Many pests can live in a garden, from insects that eat crops to rodents and large animals. One of the most unusual, perhaps, are armadillos. Not many homeowners have to deal with them. While they are generally quite harmless creatures, they can still cause a lot of inconveniences. In this article, we have collected detailed information on trapping armadillos, the reasons for getting rid of them, and methods for preventing their occurrence.
Why Get Rid of Armadillos
At first glance, it might seem that these mammals are not dangerous. They are nocturnal, dig in the ground, and do not attack humans. However, you are still better off getting rid of these neighbors.
First, they spend most of their time underground since they have a very slow metabolism and practically no fat deposits under their thick shell. There they dig tunnels and dwellings, hunt insects, and collect larvae. Such vigorous underground activity can damage tree roots and spoil the harvest of vegetables and fruits. With their powerful legs with long claws, they can not only tear plants apart but also break water pipes, sewers, and wires that run underground.
Secondly, it is scientifically proven that armadillos are carriers of leprosy. The fact is that their body temperature is higher than that of humans, which creates a favorable environment for the reproduction of Mycobacterium leprae. Airborne droplets transmit the disease, so any direct contact can result in severe consequences for human health.
Why Armadillos Appear in Your Garden
The answer to this question is pretty simple. These animals dig the ground in search of shelter and food. They probably found both in your backyard. They prefer to drill holes in damp soil near streams, ponds, and other bodies of water. If you have a lot of ground insect pests in your area, they will surely attract armadillos since they feed on them.
It is also possible that there are many bushes or low-growing trees in your garden, in the shade of which animals can enter their underground tunnels. Furthermore, most likely, your territory does not have sufficient protection in the form of a deeply buried fence or, for example, a dog that freely moves around the yard.
How to Get Rid of Armadillos
The difficulty in getting rid of these creatures is as follows. Although they are mostly solitary, they are not “territorial” animals. That is, it is not at all necessary that the armadillo that destroyed your beds and the one that fell into the trap is the same specimen. Therefore, an integrated approach should be used when dealing with these animals: overcatch all creatures, apply preventive measures, and use repellents.
First of all, you need to catch an armadillo(-s) that has dug in your area.
Step 1: Observe the animal behavior. Explore your territory for signature footprints. These creatures are almost entirely focused on finding food and basically walk the same paths. A little observation and perseverance, and you will find the entrance to the central hole.
Step 2: Set up safe traps. It is highly discouraged to kill animals, especially since, in many regions, armadillos are protected by law. Therefore, the best option is to place traps near the entrances to burrows and on the main movement routes.
Although armadillos have an excellent smell, the pros do not recommend using baits. These animals are used to digging their food in the soil rather than finding it on the ground surface. So bait in the form of earthworms or other “delicious” food is likely to attract skunks or possums.
Step 3: Release the captured animal. Since armadillos are active at night, check your traps every morning. If after a few days you don’t catch anything, move the cage to a different location.
Once you trap one, move it at least 5 miles away from home. It is advisable to find a place near the body of water to make it easier for the animal to settle there. Be careful when releasing an armadillo. Be sure to use thick protective gloves and let the creature out of the trap on its own.
An armadillo is not a very difficult creature to capture. If you have not been able to catch a single specimen after a few days and after repeatedly moving a trap(-s) around the garden, it may be worth calling in an animal control specialist.
After completing the “hunt,” think about how to prevent pests from reappearing on your site.
- Dig up the area (if you have a small garden). This way you will destroy the passages created by animals and prevent new individuals from settling in them.
- Install a fence. When installing it, make sure it goes at least 1 foot underground. It will prevent ground digging animals from entering your area.
- Remove bushes and low-growing trees so that armadillos cannot hide entrances to their burrows under them.
- Seal holes in the fence and basement of your house. Any hole can be a good entry point for lots of animals.
- Drain the ground. Make sure there is no accumulation of water in your area and adjust the irrigation system.
Such mechanical methods will make your garden inaccessible not only to armadillos but also to other large pests.
Additionally, you can make your garden unattractive to various creatures by making it smell unpleasant. Given the well-developed armadillos’ sense of smell, it could be a really effective measure. They hate the smell of ammonia, vinegar, naphthalene, castor oil, and cayenne pepper. You can apply the listed products around the perimeter of your site and closer to entrances to animal burrows. Pests will sense these strong odors from afar and will not want to enter your territory again.
Integrated Approach Is Key to Success
Fighting armadillos is not particularly difficult, and even non-professionals can do it. The main thing is to remember that capturing animals is half the battle; you should also use measures to prevent their reappearance. Follow the described recommendations, and the result will not be long in coming. Please share your experience of getting rid of armadillos in the comments. How did you manage to deal with these animals?