How to Get Rid of Armadillos (4 Removal and Prevention Methods)

How to Get Armadillos Out of House

Not to worry though. As it is possible to get an armadillo out of your house. All you need is a set of tools or ingredients to get this mammal out of your house. These include cayenne pepper dust, castor oil, mothballs, live traps, predator’s urine or vinegar.

An Armadillo’s digging can undermine water, sewer lines, telephone lines and concrete foundations. That is why it is imperative that once you see it in your house or even in your yard. Otherwise, it may end up causing cracks in the walls, which can shake up the foundation of your house.

Trapping Methods (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Select Your Trap Type

The first step is choosing the right trap for the job. Here are the most effective options:

Use live traps, which are cage-like structures, to capture armadillos humanely for relocation. Choose heavy-duty models that are at least 12″ x 12″ x 32″ in size and bait them with juicy grubs.

Install funnel traps, which guide armadillos into a holding container, along fences or barriers in areas where armadillos are known to travel.

Choose box traps, made of simple wood or wire, that close the door using a trip lever. These are effective on smooth terrain.

Choose the Best Bait

Armadillos have a great sense of smell and love grubbing up insects and worms. Here are the top bait options:

  • Live grubs – Dig around in moist soil to find these juicy treats. Place in trap still alive.
  • Overripe fruit – Bananas, melons, and berries make tasty bait that’s easy to obtain.
  • Meat scraps or wet cat/dog food – The smellier the better to grab their attention.
  • Mealworms – Pick up a container at the pet store. Place in a dish in a trap.

Select Trap Locations

Armadillos follow the same paths as they search for food each night. Set traps along:

  • Fences or barriers
  • Areas with dug-up soil or damages
  • Near dens or burrows
  • Corners where fences meet

For the highest success, place 2-3 traps around the property at strategic spots.

Bait and Set the Trap

It’s time to get trapping! Follow these steps:

  • Place bait in the very back of the live trap or the middle of the box trap. Meat scraps work well.
  • If using fruit or grubs, create a “bait trail” leading into the trap.
  • Camouflage the trap with grass clippings or leaves.
  • If using a live trap, prop the door open with a stick tied to a string.
  • When ready, pull the string from a distance to set.

Check Traps Frequently

Check traps daily at dawn and dusk when armadillos are most active. If you’ve caught one, act quickly:

  • Cover the trap with a sheet to calm the armadillo before being relocated.
  • Relocate at least 5 miles away in a suitable habitat.
  • Disinfect and re-bait trap and reset in the same area.

Physical Barriers

Install In-Ground Fences

Installing a fence with a portion buried underground blocks armadillos from digging underneath to access your yard.

  • Bury fencing – Bury galvanized hardware cloth, chicken wire, or mesh fencing at least 12″ deep and 6″ outward.
  • Trench depth – For maximum protection, dig the trench 18-24″ deep.
  • Curved fence tops – Bend the top of the fencing outward to prevent armadillos from climbing over.

Use Electric Fencing

Electric fencing provides an unpleasant shock to deter armadillos without harming them.

  • Low voltage – A low-voltage electric fence charger is ideal for armadillos. 5,000 volts or less.
  • Offset fence – Offset the electric fence about 6″ from your main fence or wall.
  • Ground wires – Use grounding rods every 50′ along the electric fence to complete the circuit.

Natural Repellents

Use Repellent Scents

Armadillos have a keen sense of smell – use it against them!

  • Cayenne pepper or garlic – Spread powder around affected areas. Reapply after rain.
  • Mothballs or ammonia-soaked rags – Place near dens or barrier fences. Replenish frequently.
  • Predator urine – Bobcat, coyote, and fox urine trigger instincts to flee.
  • Homemade chili pepper spray – Mix cayenne and water. Spray on and around burrows.

Employ Electronic Repellents

Special electronic devices emit high-frequency sounds or electromagnetic waves to annoy armadillos so they leave.

  • Motion-activated sprinklers – Attach to a garden hose. Sprays water when it detects movement.
  • Ultrasonic stakes – Stick these in the ground. Emits unpleasant noises armadillos hate.
  • Electromagnetic repellers – Underground cables create electromagnetic fields. Plant-safe.

Use Commercial Repellent Products

Look for ready-to-use commercial products containing castor oil, garlic oil, or other natural ingredients:

  • Liquid fence repellents – Apply stinky liquids around property boundaries. Lasts 30-60 days.
  • Granular or powder repellents – Sprinkle around gardens and flower beds. Rain-resistant.
  • Scent repellent bags – Hang near problem areas. Releases smell over time.

