If you don’t live in an area where armadillos are members of your habitat, you cannot understand their impact on your environment. One armadillo can damage a significant portion of your lawn and surrounding property. Multiple armadillo’s compound the damage.
First, your environment as a food source: An armadillo’s primary diet consists of grub worms. If you reside in the country (as we do), it is difficult to control grubs. Unfortunately, armadillos enjoy feasting on grub worms, to the expense of your landscape. Numerous patches of bare soil in your yard indicate the presence of feeding armadillos. They may not find many grub worms, but the destruction that occurs during their search can be extensive.
Second, your environment as a home and shelter: Armadillos burrow beneath your house foundation, porch, patio, wall, wood pile, garage, air conditioner, basically any structure they feel can offer safety and security. They are seeking both a shelter and home to raise their young. Unfortunately, this burrowing results in compromising the integrity of the foundation under which the tunnel is dug; the bigger and deeper the tunnel, the greater the damage to the foundation. Our neighbor didn’t realize he had an armadillo problem until the wall surrounding his front porch collapsed, resulting in >$2000 damage.
So how do I attempt to control armadillos? I employ a twofold approach.
Method 1 – Trapping: (My least-successful method) Numerous previous attempts at trapping have led to disappointment. I’ve used a Havahart Model 1079 that has served it’s purpose countless times capturing creatures using bait however bait doesn’t work for armadillos. The way to get the armadillo into the trap is to align the open end into the armadillo’s travelling path. With numerous areas of evident armadillo activity, the trap placement can be hit and miss. Until now.
Suspecting multiple targets, three separate areas where active burrowing was taking place, and several areas where feeding was evident, I decided to concentrate on one location where the burrowing was occurring (I only have one trap). This area was selected since there was a limited, direct path from open country to the area being excavated. Place the trap, secure in place with heavy objects (unused concrete patio stones), set the trap and wait. Patience.
Following a four-day wait, success! Finally. It IS possible to trap an armadillo.
Follow up: Since this single armadillo is no longer roaming our landscape, there have been no more incidents of burrowing or digging. One, just one, armadillo appears to be the source of the current problems.
Method 2: (My most-successful method) That’s another subject. Check back for a follow-up post.