Armadillos are barrel shaped mammals that enjoy living around the equator and near warm regions. They lack fat stores and due to their low body temperature you might find them in or under your house. Armadillos enjoy living in dark areas and you may encounter them in your basement if not at the darkest corner of your 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.
How to Catch an Armadillo and Get It Out of the House.
Leverage on Its Sense of Smell
Preventive measures might be too late an option – well, since the Armadillo is already in the house. However, you can take advantage of its heightened sense of smell and use things such as predator’s urine, mothballs, cayenne pepper, castor oil and vinegar to get the creature out of the house.
These are repellent options that can force the Armadillo to leave on its own, as it hates smelly substances.
Set a Trap
As an effective measure, you can set a trap or bait the Armadillo by using ripe preferential fruits, insects or worms. Place the food along the burrows and anywhere else, you might see signs of digging.
The Armadillo will not hesitate and you can capture it.
If you opt to set a live trap, make sure that the trap is strong. Otherwise, the Armadillo might break out of it as it tries to counter the distress of being in a cage.
Once you catch the Armadillo, it might help to release it in a far away remote area.
Armadillos are quite beneficial to the natural environment as they consume harmful invertebrates that cause damage to crops and lawns. Aside from that, it is also good to keep the wheels of nature running.
Seal Entry Points
After the armadillo is out, do not forget to seal the entry points. These include openings, holes or burrows that it had dug while it was in your house. This will prevent further infestation of pests and other animals. Seek the help of a carpenter to make sure that you seal everything.
How to Get Armadillos Out of Yard
Sometimes Armadillos might have just reached your backyard instead of in your house. As much as this might be a relief, the consequences include:
Messing up plants and flowerbeds by digging and burrowing around your beautiful garden or lawn.
This is because Armadillos are also attracted to damp loamy soil and worms in your yard.
Therefore to get an Armadillo out of your yard,
Sprinkle your yard with repellents such as cayenne pepper dust. Armadillos are deterrent to smell and repellents such as ammonia, vinegar and mothballs will chase away these creatures if used regularly. Follow with a live trap as explained above.
As a preventive measure, keep out Armadillos from your yard by installing fences. Now, this is a barrier method that you would want to last and keep armadillos out effectively. Therefore, pay attention to the material of the fence. For instance instead of a temporary chicken wire fence, you could use a vinyl coated chain link fence. The vinyl keeps the wire from rusting or deteriorating thus keeping it strong against armadillos’ burrowing.
Sturdy the fence around the perimeter of the house and ensure that the fence is buried at least 12 inches into the ground.
This will make it harder for Armadillos to burrow as on average, their burrows are typically 8 inches or 20cm wide, 7 feet (2.1m) deep and 25 feet (7.6m) long.
Get Rid of Its Food
As a method to make your yard inhospitable and a terrible food source for the armadillo you can opt to get rid of worms and insects which are the main trigger for Armadillo’s burrowing.
This is by purchasing parasitic worms, which feed on the insects that Armadillos feed. Once your yard is free of Armadillo’s food the mammals will be discouraged from the lack of food and leave.
Use Predator’s Urine
It is known that armadillos have few wild predators including foxes, black bears, bobcats, cougars, dogs and raccoons.
Owls, hawks and feral pigs prey on the pubs of the armadillos.
Therefore, if you were to get the urine of a coyote or any other Armadillo’s predator, your problem would be half solved.
All that would be left is to put the urine in containers then place the containers on strategic positions.
As soon as the Armadillo smells the urine, it will run out of your yard.
However according to experts, the most effective way of getting rid of an Armadillo is to set a trap. First, try to survey the area then follow the armadillo’s pattern before setting up a live trap.
Follow its burrows in attempt to find out where it might dig next. That’s where you can funnel your traps. For instance, the armadillo is burrowing from the left towards the right direction set the trap in that right direction. The ideas is as it comes to dig for food it will head right into the cage.
If it is in a wide open area set up a wide funnel at a 45 degrees angle from the corners of the burrow. You can set up multiple traps to increase the chances of catching it.
How to Get Armadillos Out From Under a House
Armadillos are prone to digging whenever they smell something tasty to eat. Like worms.
Good for them. What is bad for you is the fact that these nocturnal mammals with a bony shell can also adapt to any environment they are placed in.
Such that even though the position of your house might not seem favourable for their brooding it still provides all other requirements they need to thrive.
From the fact that they are diggers (due to their sharp claws), they can burrow underneath the house causing cracks in the walls and concrete foundation.
Therefore, the best option to get an Armadillo from under a house is to use the measures mentioned above.
In addition, look for holes or spaces in basements then set a live trap.
You can opt to use Cayenne pepper at these entry points together with a live trap to avoid the Armadillos from escaping.
It is advisable to also seek help from a professional who can help you get rid of the animals effectively.
Remember to seal those entry points once you have pinpointed the way that the armadillos are getting in.
How Do You Catch an Armadillo by Hand?
Some people are wary of touching Armadillos, as they are believed to carry leprosy. (Whether this is true or false, we shall discuss below).
