In North America, there is only one native species of armadillo – the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo. This animal is known for its extensive digging, and territorial marking via urine, feces and other scent gland excretions. Armadillo foraging can cause damage to plant roots in gardens and landscaping.
Additionally, other nuisance animals such as skunks, rats, and snakes may occupy the burrows they leave behind. Worse yet, one armadillo may keep as many as 12 burrows within its territory. Armadillos’ ability to dig holes and cause extensive damage to a yard or garden makes removing or repelling them a necessary, though often difficult, task.
No one wants to have their yard or garden dug up and destroyed by armadillos. To prevent the destruction that armadillos can cause, choose a deterrent method that best meets your needs, budget and time constraints. Not sure where to start? Here’s a breakdown of the most popular strategies for repelling and removing armadillos in your yard.
Repelling Armadillos in Your Yard
Repellents can be a very effective way to get rid of armadillo pests around your property. Repellents work in one of three ways: by creating unpleasant scents in territories, by spoiling armadillo food sources, or by startling them away.
1. Homemade Armadillo Repellents
We will start with some DIY methods for armadillo control. One of the most popular homemade armadillo repellents involves a mixture of cayenne pepper and water. The cayenne pepper is offensive to their senses, and the liquid will help the cayenne stick to the surface where you're applying it. Depending on how much you dilute the cayenne pepper, a standard bottle will typically make 16 fluid ounces of repellent. The coverage area depends on how heavily the homemade armadillo repellent is applied to the desired area.
- Pro: The cost of this method is low – usually around $5 for a bottle of cayenne pepper.
- Con: It needs frequent reapplication due to rainfall and therefore may not be as effective as other methods. Homemade methods don’t penetrate the soil as well as commercial methods.
2. Commercial Armadillo Repellents
Of course, there are also commercially made armadillo repellents that last longer and are more effective than homemade varieties. These repellents typically come in liquid or water-activated granular form. Similar to homemade cayenne repellents, commercial repellents target an armadillo’s sense of smell and taste to make the environment uninviting. To use, spread the repellents around your property. This will cover insects hiding in the soil with a coating of solution that makes them taste bad. The desired result is that the armadillo will leave your property in search of insects that taste better.
- Pro: These methods are more effective at penetrating the soil than homemade. Commercial repellents also don’t need to be applied as often. They can be reapplied as little as every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Con: Potentially come at a higher cost than homemade repellents.
3. Electronic Armadillo Repellents
Motion-activated electronic repellents are also an option for deterring armadillos from entering your yard. An electronic deterrent is activated when it senses motion, sending a stream of water from the sprinkler towards the trespassing creature. These devices are especially useful for protecting the perimeter of your property to prevent armadillos from entering in the first place.
- Pro: Electronic repellents offer a large coverage area. They are effective at discouraging armadillos from taking up residence and causing destruction. Electronic repellents provide 24/7 protection.
- Con: Motion-activated repellents are more expensive than liquid or granular repellents.
Removing Armadillos from Your Yard
If armadillo removal is your primary concern, then trapping is the method you need. Because armadillos are nocturnal, a trap is most likely to be sprung at or after dusk when they come out to forage for food. Armadillo trapping can be done professionally or on your own. Take a look at the benefits of each to discover which solution is best for you.
1. Professional Armadillo Trapping and Removal
Another option to get rid of armadillos is professional trapping and removal. With this method, a professional trapper or animal control expert is hired to catch and remove all armadillo pests from the premises. Additionally, the expert makes the decision on whether to relocate or euthanize the armadillo once it has been caught.
- Pro: Professional trapping is safe, effective, and less time consuming for property owners.
- Con: Professional trapping can be expensive, especially with severe armadillo problems. It can also potentially be less humane depending on the “removal” method the professional uses.
2. Humane Live Armadillo Traps
If you are looking to remove and relocate a nuisance armadillo yourself, live armadillo traps are a great option. The North American nine-banded armadillo is a medium-sized mammal, so look for a trap that is the correct size for your pest. Also, look for features that will make the trapping process easier. For example, two doors that can be opened on either end as well as one-handed set-and-release mechanisms. Traps with a release mechanism on the outside allow you to avoid contact with the armadillo once it’s caught.
Always make sure to check your state’s regulations on live trapping armadillos, as well as removal and relocation. If you choose to relocate the armadillo, be sure to transport it at least 2 miles away so it doesn’t return to your yard.
- Pro: It is less expensive than professional trapping. It is simple to do and is safe for the animal. In addition, you get to decide what to do with the armadillo once it's caught. You can also reuse the trap if another pest animal takes residence on your property.
- Con: It is more time consuming than when paying a professional to do the work.
Armadillo Problems in Your Yard
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