Need wildlife removal in your town? Now serving over 500 US locations - updated for 2017
Armadillos are nuisance animals because although they rarely eat vegetables, fruits and other plants, they destroy vegetation extensively while digging the soil for foods like worms, termites, beetles, and other invertebrates. Armadillos also cause structural damage to lawns, garden or sheds by making burrows and can cause the foundation of structures to give way to cracks. As if that were not enough, armadillos are known for being carriers of human leprosy bacterium and can infect people with leprosy.
The challenge with armadillo control is that they breed rapidly to produce identical young ones, so when you observe one armadillo in your garden or lawn, it is highly probable that there are more where it came from. The effort made to control armadillo must thus be an exhaustive one to be effective, and many may find it exerting. A better way to go about it is to prevent the shelled mammal from settling in to your space in the first instance, and below are some of the ways to do just that.
It may be an expensive venture, but building fences is the surest way to prevent armadillos from getting into your garden. This is especially so when the volume of land to be covered is large. Armadillos are good diggers but poor climbers, therefore the fence does not have to be very tall but must go deep beneath the ground level enough to prevent armadillos from digging under the fence to get in.
Metal chain-link fencing is best used for this purpose, and it should stand at least 2 feet below the ground and 2 feet above the ground. The metal chain-link fences are usually strong and effective in keeping armadillos at bay. The top part of the fence should bend outward to prevent them from climbing over and crossing to the other side.
A cheaper alternative to a full metal chain-link fence is to make the part of the fence above the ground with wood, while leaving the underground part as metal link-chain. The spaces between the wooden planks must be small enough to prevent armadillos from entering through them. And yet another alternative is to use electric fencing, which can be bought in hardware stores; but this is not suitable for use where kids and pets abound.
Remove Food Sources
Armadillos do not know you or your neighbors; they only come around to your place because their foods are available there. It thus follows that if these foods (usually worms, beetles, termites etc.) are not made available on your property, the animals will not be attracted to it.
You may get a good insecticide to eradicate these invertebrates in your garden. However, removing a significant amount of invertebrates may not be easily achievable and it could be detrimental to the vegetation and plant life on your land. Likewise, you may remove debris, which the armadillo thrives in, but this as well may affect other animals.
A note of caution in the use of pesticides this way, is that they contain toxic chemicals that are not only harmful to the dillos, but also to the other living things around (including humans and pets!)
Natural and Store-bought Repellents
Natural repellents like predator urine will also deter armadillos from invading your yard and outhouses. Sprinkle some around your garden or lawn and the armadillos will pick the scent easily with their strong sense of smell. The fear of predators being present in a place is meant to frighten them into staying away. Common predators of the armadillo are jaguars, alligators, bobcats, wolves, cougars, Florida panther, coyotes, fox, and so on.
Predator urine as well as other repellent solutions like mothballs (naphthalene) and liquid repellents can be bought from local stores. However, none of these repellents have a reasonable success rate to talk about.
Scare Them with Dogs
Armadillos get frightened easily and their usual response is to run away. Keep big dogs on guard in your lawn or garden at night when the armadillos normally come looking for food. When they are constantly scared and chased by dogs in your lawn, they will get the message and stay away or relocate to a safer place.
Armadillos can be prevented from entering or re-entering where an infestation has been cleared with targeted home repairs. You can also build a barricade around your structures to prevent any possible infestation by armadillo. The assistance of experts may be needed to access and build such effective blockades.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does armadillo removal cost?
- get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of armadillos
- my main armadillo removal info guide.
Example armadillo trapping photographs
- get do-it-yourself ideas.
Armadillo job blog
- learn from great examples of armadillo jobs I've done.