Unlike any other pests, armadillo is not too familiar. But it will be different if you are talking about the residents of Florida, Texas, and southern states in between. The presence of armadillo will be one of their main concerns. But if you often see armadillo only on wildlife program on TV, you need to know more about this roly poly creatures. In this article later, we will talk about 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property. Why is this important? Because when you let them equip your area, it is no surprise that you need to say goodbye to your well-organized garden, or even the ground below your home. How could this happen? Let’s talk first about armadillos characteristic.
What is Armadillo?
Known in Latin name as Dasypus Novemcintus, armadillos are four-footed that look similar to ant eater or sloth. They usually come in brown, black, or salmon color. The unique feature of armadillos is the armor plate all over their back. These flexible bony plates cover all the body but the belly. The shell look like segments, that’s why sometimes armadillos who live in southern United States are called nine-banded armadillos. They are chubby and flexible to move. The size is comparable to small dog or medium-sized cat. The maximum range of weight is 5 and a half kilograms. When they have reach this point, it is more likely they stop growing.
Despite the look, actually armadillos are surprisingly great in maneuvering, running, and digging. They are quick and flexible. Land or water, they can do both. While underwater or swimming, armadillos walk on stream beds. They have powerful legs with strong claws. The ultimate ability of armadillos is digging. In order to look for food, they will plow the earth and throw the dirt behind. These nuisance animals have great smelling ability and can notice the food underground before deciding to dig the ground in your garden. And don’t be surprise, armadillos can dig amazingly quickly, both for looking for food or protecting themselves from predators.
By this natural tendency to dig, armadillos root their nose in the hole and lick out the invertebrate with their tongue. This is how they eat. They can’t bite, though. The tiny mouth of armadillos only have small pegs for teeth. Armadillos like to eat earthworms, beetle larvae or grubs, and living insects. So when you notice that armadillos come to your area, it must be because their ultimate source of food is available around your property. As a digger, armadillos most likely eating underground. They won’t eat old food sitting on the surface of the ground. It’s not their natural being. That’s why it’s a bit tricky to do 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property because they are not the type of animals who can easily catch the lure. But worry not, later we will give you the explanation about how to remove armadillos effectively.
Armadillos: Digging and Burrowing
The ultimate habit of armadillos are digging and burrowing. They are nocturnal animal, so they tend to forage at night rather than day time. But sometimes they come outside after the rain or in cooler areas. Why? Because at this moment, the worms come up. By reading the characteristics of armadillos, we come to a conclusion that they only interfere your property because of their need to look for food. No more than that. They just look for the source of their food and dig the hole to catch them. That’s it. They are not combative animal, never fighting over territory, just wandering around your garden to catch the invertebrates. The benefit in applying 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property is they are least intelligent animals. Armadillos are simple animals. The exterminator in US once caught an armadillo in a trap. Then he released it to the forested area. He waited for a couple minutes, the armadillo wandered around the forest area and entered back to the trap! This is happened because armadillos tend to focus on their search of food, and notice little else including human presence or even flashlight directed to them.
Life Cycle of Armadillos
These nocturnal pests are the only mammals who have unique way of gestation. They always give birth to four identical twins, originally from one embryo that is being split to four. The gestation process is around 2 until 6 months. Mostly they are born during March, so it’s their most important time to have a nest under your property. These identical quadruplet most likely to be born with soft leathery skin. These leather will harden in a few weeks.
Complaints of Armadillos Settling Activity
By knowing the digging and burrowing habit of armadillos, you must realize the negative impacts that they bring if they settle around your property. We have summarized the things that become the source of complaints among home-owners. Mostly it is due to the structure that they have been organizing is no longer neat and broken. Here are the examples of complaints if armadillos are settling on your property:
- The powerful digging ability of armadillos will result in large tunnel under the house. And the areas can be very wide. If they build large tunnel underground, it means that the soil is no longer compact. There is a gap between the floor and soil below. If it’s getting wider, then there is a big possibility that the tunnel will crack and break the concrete walk or pathways. Remember, armadillos can dig up to 15 feet underground. Can you imagine? Just by the digging activity of armadillos, the structure of properties around you will be broken.
- Maybe it’s time for you to say goodbye for your beautiful well-organized lawn, as the armadillos prefer to make small holes all over the lawn. It is not just one or two. It can be many more than that. In fact it’s not an easy and cheap task to organize your yard or garden, but it will be destroyed easily due to the activity of these nuisance animals.
- Once the armadillos are settling on your property, there is big possibility that they will uproot the landscape. The flower bed that you really love might be wrecked. Actually it’s not the intention of armadillos to make a mess in to your flowers. They have the natural tendency to dig the earth, and throwing the dirt behind. It’s just the smell that they follow. Later you can use this ability as one of 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property.
- After pathways, flower bed, and lawn, it’s time for the pipes and water lines in your living space. The pipes usually installed from the top and down to underground to have the access for land water. If the armadillos are interfering with the pipe lines, they can be cracking and broken. Once it is broken, it means the water line in your home will be disturbed too. Armadillos, with their strong claws can easily hit the pipes and break it.
- Besides the proclivity digging habit, the presence of armadillo will also disturb the stabilization of your pets, such as dogs or cats. They won’t like the presence of armadillos. But in fact, armadillos can move really quickly and will make your pets getting more curious. And when they are interacting one another, we can’t predict what will happen. Maybe the armadillos as simple animals will choose to ignore the pets and continue the forage activity, but we doubt that your pets will do the same thing as well.
Armadillos: Disease Carrier?