Nonetheless, did you know that in Texas some people used to eat Armadillos? Apparently, they taste like pork.
This though doesn’t make them safe animals. Therefore, if you want to catch an Armadillo by hand it would be best to wear protective gloves first.
Armadillos have very sharp claws and they can tear into your skin if you are not careful.
This does not mean that Armadillos are dangerous animals either, depending on how you look at it.
Does Human Urine Repel Armadillos?
Since urine smells like ammonia, one of the deterrents used to repel Armadillos, one might assume that it can repel Armadillos.
Does Cayenne Pepper Keep Armadillos Away?
Cayenne pepper dust is one of the common methods known for getting rid of Armadillos.
These creatures have a high sense of smell therefore as soon as you sprinkle cayenne pepper around your house or yard they are likely to come out on their own.
Most people recommend cayenne pepper as a repellent than all the other known repellent methods like using urine or mothballs.
Do Mothballs Keep Armadillos Away?
After multiple attempts to use mothballs to get rid of the animal I can attest that Mothballs do not work when it comes to keeping away Armadillos.
Use a live trap instead. It is the most effective way or dealing with an armadillo issue.
You could also hire a professional wildlife removal expert who can guide you on the most efficient way to deal with the armadillos.
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
- The nine-banded armadillo is the official state animal of Texas.
- In Spanish, Armadillo translates to “the little armoured one” which befits this barrel shaped mammal since it’s covered with a natural armour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Amardillos can protect themselves against predators but not cars. They are given many nicknames including hoover hogs, rhino-pigs and Texas speed bump.
- Armadillos have poor eyesight so they pursue their prey using their smell senses.
- 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.
- Its strong limbs and sharp claws are used to dig or paddle whenever they’re swimming.
- 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.
- 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.
- Their burrows are typically 8 inches 7 feet deep and 25 feet long.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Armadillos can dig birthing burrows of up to 4.5 metres wide/15 feet. Their gestation period ranges from 2-5 months.
- 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.
- The seven-banded armadillo can birth 15 identical pups once. By one year, the young armadillos are ready to bear their own offsprings.
- The life span of armadillo lies anywhere from 4 – 30 years. However, the average life spanfor three-banded armadillos is about 16 years.
- Those who eat armadillos claim they taste like pork.
- The giant Armadillo can have up to 100 teeth. Their tooth structure resembles that of a sloth.
- Armadillos come in a wide array of colors. They can be red, yellow, pink, black or gray.
- Less popular species of the armadillo are the screaming armadillo, greater long-nosed armadillo,the pink fairy armadillo and the southern naked-tailed armadillo.
- The screaming armadillo is named from the sound it makes whenever it feels threatened.
- 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.
How to Stop Armadillo Digging
You cannot stop an Armadillo from digging as it does so with the intention of looking for food and shelter. Therefore, if there is an Armadillo in your home and you would like to get rid of it follow the following steps.
- Mix castor oil with water to emulsify it then spread it around the burrows. This remedy is most effective when it is dry instead of rainy.
- You can also use a cloth dabbed in vinegar or spread cayenne pepper dust around the burrows.
The smell will contaminate their food and since the creature itself is affected by strong smells, it will leave hence no more digging.
In essence, if there is no food in your compound an armadillo will disappear on its own. For this purchase, parasitic worms from your local store and use them to eat away insects one of armadillo’s food. These worms are also a deterrent to armadillo.
Are Armadillos Bulletproof?
If you held an Armadillo you would be fascinated by its shield, which covers its head, back and tail. More to this, it is inevitable to wonder to what extent is the strength of this armour.
As you may have heard, there are reports about someone shooting an armadillo only for the bullet to ricochet back in the person’s face. Could this be true? Let’s find out.
According to the National Geographic, armadillos are not bulletproof. Its shell is made of bony plates known as osteoderms which grow as part of the skin.
These bony plates grow directly out of the armadillo’s vertebrae. The plates are connected loosely which explains why a three-banded armadillo is flexible to curl up into a hard ball when threatened.
These plates are covered by keratin a protein making up hair, horns and nails.
You wouldn’t shoot your nails now would you?
These bony plates are meant to protect the Armadillo against predators and thorny shrubs.
Researchers at Montreal Mcgill University found that the shell of an armadillo is 70% resistant to puncture who found that the shell is 70% puncture resistant.
It is also a fact that the Armadillo can break away from its shell whenever it feels cornered. Hence, this makes its armor more of a hard-shelled suitcase than a bulletproof vest.
Now based on the Texas report of the police officer who was apparently wounded by a bullet bouncing off an Armadillo, we can say that this did not happen because the Armadillo is bulletproof.
Nonetheless, this could happen because the armadillo is resistant to small caliber rounds that don’t have as much penetration power as large caliber rounds.
A 9mm is a very fast round, but has low penetration power and can easily ricochet of an armadillo’s shell if fired at an angle.
Nonetheless, the shell is not that strong to make it bulletproof.
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare