How to Get Rid of Armadillos

Categorized as Lawn Pests
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If you live in Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, or parts of Oklahoma, there is no doubt you’ve seen these creepy mammals called armadillos because the weather in these areas is conducive for them. Perhaps, you are trying to get rid of armadillos in yard or wondering how to get rid of armadillos in Florida.

Armadillos have small bodies, big ears, and cute snouts that seem beautiful. But do not let those features fool you. These attractive creatures can wreak havoc on your garden, and the sooner you learn the best ways to get rid of armadillos in your yard, the better. 

In this article, I will show you seven clever ways to get rid of armadillos in your yard. 

To get rid of armadillos in yard:

  1. Identify the armadillos
  2. Assess the damage
  3. Remove their attractants
  4. Install a fence
  5. Use repellents
  6. Try electronic deterrents
  7. Set a trap

After that candid overview, let’s look at each way separately.

Where Do Armadillos Live?

Armadillos thrive in temperate and warm climates, including semi-deserts, grasslands, and rainforests. They have one of the lowest metabolic rates, and their bodies lack fat stores.

Because of the nature of their bodies, cold is their greatest enemy. Any slight spate of intemperate weather can wipe out the entire armadillo population.

Signs of Armadillos in Yard

Before you embark on getting rid of armadillos from your yard, you must be convinced there are armadillos in the yard. The following are signs of armadillos in the yard:

  • Uprooted plants
  • Shallow to deep holes throughout the yard, with a majority of the holes measuring 3 to 5 inches wide and 1 to 3 inches deep
  • Cracks in driveways or sidewalks
  • Damaged wires or pipes
  • Burrows all over the perimeter, especially near stumps, rock piles, or around the brush

NB. If mounds are next to the holes, those could not be armadillos but ground moles, woodchucks, or gophers.

Identifying the pest digging a hole in your yard is based on where you live. Although a few armadillos can be found in Illinois, most armadillos live in the southern part of the United States, from Florida to Texas. 

As for moles and pocket gophers, they thrive in the southern Great Plains and the eastern states.

7 Proven Ways to Get Rid of Armadillos in Yard

There are 20 armadillo varieties. Nineteen varieties live in South America, with the remaining nine-band armadillo family living in the United States of America. These creatures adopted the Spanish name Armadillo, which means ‘little armored one’ from the bony plates covering the creature’s head, back, tail, and tail.

Surprisingly, they are the only mammals alive that have such a shell! Aware of what they are, their habitat, and how they are nicely dressed, let’s look at the ingenious ways to get rid of armadillos in your yard.

Step 1: Identify the Armadillos

To get rid of armadillos from your yard, you must first identify if you are dealing with an armadillo. The bony shell makes it easy to identify them. But know that because they can dig deep holes where they hide, it may be difficult to locate where they live in your garden.

Step 2: Locate Any Damage in the Yard

Look around your vegetable garden to see if armadillos have dug burrows. Like moles, Armadillos love to feed on tree roots so that you can check on your flower beds, trees, shrubs, and vegetables.

Walk around your perimeter wall and house foundation to see if armadillos have dug tunnels. Because armadillos are nocturnal animals, it will be an uphill task to see them, but overturned dirt and soil from dug tunnels can tell their presence.

Step 3: Get Rid of Armadillo Attractants

Like their friends, ground moles, armadillos’ primary attraction is food. So, they will visit and live in your yard if there is food. Removing attractants, such as brush piles, dense shrubbery, or fallen fruits, will minimize armadillos’ presence in your yard.

Armadillos feed on ants, beetles, cockroaches, and many other insects. Fruits and plants comprise less than 10% of armadillos’ diet. You will keep away insects that form 90% of armadillos’ diet by ensuring no fruits are in your yard.

Step 4: Use Repellents

Get rid of armadillos in yard

Armadillos have poor eyesight, but they are blessed with an incredible sense of smell to smell something from afar. Pungent odors like that of garlic or cayenne can ostensibly drive armadillos from your garden.

You can try this method by making your natural armadillo repellent. Crushed garlic cloves are one of the best armadillo repellents you can make at home. Place the repellent in areas where you suspect armadillos’ presence in your yard. The creatures will not withstand the unpleasant garlic smell.

Cayenne has a chemical irritant called Capsaicin, which causes animal stomach inflammation if ingested. Try spraying cayenne powder on or near the food you suspect an armadillo will feed on. However, this method may give poor results because rain can wash away the powder.

Alternatively, you can purchase commercial armadillo repellents with castor oil as their main ingredient. A good example of a commercial armadillo repellent is MolEvict Lawn Mole Castor Oil: (pictured below).

Step 5: Try Electronic Deterrents to Get Rid of Armadillos in Yard

Electronic deterrents are suitable devices to eliminate armadillos in your yard, especially above ground. By nature, armadillos are nocturnal, so they conduct most of their operations when humans are asleep.

You can place a few electronic deterrents in the yard to scare armadillos away. A good electronic deterrent comes with motion-sensing lights and sprinklers, which can scare these nocturnal creatures away.

Step 6: Erect an in-ground Fence

Armadillos are good at climbing, but installing an in-ground fence can be one of the more practical ways to get rid of armadillos in your yard. One of the tricks that will beat these clever mammals is to bury the fence at least one foot into the ground. 

Give your in-ground fence an additional two feet above the ground, but slant it at an angle of 40 degrees outward. By immersing your in-ground fence some 12 inches deeper, you ensure armadillos do not use their strong claws to dig tunnels in your yard. 

The fence should not have large holes that allow other pests to pass through. 

Step 7: Set Live Trappings

Trapping and baiting are other effective ways of ensuring you get rid of armadillos from your yard. The most common live trapping options include:

  • Wigglers
  • Pond worms
  • Red worms 
  • Crickets

All these live trappings are available online or at pet stores. One sure thing about armadillos is that they cannot recognize food from far away. Therefore, you need to position a live bait at a place where armadillos pass often. 

Cage traps work well too. From experience, cages measuring 10″ x 10″ x 32″ do a fantastic job. Those with wings open at both ends are good at catching armadillos.

NB. You should check with the local authorities if it is legal to trap such animals. Otherwise, you might be contravening the law.

Do Armadillos Bite?

The answer is yes and no. Generally, armadillos are calm even when under threat. These animals freeze and run away to their hideout when faced with danger.

However, when they face a serious danger, with no escape, armadillos will claw and bite the enemy. Rather than worrying a lot on whether they bite or not, you should be more concerned about the outcome of their bite.

Armadillos carry viruses of serious diseases such as rabies and leprosy. So, the next time you see these critters, be worried more of the danger they are likely to cause your family and pets if they bite.

Why You Should Get Rid of Armadillos in Yard

If they scratch or bite you, armadillos can transmit leprosy. However, don’t worry; the risk is meager in North America. Armadillos are also said to carry rabies, but the likelihood of passing the disease to humans is also low compared to other wild animals, such as rabbits, rats, and possums.

What Now?

Getting rid of armadillos in your yard is very easy if you put some of these proven methods into practice. The proven methods are:

  1. Identify the armadillos
  2. Assess the damage
  3. Remove their attractants
  4. Install a fence
  5. Use repellents
  6. Try electronic deterrents
  7. Set a trap

If one method doesn’t work, do not stop there. Try another one and another one until you find that which finally gets rid of armadillos from your yard.