In the past, experts on the job tried a number of different options only to find out that nothing is able to lure the animal to the cage and increase the chances of its getting caught. Instead, leaving the trap without bait is the best option as bait many times attracts a non-target animal like an opossum or a raccoon.
Using Multi Traps instead of one
Instead of just one trap, multiple traps are used as this increases the chances of capturing of the animal. If you set up only one trap, you might need to wait for months before actually catching an Armadillo, and still there’s no guarantee that you will capture it with just one trap. The location of the trap or traps is the key to capturing the digging loving armadillo.
Location of Traps
The location of traps plays a very important part in capturing the Armadillo. Armadillos generally move along the walls, fences or edges. If you set a trap out in the middle of your yard, chances are you won’t catch an armadillo; but you might catch the neighborhood cat or dog instead. Try to set a trap along the sides of the house or fence, closer to the holes dug by the armadillo.
Armadillos stay in their burrows during the entire day and go out in search of food only in the evening. They have poor eyesight so they usually travel a fixed path and refer to large stationary objects to navigate. Apart from these, expert also use fences, wood or other objects to create a kind of path that directs the Armadillo to walk straight into the trap.
Once you have caught an Armadillo, you still need to do some really important things to ensure that the area vacated is not invaded by another Armadillo. For this, its food source should be controlled and reduced to minimum. Insects and insect larvae should be removed. Animal repellents should be sprayed on the plants so that the animal is not attracted. There are certain odor emitting repellent granules available in the market that helps in preventing the Armadillo in entering the area or changing its path.
Catching an Armadillo is a difficult task and should be thoroughly researched before attempting. Remember that they do not see well and will travel along the sides of houses and fences, which is the perfect place to set the traps; in their travel path.
Do You Need Help?
I wrote this website to provide information on How Do You Get Rid of Armadillos in the case that you have
a armadillo problem and need to make an informed decision about what to do. If you
have any questions you may email me, but I do know from experience
that armadillo removal is not simple. If you need professional help solving your
wildlife conflict, I recommend that you talk to a professional armadillo
control expert in your town by clicking on my National Wildlife Control
directory, which lists experts who I recommend in every USA city and town who can
help you with your armadillo issue.