Animals

How to Get Rid of Armadillos

Armadillos might be a special treat to see at the zoo, but having them wandering around your backyard is the last thing you want. These armored tanks can create some major issues on your property as they search for food and shelter. They are attracted to insects and other grub to eat. Despite being so slow, they can tear up a significant amount of land in a single evening.

If you take great pride in your garden, armadillos can be your worst enemy. They are also known to cause damage to homes while they look for dens or temporary places to stay. Their burrowing can damage pipes, cut electrical wires, and in some cases even weaken your home’s foundation. Armadillos are a defeatable enemy. Read on to discover some of the best ways to get rid of armadillos quickly and easily.

1. Deny them access.

Armadillos are such major pests because they often do not have natural predators besides humans, which is particularly the case in urban areas. One of the best ways to get rid of armadillos is to deny them access to your property.

While it may be expensive to do so, building a sturdy fence around your property is a great way to prevent an armadillo from tearing up your yard. Remember that armadillos are expert diggers, of course: any fence that you build needs to be sunk at least a foot underground, or you will have wasted your money.

You can have a traditional wood or metal fencing, or you can try purchasing fences that are specifically designed to keep armadillos away. Choose the option that is most suited to you, and install accordingly.

2. Use an ultrasonic device.

If investing in a fence is not for you, you can use sound to your advantage. There are all kinds of ultrasonic devices available on the market that promise to keep out a whole range of different animals, including armadillos, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, and birds, amongst others.

This option might be expensive for some, however, and keep in mind that the device might also annoy your household pets (if you have any).

3. Offend their sense of smell.

You might be looking for a less expensive option than a fence or ultrasonic device. If so, you are in luck! Armadillos use their strong and sensitive noses to track down grub and other types of food they love to eat. Use their sense of smell against them and you might just get rid of them!

Anything that has a powerful or displeasing smell can be enough to drive them out of their burrows, or prevent them from making one in the first place. Dropping mothballs down burrow holes is a good idea. Armadillos also dislike foraging in pine needles or pine mulch, so you can try spreading either of these around your yard to improve the look of your yard while keeping armadillos away.

Human urine can also frighten them away, but you might not be interested in spreading your own urine around your yard. Not to worry! You can buy commercial products that are specifically designed to imitate the smell of their predator’s urine.

These products are safe, and are not intended to hurt or kill the armadillos. Most products are safe for human contact as well, so you do not need to worry about your children or pets getting accidentally poisoned. Just remember that you will have to regularly reapply these products as they lose their smell over time. You might need to apply them with more frequently if you live in a rainy area.

4. Use a trap door.

If you already have an armadillo burrow to deal with in your yard, consider installing a one-way door so that the armadillo can leave their burrow, but not return to it.

You can create a trap door by yourself, by using either a heavy piece of cloth or a lightweight section of chicken wire or other wire meshing. They can push their way through this door, but they will have a difficult time getting back in once they leave. Their frustration might be just high enough to make them move on.

Consider leaving something smelly near the entrance to double your chances of getting rid of them. In addition to the suggestions listed above, you can also try a rag soaked in ammonia or Windex. If it smells strong to you, it will certainly be entirely overpowering for an armadillo!

5. Trap them in cages.

You can purchase or make your own armadillo traps so that you can stop these armadillos in their tracks. Armadillos tend to forage early in the morning or late at night, so make sure your traps are set and ready during these periods of time.

It is possible to try catching an armadillo in a blanket or a bucket, but the safer and easier solution is to let a cage do the work for you. Make sure the cage you buy is large enough to hold an armadillo. They are typically the size of a large cat when they are fully grown, so plan accordingly.

Bait your trap using fresh fruit or earthworms. Worms usually work the best, as you might accidentally attract more animals with fruit that you will then have to deal with (like raccoons, for instance). If you are using worms, place them inside of a thin nylon stocking so that they cannot escape. The armadillo will still be able to smell them inside of a sock.

Once you have trapped your armadillo, your next step is to relocate them elsewhere. You should never kill an armadillo. Simply bring them somewhere where they can be happy, such as an area with a decent amount of water and brush so that they can feel safe and have a good food supply.

6. Fill in their burrows.

Once you have trapped an armadillo and made sure that there are no more hiding in the original burrow, make sure you fill in the hole they made. Armadillos are not strongly territorial animals, so you might be providing a quick and easy home to the next one that ambles along.

Start by filling the hole loosely to make sure there are no more armadillos hiding in the burrow. Once you have made sure that the burrow is empty, pack the hole with dirt and gravel, which will make it difficult for the armadillo to make a comeback.

7. Seek professional help.

If the above solutions are proving ineffective for you, it might be time to bring in the pros. Call your local animal control or pest removal company to ask them if they specialize in armadillo removal. Keep in mind that this might be an expensive solution, and many of the remedies they use are ones that you could do yourself, so this solution is best saved for only the most extreme cases.

Armadillos are not always bad, of course. They leave larger plants in your garden alone while eating many of the insects that you did not want around anyhow. Armadillos are natural aerators, tilling your soil for you to promote healthy growth in your garden. But sometimes their digging can get out of hand and cause some serious damage to your home or property. If this is the case, it is time to get rid of the armadillos that are causing you problems. Follow whichever of these suggestions works best for you, and these armored animals will almost certainly find somewhere else to forage!

About the author

Nicole Harding

2 Comments

Leave a Comment