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Wouldn’t it be better to not have the burrow-building armadillo in your yard at all than to spend money and energy getting it to leave? Of course, it is! And that is where armadillo repellents come in; they exist in various chemical forms commercially and have varying degrees of effectiveness. There are also quite a number of homemade or sourced substances with which some success has been recorded in the fight to stave off the ambling creature. Below are some of the substances commonly employed to repel armadillo:
Cayenne Pepper - Dried cayenne pepper has been seen to be effective in repelling armadillos. Spray some pepper into the burrow and onto the land area where armadillos have been sighted. Then apply some water to make it sink into the soil. Cayenne pepper, also called red hot chili pepper or Guinea spice, may be mixed with liquid washing soap to make it stay longer else it could be easily washed away. Even so, it must be reapplied from time to time.
Garlic - Grow garlic plants around your fence or garden to stave off approaching armadillos. They have a very sharp sense of smell and the potent odor of garlic affects them so they avoid your space.
Ammonia - Ammonia also comes in handy while dealing with armadillos because of its stinky odour. It works better when mixed with oil soap and the mixture is introduced to the environment being courted by the pesky mammal. Soak a rag in this mixture and place in existing burrows or drop it around the yard.
The downside to ammonia as a repellent here is that it is only suitable for use where edible things are not planted. Care must also be taken when applying ammonia as inhalation or contact with the skin can lead to health issues for humans. Ammonia can also be washed away by rain water, hence it has to be applied from time to time.
Castor oil - when poured on the ground, castor oil gives the soil a bad taste. So when armadillos are dig and the soil gets into their mouths, they are deterred from digging further and will move away from the spot. After 20 minutes of applying a castor oil repellent, you should pour water on the soil to ensure penetration.
Castor oil when applied in large quantities, also rids the soil of grubs and worms; and this may be detrimental to plant life. Because of the volume needed for effectiveness too, this repellent may not be cost effective.
Predator urine - Jaguar, coyote, cougars, bobcats etc. are all natural predators of the armadillo. Many products made from the urine of these animals are frequently advertised as repellent solutions, although it has to be re-applied frequently. The success rate of these products is however, not so clear.
Mothballs - otherwise called naphthalene balls; these also have a characteristic foul odor which can be uncomfortable for armadillos. Place some in their burrows and they are likely to relocate quickly. In some cases though, the armadillo may simply make other burrows than run away, wreaking more havoc in the process.
Epsom salt - Epsom salt is another smelly substance that armadillos abhor. Sprinkle some Epsom salt on plants and lawns to keep the armadillos away. Unlike ammonia, Epsom salt is safe to use as contact with it is not hazardous. It however washes away easily.
Dogs - they are natural enemies of the armadillo; the shelled mammals 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.
Ultrasonic sound emitters - these are sold in stores and are capable of producing a high pitch sound that is annoying to armadillos, thus scaring them off. The sound emitters are placed at strategic position where the sound emitted can be easily heard. However, armadillos generally have weak hearing and may show little or no response to this device.
Electric vibrator - as the name implies, the electric vibrator produces vibration to scare armadillos away. Its success rate leaves much to be desired though.
The success of these repellents in keeping armadillos away is hinged on several factors and some of them need to be combined with others to achieve sufficient potency. The reliable way to prevent these animals is to combine repellents with structural modifications and exclusion practices, possibly with the help of an animal control professional.
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.