The nine banded armadillo is the only armadillo found in the United States, and its range is expanding. This means they may soon be coming to a yard near you! Currently, these armadillos can be found throughout the South and the southern Midwest, and they are expanding their range into the East Coast. Taking the time to learn a little bit about these unusual animals can help you get rid of armadillos from your garden and yard.
So Many Babies
The nine banded armadillo reproduces quickly, and it reaches sexual maturity when it’s about a year old. They will then have a litter of four, identical young each year for the rest of their lives. Forgoing predators and car accidents, these animals can live to be 12 to 15 years old. This means that one female armadillo can have over 50 babies in her lifetime. When you consider the hundreds of thousands of armadillos in the United States, you can understand why their range is expanding. This means that you might start having armadillos in your area even if they haven’t been there before.
What do Armadillo Eat?
Armadillos like to eat insects, and if you have a garden this can be bad news. Armadillos have a very keen sense of smell, and they can locate insects that are deep in the soil. Most gardens have insects, good ones and bad ones, and your garden could be an armadillo buffet.
They will also eat amphibians, reptiles, and even small mammals. They have been observed to eat carrion as well. They will also occasionally eat tubers, seeds, and fruits. So, they’re usually not going to eat your plants, but they will quickly destroy a garden or a yard by rooting around and digging for bugs. They also dig burrows to live in, which can also lead to unsightly damage in your yard. All the more reason to get rid of armadillos!
When the Sun Goes Down
Armadillos are nocturnal, so you typically will not see them during the daylight hours. They will generally come out of their burrows at dusk to begin foraging. This fact can also help you to keep them out of your yard.
So, What Can You Do to Keep Armadillos Away?!
Trap the Armadillo
You can trap the armadillos and relocate them. This can be difficult because first you to have to buy or rent a trap. Many times the experts don’t actually bait armadillo traps because it’s ineffective—they like to eat bugs that they root up for themselves. Instead they place the traps where the armadillo typically walks. They cannot see well, and they aren’t very smart. Still, once you have an armadillo in a trap, then you have to relocate it and release it.
- Use Pesticides to Kill Their Food Source
Fewer insects in your yard and garden can help to make your property less appealing to armadillos. However, these pesticides often kill everything, including the bugs that are beneficial to your garden. Additionally, you may not want to use harsh chemicals on your property.
Utilize Lights to Scare the Armadillos Away
Armadillos are timid, nocturnal creatures, and they typically do not like brightly lit areas. So, adding lights to your backyard may help discourage armadillos from foraging. You can either keep a light on at all times or you can invest in motion activated lights. While this may help with the armadillos, it may hurt your electricity bill.
Use Armadillo Repellents
You can also try repellents. These products help to get rid of armadillos from your property. Shake-Away’s Deer and Large Animal Granules effective for armadillos, for example, take advantage of the armadillo’s keen sense of smell. These granules are infused with coyote urine. Coyote’s are one of the armadillo’s natural predators, and this scent will send armadillos scurrying. This all natural repellent will not harm your plants, pets, or children.
The armadillos are coming! Are you ready?