Hiring Professional Armadillo Removal Services

Know When to Enlist the Pros

Diy methods aren’t working. Consider professional services if:

  • Armadillo problems persist over long periods
  • You’re unable to identify entry points or burrows
  • Multiple armadillos are involved
  • You lack time for trapping yourself

What Armadillo Removal Experts Provide?

Licensed wildlife control pros provide comprehensive solutions:

  • Inspection – Locate entry points, tunnels, and nesting areas.
  • Exclusion – Seal up access holes. Install commercial-grade barriers.
  • Specialized trapping – Have equipment, skills, and permits.
  • Cleanup – Restore damage to lawns and gardens from digging.
  • Follow-up maintenance – Ensure armadillos stay away long-term.

Understand Legal Implications

It’s crucial to hire qualified pros who follow the regulations:

  • Licensing – Trappers should have proper wildlife handling permits and licenses.
  • Humane treatment – Professionals use humane traps and relocate armadillos ethically.
  • Disease prevention – They take steps to prevent the spreading leprosy or other diseases.

Prevention Methods

Restrict Food Sources That Draw Armadillos

Armadillos forage for grubs, insects, worms, and other small prey. Limit food sources they like:

  • Eliminate grubs – Apply beneficial nematodes to the soil to kill grubs naturally.
  • Remove decaying wood – Get rid of rotting stumps and logs where insects live.
  • Clean up compost – Don’t let piles become breeding grounds for armadillo prey.
  • Protect vegetable gardens – Use fencing, netting, or row covers over plants.

Secure Your Property from Armadillo Entry

Once armadillos find food, they’ll be back for more unless you secure your property:

  • Install perimeter fencing – Use solid wood, vinyl, brick walls, or wire mesh fencing.
  • Fill gaps – Patch any openings in foundation walls or gaps under sheds.
  • Trim vegetation – Keep landscaping trimmed back from the house. Eliminate hiding spots.

Reduce Moss and Moisture

Armadillos love moist soil and bugs that thrive in it. Minimize moisture:

  • Improve drainage – Level any low spots that collect water. Fill holes.
  • Reduce irrigation – Water lawns and gardens early in the day so the soil dries.
  • Rake up moss and debris – Remove moist environments insects enjoy.

Use Strategic Landscaping Techniques

Make your landscape less hospitable:

  • Plant native vegetation – Avoid non-native plants armadillos live off.
  • Add gravel areas – Gravel deters armadillos from digging and burrowing.
  • Mulch beds – Organic mulch smothers insects armadillos hunt for.

Why Armadillos Can Be a Problem?

Armadillos Cause Damage to Landscapes and Structures

Armadillos root around in soil searching for food, leaving ugly holes and furrows behind:

  • Burrowing under structures – Can undermine foundations and lead to sinking or cracks.
  • Ruined landscaping – Destroy lawns, gardens, and flower beds with digging.
  • Damaged irrigation systems – Chew through plastic pipes and drip lines.
  • Spread of pests – Digging aerates the soil, enabling weeds, insects, and fungi to thrive.

Armadillo Activity Poses Safety Hazards

All that armadillo digging produces tripping hazards:

  • Hole hazards – Holes and burrows up to 15 inches deep can cause falls and injuries.
  • Collapsed tunnels – Weakened underground tunnels may cave in underfoot.
  • Car accidents – Armadillos leaping across roads startle drivers, causing collisions.

Armadillos Can Transmit Diseases

While rare, armadillos can spread dangerous diseases to people and pets:

  • Leprosy – Armadillos are among the few animals that can carry leprosy bacteria.
  • Rabies – Infected armadillos can transmit rabies through their saliva.
  • Intestinal parasites – Roundworms and other parasites can pass from armadillo feces to humans.

Can You Get Leprosy by Touching an Armadillo?

Nine banded armadillos are known to carry M. leprae, the bacteria that causes a chronic disease called leprosy. Scientists believe that leprosy was transmitted to these Armadillos about 400 – 500 years ago although some are naturally infected with the disease.

A new study reports that in the western part of Para state 62% of the armadillos are positive for M. leprae.

Additionally, when people of from a small town called Belterra were surveyed on the frequency of their interaction with armadillos, it was found that those who came into contact with the creatures had a measure of leprosy antibodies in the blood.

Leprosy leads to skin and nerve damage, and if left untreated it can be life threatening.

However if detected and treated early the chances of recovery are high.

Even though it is rare that a human contact leprosy from touching an armadillo, research from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that it is possible.

In 2015, a high number of leprosy cases cropped up in Florida, as people were coming into contact with armadillos. Texas records two cases of leprosy gotten from eating undercooked armadillos.

Some Interesting Facts about Armadillos

1. The nine-banded armadillo is the official state animal of Texas.

2. In Spanish, Armadillo translates to “the little armoured one” which befits this barrel shaped mammal since it’s covered with a natural armour.

3. An Armadillo’s armour covers its head, back, tail and legs. It is made of overlapping bony material and it helps protect the armadillo from predators.

4. Armadillos love swimming and they do so in two ways. Either by using their legs to paddle underwater of by inflating its intestines and stomach for needed buoyancy. This helps the mammal float when swimming. They can hold their breath for four to six minutes under water.

5. There exist 21 distinct species of the Armadillo. They are distinguished from each other by the band on their shields. Hence a nine-banded armadillo would have 9 bands while a three banded armadillo would have 3 bands.

6. The pink fairy Armadillo is the smallest of the species. While the biggest is known as the giant Armadillo. The pink fairy weighs 120g while the giant armadillo weighs about 54kg.

7. Of the 21 armadillo species only a three-banded Armadillo can roll into a hard ball when faced with danger. Other armadillos dig a burrow or squat to hide under the armour.

8. All Armadillos live in South and Central America except for the nine-banded armadillos. As the most common armadillo the nine banded armadillo is found in Missouri, Argentina, southern United States and Florida.

9. The reason why nine banded armadillos are most popular is because they are only slaughtered by humans for meat or in accidents. Otherwise, it is rare that they die at the jaws of a predator.

10. Amardillos can protect themselves against predators but not cars. They are given many nicknames including hoover hogs, rhino-pigs and Texas speed bump.

11. Armadillos have poor eyesight so they pursue their prey using their smell senses.

12. They have hair on the head and at the sides of the belly to sense their way around. These hairs help the mammal feel its way as it digs deeper into the burrows.

13. Its strong limbs and sharp claws are used to dig or paddle whenever they’re swimming.

14. Armadillos are prone to hiding in warm dark areas. They are attracted to loamy and sandy soil because it is loose and porous. They also like wet soil since it is easier to dig as they search for worms or create burrows.

15. Armadillos spend most of their day in burrows sleeping. They can sleep for upto 16 hours in a day. Nonetheless, theyare social animals. They get together to mate or share body heat during the cold weather.

16. Their burrows are typically 8 inches 7 feet deep and 25 feet long.

17. They are nocturnal mammals. Hence, they may search for food during mornings but mostly they do so at night. This is why people set live traps during the day and hope to catch them through the night.

18. Armadillos are picky when it comes to choosing their habitat although they can adapt to almost any condition. Like most mammals, armadillos are omnivorous and eat both plants and meat.

19. Armadillos use their long and sticky tongue to catch beetles, ants and to dig out insects and worms from ground. They resemble their cousin the anteater. They can also eat eggs, chickens, some fruits, small vertebrae and sometimes, they scavenge for dead organisms.

20. Armadillos can dig birthing burrows of up to 4.5 metres wide/15 feet. Their gestation period ranges from 2-5 months.

21. The female Armadillo can bear twins. In every litter, it can also have identical quadruplets, of the same gender. They give birth in burrows and can bear up to 12 pups.

22. The seven-banded armadillo can birth 15 identical pups once. By one year, the young armadillos are ready to bear their own offsprings.

23. The life span of armadillo lies anywhere from 4 – 30 years. However, the average life spanfor three-banded armadillos is about 16 years.

24. Those who eat armadillos claim they taste like pork.

25. The giant Armadillo can have up to 100 teeth. Their tooth structure resembles that of a sloth.

26. Armadillos come in a wide array of colors. They can be red, yellow, pink, black or gray.

27. Less popular species of the armadillo are the screaming armadillo, greater long-nosed armadillo,the pink fairy armadillo and the southern naked-tailed armadillo.

29. The screaming armadillo is named from the sound it makes whenever it feels threatened.

29. Armadillos are not cowardly though. As they have been known to kill snakes by throwing themselves at the snakes and cutting them using their sharp shells. You may wonder how an Armadillo survives underneath the ground without oxygen. This is possible because an Armadillo has a low metabolism compared to similar sized mammals, which makes it consume and need less oxygen. This also makes it a great swimmer.

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