Despite their cute, armored appearance, armadillos can cause tremendous damage in yards, gardens and golf courses. Armadillos feed on grubs and other insects, and your yard can harbor many a tasty treat for these guys. The digging caused by a hunting armadillo can you have you quickly pulling your hair out in frustration. Besides the holes in your yard, armadillos can also cause expensive damage: their burrows can upset and damage the root systems of the trees in your yard; burrowing under concrete slabs (driveways, foundations, etc) can cause cracks and other costly damage.
Armadillos used to be isolated to the Southeast United States, but that is no longer the case. They are on the move, and even northern states are no longer free from their presence. The time to act is now, and here is how you can reduce the presence of armadillos in your your or garden:
- Apply repellents. Castor oil spray and all natural granular repellents, such as Mole Out.
- Trapping. Obtain a good-sized raccoon trap, bait it with overripe apples and bananas, and earthworms in a net or panty hose.
Place a couple of boards on the outside of the trap to make a “V” shape: this will help to funnel the armadillo into the trap. Check your trap often; if you bag an armadillo (or other pest), be sure to take it to a safe location to release it (far from your home, of course). And, be careful when handling the trapped animal, as armadillos can give you a nasty bite or scratch.
- Pesticides to get rid of the armadillo food source. Check your local pest conservation department to find what works best (and is legal to use) in your area.
With a little planning and perseverance, you can keep these interesting creatures out of your yard. Enjoy them from a distance!