Another debate around the presence or armadillos is about the potency of becoming disease carrier. Armadillos have natural body temperature that is lower than most animals. That’s why many researchers are studying about the percentage of armadillos spread the disease. Though there is no scientific result yet, but you need to be careful in dealing with armadillos. You can consider 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property, but only when they are still alive. Never have a direct contact with dead armadillos, as they may be the carrier of diseases such as:
This is the most common disease that often related to armadillos. Though there is no proof yet, and perhaps there is low chance of armadillos as disease carrier, but you have to avoid physical contact with armadillos. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is not transmitted by proximity. The spread of such disease possibly happen when you touch dead armadillos.
The next disease that took the most concern is tapeworms. This disease can transmit to others if there is direct contact with the feces of armadillos. The parasites inside the feces can be eaten and make you have intestinal problems. Besides that, the parasites also will affect your health by causing stomach problems and lose weight.
It’s only small percentage that armadillos may be the carrier of rabies disease. As we all know, rabies is transmitted to others by scratch. So make sure that you avoid scratch or bite from armadillos. Actually armadillos will never attack you, but if they feel in danger, their strong claws might hurt you.
There are many animals that can be the carrier of salmonella, and armadillos mentioned to be one of them. The salmonella spread from contaminated food and water. The serious symptom is vomiting, without age border. It might attack the children or elderly people.
Still related with the contaminated food and water, diarrhea is one of the effect from direct contact with armadillos. Though not in direct contact, if you are not protecting the foods and water, then it might be the possible source of contaminated meals, leading to diarrhea and stomach problems.
10 Ways to Get Rid of Armadillos
So armadillos’ digging habit can be extremely destroying if you don’t know how to handle it properly. What you have to do, first and foremost, is take control when first sign of damage happens. Remember, armadillos are not territorial animals. They can dig holes anywhere around your property. Using integrated control plan, you can do these 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property below:
1. Trap Placement
As we know that armadillos are not easy to be lured by bait, so it’s time to apply the strategy to place a trap. First you have to examine the entry point of armadillos, and place it near the way out. Check their pattern. The trap should be around 30 x 25 x 75 centimeter, big enough for the armadillos to move. We don’t suggest to put a bait as it may invite the other unwanted animals. Make sure that you check and release daily to prevent stress of trapped armadillos. When you have succeeded in catching the armadillos, release them in outskirts of a space. By doing this, you won’t harm the armadillos.
2. Sound Machine
Armadillos, like any other animals, don’t like the noise. You may consider to install high pitch sound machine or ultrasound pulse to annoy the armadillos. Turn it on near the burrows. By doing this regularly, the armadillos will look for another place as their food avenue and not coming anymore.
3. Eliminate the Food Source
At the first place, why did the armadillos choose your place over another? That’s because your property, garden, yard, have tempting source of food like grubs, earthworms, or insects. Eliminate these by placing non-segmented worms like Nematodes in the ground. When the Nematodes attack the insects, it will automatically control the population. By doing this way, armadillos will think that your yard is not a good food source and won’t come back around your property.
4. Inspect the Dark Areas
The dark-colored mulch is likely attract the energy of the sun, thus creating warm environment that the insects like. Avoid areas like this, by moving the furniture regularly. You can also use rocks or decorative gravel to decrease the possibility armadillos coming. Remove dark-enclosed spaces like hanging bush or inside clumps of bushes. You can also remove cover woodpiles to make the armadillos feel less at home.
5. Sturdy Fence
Another smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property is by installing sturdy fence. By doing this, there will be no space for critters like armadillos to crawl through. The fence must be goes into the ground to make sure that armadillos can’t dig under the fence. Build the solid fence and extend it up to 1 meter below.
6. Castor Oil
Though there is no scientific proof that castor oil can remove armadillos from settling on your property, you may consider doing this. Castor oil will give unpleasant smell to the armadillos. Spray the oil to the soil. By doing this, the soil will taste weird and remove the pests that love to dig around your flower bed. This is what you can do as armadillos have strong smelling ability while their brain is not dedicated to be cautious.
7. Armadillos Repellent
Vinegar liquid can also work as the tools to make your yard stink. But make sure to do this repeatedly as the rain may fade away the smell. Armadillos don’t like the strong scent. Another thing that you may consider as the armadillos repellent is pine needles. Spread it around your garden.
8. Predator Urine
You can consider buying artificial predator urines like coyote, bobcat, or wolf. The strong smelling ability of armadillos will prevent them from settling on your property if they smell the urine of their predators. This is usually comes in liquid or powder. Make sure that you keep away the vegetables or fruits from the place where the urine is applied.
9. Powerful Water Motion
Another smart way to remove armadillos from settling on your property is installing sensitive water machine. This works by the sensor of motion. When the armadillos are crossing your area, they will be surprised by the water spray. Doing this method can also help you to protect the entry ways, structures, lawns, vegetable gardens, and plants.
10. Relocate Professionally
This is the last smart way to remove armadillos from settling on your property. If you feel the urge to remove the armadillos as soon as possible, just contact the trapping professional service. They have the means to humanely euthanize armadillos. They know how to remove armadillos without causing any harm and proven to be effective. Usually the armadillos will be removed around 8 to 10 kilometers from your home.
These are 10 smart ways to remove armadillos from settling on your property. After succeeding in getting rid of them, make sure that you close any existing burrows. The holes usually appear like golf holes, the diameter will be around 8 centimeters. Remember that armadillos are simple creatures. Then can be handled with gentle know-how. Make sure that you do the humanely ways, without considering the needs of using fire arms or guns.