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There are several ways to get rid of nuisance armadillos and trapping is one of the most reliable. If executed properly, you will be rid of your burrow-digging visitors in no time at all. Animal trapping generally is of two types - lethal trapping or live trapping. The humane way to go, of course is to trap the armadillo alive and relocate it to a more suitable environment for its activities.
Besides, there aren’t really effective lethal traps for the armadillo because of its shell-encased body that protects it from being crushed easily. So, your best bet is to trap the animal by yourself or get a wildlife practitioner to do it for you.
Cage traps employed for trapping armadillos must be made from strong material else the animal would damage the trap and get away. Ideally, a steel cage that is as long as 30 inches, about 12 inches in height and at least 10 inches wide is your best bet. This can be obtained at animal control stores; the Havahart trap and the Tomahawk trap for instance, are commonly used. You may also hire a trap in the alternative, or design a strong home-made trap by yourself.
To trap an armadillo successfully, you must study it to know the time it comes out of its burrow and the path it follows around the area. This knowledge will help you to determine when and where to set your trap as these are the biggest factors that will determine its success. Usually, armadillos are nocturnal, so they come out late at night or very early in the morning, thus your chances are higher when you set the trap at these times.
Baits for Armadillo Traps?
- Place the cage along the animal’s usual path and move it around if the first location does not yield a catch. Frequented paths are likely to be near fences, beside buildings or near burrows.
- Place the trap around debris to camouflage it and let the entrance of the trap lie flat on the ground or else armadillos will not walk into it.
- You may use barriers to steer the path of the armadillo towards the trap; for instance, set the trap against a wall and install a fence to guide the wandering animal in. Setting of more than one trap will increase your chance of catching the animal too.
There is really no need to bait a trap when an armadillo is the target. Armadillos do not eat foods that are out on the ground surface, but rather prefer to dig up their food from the ground. A bait would only attract untargeted animals like rodents or even pets. It is therefore better to simply leave the cage out for the armadillo to find.
Armadillos have poor sight and so they wander a lot when searching for food, hence they are likely to wander into the trap. If you must use bait though, rotten fruits, worms and insects are suitable for use.
What To Do With a Trapped Armadillo
After catching an armadillo alive, transport the trap far away from your house and release the animal into a suitable wild life environment, where food and livelihood is available for it. However, you must be careful when handling armadillos because they are known to be carriers of the leprosy-causing bacteria and rabies virus. It is recommended that individuals handling armadillos should wear thick protective hand gloves. This is also so because they have big and strong claws that they may use when feeling threatened.
Once the armadillo is relocated and your yard is free again, you must take steps to prevent another infestation by new armadillos. Install metal chain-link or a wire fence, do some home repairs, and reduce the population of their foods in your environment through the use of insecticides.
Note: utmost care must be taken when trying to trap armadillos and if the directions that come with the trap are not clear enough, you may wish to hire a professional wildlife handler to do the job.
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.