How to get rid of Armadillos

how to get rid of armadillos dasypodidae

Armadillos are spread throughout the Americas, as they originated in South America, but they can also be found on the USA territory. The main specie that has expanded northward is the nine-banded armadillo, that can be found in Texas and the Gulf Coast states, and also as far north as Missouri.
These mammals can be considered pests, especially due to their digging habits. Their digging habits can be extremely destructive to yards, gardens and crops, which is why it’s important to take control at the first signs of damage. An integrated control plan is the best solution, because layering different products takes care of the problem from all possible angles. To be able to successfully get rid of armadillos around your household, you need to follow several steps and apply different effective measures.

how to get rid of armadillos dasypodidae

The first step you need to take is making sure you reduce the attractants around your house. As armadillos usually wander into your yard in search for food, you need to make this space less welcoming for them. Due to the fact that armadillo’s food is mostly found underground, it will be difficult to remove all signs of food, however, you can remove things such as woodpiles, low-lying bushes and shrubs. Armadillos prefer to burrow in areas with ample cover, so by opening up your yard, they’ll feel less at home. You also need to clean up any berries or fallen fruits, as those can also act as armadillo lures.
Whether they are burrowing your lawn for food or creating underground shelter, armadillos are most destructive when they’re digging. By identifying areas of damage, you will be able to determine the best control option against armadillos.

Common armadillo destructive activities include:

  • digging holes throughout lawn, about 3-5″ wide and about 1-3″ deep;
  • uprooting plants and seedlings;
  • burrowing next to or underneath structures, sidewalks, brush piles, low-lying shrubs, or other cover;
  • damaging underground pipes and/or wires;
  • creating cracks in sidewalks, driveways or building foundations as a result of burrowing;

After eliminating any lures from your property, in order to avoid any other armadillos from coming your way, and after identifying the damaged areas, you will need to choose a control measure, whether it’s a live trap, repellents or fencing.

Traps

In order to catch armadillos roaming around your yard, you can use a live trap, such as the ones used for opossums, rabbits or raccoons. To be able to efficiently trap these animals, you will need to place the live traps on the pathways they make when foraging, as their behaviour is very predictable and armadillos usually rely on common pathways. At night, place the trap directly in front of the burrow entrance, or along the wall or fence line closest to the damage. Create a “V” with wooden planks to funnel the armadillo towards the trap opening. Because armadillos are nocturnal, a trap is most likely to be sprung at or after dusk when they come out to forage for food.

Traps for Armadillos control:

Traps are used to monitor or reduce the population of insects or other pests. They can be used against crawling, flying insects, mice, rats, cats, dogs, snakes or other pests. Mechanical traps are ideal for catching armadillos, as they can be used repetitively.

As armadillos rarely forage above ground, it is still not yet established whether or not it is efficient to use bait in their traps. One of the reasons for not using baits is that it might often attract other creatures like raccoons or opossums instead. On the other hand, some trappers find success using baits that target an armadillo’s unique preferences, like worms, grubs, and rotten foods. Since armadillos are different, trying some bait in your trap will help you determine whether it’s effective for those in your area. You can use things such as meal worms, maggots, overripe fruit or spoiled meat. In order for one of these armadillo baits to successfully influence a capture, you must position it strategically inside your trap. Make sure you place it in such a eat that it will give the animal enough space to enter the trap in order to reach the bait, so that it can trigger the trap, and not just eat the bait and go on its way.
Also, make sure the bait is placed away from the walls of the trap, so that the animal cannot steal it from the outside. Keep in mind that armadillos have very sensitive noses and will most likely avoid a trap that carries a human’s scent, so it’s important to wear gloves at all time when handling and baiting your live trap. If you choose to relocate the armadillo, be sure to transport it at least 2 miles away, so it doesn’t return to your yard. Wear heavy protective gloves when handling the trap, and hold the cage away from your body to avoid contact with the animal.

Natural and electronic repellents

Using scented armadillo repellents can also be an effective way of driving them out of your yard and also preventing them from returning on your property. You can repel armadillos by spoiling their underground food sources, by creating an unpleasant scent in their burrows, or by frightening them with scare tactics. Because different armadillos may react differently to various techniques, it’s important to employ multiple control methods. In order to do this, you can either use natural based oils, such as castor oil, or electronic repellents, such as water sprinklers.
By using any type of liquid or granulated repellents, based on castor oil, you can water down your yard and garden, so that the solutions penetrate the ground. This will then spoil the food source of armadillos and also create an unpleasant smell in their burrows. Castor oil repellents are designed to penetrate the ground, reaching the worms, grubs and insects for which armadillos excavate your lawn, and making them taste bad. This way, as the armadillos will not have a food source available any longer and the environment will also be uninviting, they will no longer be lured to your yard, or garden, and they will relocate by their own. As scent-based repellents, you can also use vinegar, ammonia or pine based products that will also keep away the armadillos and drive them out of their burrows and your yard.

Fencing

Fencing can also be a way of keeping armadillos away. By using a properly constructed fence you can completely exclude armadillos from your yard and garden. To make sure your fence is going to keep up with these pests, you need to make sure it follows the below instructions:

  • stand at least 24″ tall;
  • penetrate the ground at least 6-12″;
  • angle outwards at the top, about 40°;

Fencing may be intrusive to the aesthetic of your backyard, but it’s effective and one of the best ways to keep your yard clear of armadillo destruction. Keep in mind that armadillos are wanderers and as certain ones leave your property, others may enter in search for food or shelter. It’s important to maintain an armadillo control plan after you’ve gotten rid of them, especially in areas of high armadillo density.

By using motion-activated electronic repellents you can also deter armadillos from entering your yard. These types of deterrents are activated when they sense motion and they send a stream of water to the respective area, scaring away the creature. These water-sprinkler type of devices are especially useful for protecting the perimeter of your property to prevent armadillos from entering in the first place. These types of repellents are quite effective as they offer a large coverage area. By discouraging armadillos from taking up residence in your yard and destroying your property, the use of electronic repellents provides a 24/7 protection around the house.
Effective places to position a motion-activated repellent include:

  • each entry point of your property to prevent wandering armadillos from entering in the first place;
  • in front of a burrow entrance to discourage the inhabitant from returning;
  • around the perimeter of your house or other structure to keep armadillos from digging underneath the foundation.

Make sure that after using any of these deterring measures, you also take some preventive actions, so that other armadillos do not find their way back onto your property. After making sure their burrows are empty fill them in with gravel to prevent other animals from inhabiting them. constantly clean up fallen berries and fruits, so that they are not attracting animals as a food source. Keep your yard clean and free of wood piles, shrubs and bushes, as this will prevent armadillos from digging up burrows, as they prefer to do this in areas with ample cover.

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