How to Get Rid of Armadillos Humanely

An armadillo's digging habits can be extremely destructive, which is why it's important to take control at the first signs of damage. An integrated control plan is best, because layering different products takes care of the problem from all possible angles. Below, Havahart® offers step-by-step instructions teaching you how to get rid of armadillos under your home or in your yard.

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Armadillo with Baby
Armadillo
Armadillo
Armadillo in Ball
Armadillo on Back
Facts
How to Get Rid Of

1Reduce Attractants

Armadillos wander into your yard in search of food and shelter. Because the majority of an armadillo's food is underground, completely removing attractants is nearly impossible. However there are important steps you can take to make your yard less welcoming:

Remove cover like brush, woodpiles, low-lying bushes and shrubs. Armadillos prefer to burrow in areas with ample cover, so by opening up your yard, they'll feel less at home.

Clean up any fallen berries or fruit, which may attract armadillos.

 

2Identify Areas of Damage

Whether they are excavating your lawn for food or burrowing underground for shelter, armadillos are most destructive when they're digging. Identifying areas of damage will help you determine the best control option.

Common armadillo activities include:

  • digging holes throughout lawn, about 3-5" wide and about 1-3" deep
  • uprooting plants and seedlings
  • burrowing next to or underneath structures, sidewalks, brush piles, low-lying shrubs, or other cover
  • damaging underground pipes and/or wires
  • creating cracks in sidewalks, driveways or building foundations as a result of burrowing
 

3Choose the Right Control Method

Once you target your armadillo problem, you can select the best control method for you. Each method plays its own role in getting rid of armadillos, so it's important to note that the more control methods you employ, the more effective your defense will be.

Live Armadillo Trap

Use a live trap to manually remove armadillos living in burrows on your property. Trapping is simple with the proper trap placement. Armadillos rely on common pathways when foraging, which makes their behavior very predictable. Some placement tips to follow include:

  • At night, place the trap directly in front of the burrow entrance.
  • Place the trap along the wall or fence line closest to the damage.
  • Create a "V" with wooden planks to funnel the armadillo towards the trap opening.

For more information, read How to Trap an Armadillo »

 
Armadillo Repellents

Use an effective castor oil-based repellent to drive armadillos out and to prevent them from digging for food on your property. Castor oil is an all-natural oil that penetrates the ground, and repels armadillos in two ways:

  • spoils the food sources (insects, grubs, etc.) underground, making them unpleasant to eat.
  • creates an unpleasant odor inside burrows.

For more information, read How to Repel Armadillos »

 
Electronic Repellents

Use an electronic repellent to scare skittish armadillos away from targeted areas. A motion-activated sprinkler uses startling bursts of water to repel passing armadillos. Motion-activated sprinklers can be used to protect:

  • vegetable gardens
  • plants
  • mulch beds
  • flowerbeds
  • yards/lawns
  • structures
  • entryways
  • trees
  • pathways
 

Electronic repellents immediately repel armadillos above ground, making them a great addition to castor-oil repellents, which produce longer-term effects underground.

For more information, read Why Electronics »

 
Fencing

Use a properly constructed fence to completely exclude armadillos from your yard or garden. Your armadillo fence should achieve the following in order to keep armadillos out:

  • stand at least 24" tall
  • penetrate the ground at least 6-12"
  • angle outwards at the top, about 40°

Fencing may be intrusive to the aesthetic of your backyard, but it's effective and one of the best ways to keep your yard clear of armadillo destruction.

 

Expert Tips

Keep in mind that armadillos are wanderers - as certain armadillos leave your property, others may enter. It's important to maintain an armadillo control plan after you've gotten rid of them - especially in areas of high armadillo density.

Learn the trapping and relocating laws in your area before attempting to trap an armadillo or any other wildlife.

Live trapping is especially useful to evict armadillos living under your home or in other places that may be difficult to reach with repellents.

After getting rid of armadillos, ensure that all burrows are empty, and then fill them with gravel to avoid other animals from taking them over. To check to see if there are any animals living inside, stuff each entry loosely with newspaper, then monitor the holes over the next day or two to see if it has been displaced.

 
How to Trap
How to Repel
Baits
 

 

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