1 Identify Areas of Damage
Armadillos do most damage when they are digging, whether they are excavating your lawn for food or burrowing underground for shelter. It's important to identify the areas where armadillos are causing damage so that you can choose the right control option.
Common signs of an armadillo include:
- holes throughout lawn, about 3-5" wide and 1-3" deep
- uprooted plants and seedlings
- burrow entrances, about 7-10" in diameter, next to/underneath structures, sidewalks, brush piles, or low-lying shrubs
2 Choose Your Armadillo Repellent
There are three ways in which you can repel armadillos: by spoiling their underground food sources, by creating an unpleasant scent in their burrows, or by frightening them with scare tactics. Because different armadillos may react differently to various techniques, it's important to employ multiple control methods.
Castor Oil Repellents
Best For: Keeping armadillos away by spoiling their food source and delivering an unpleasant smell to their burrows. Castor oil repellents are designed to penetrate the ground, reaching the worms, grubs and insects for which armadillos excavate your lawn, and making them taste bad.
Whether you use a liquid or granular armadillo repellent depends on your application preferences:
- Liquid (Hose-End Spray): a concentrated castor oil solution mixes with the water from your hose, covering the affected lawn and garden and penetrating into the ground.
- Granules: biodegradable repellent granules spread across the affected ground and are activated by water from a hose, sending the repellent deep into the ground.
Best For: Frightening armadillos away with bursts of water and conditioning them to stay away from your yard. Motion-activated sprinklers are designed to detect animal activity and release a sudden spray of water when triggered. Effective places to position a motion-activated repellent include:
- each entry point of your property to prevent wandering armadillos from entering in the first place
- in front of a burrow entrance to discourage the inhabitant from returning
- around the perimeter of your house or other structure to keep armadillos from digging underneath the foundation
3 Apply as Directed
The way in which you apply your repellents will determine their effectiveness, which is why it's critical to follow the directions provided. Important steps to follow include:
- After applying a castor-oil repellent, water the repellent in for 20 minutes to ensure that it completely penetrates the ground.
- Apply granules in bands, one day at a time, beginning with the area closest to your home. This will drive the armadillos out of their burrows.
- Reapply liquid or granules as instructed in order to maintain full repellency.
- Point the sensor and sprinkler head of your motion-activated repellent in the direction from which armadillos are approaching.
4 Reduce Attractants
Reinforce your repelling plan by removing any additional elements on your property that may attract armadillos. Steps you can take include:
- Removing cover like brush, wood piles, low-lying bushes and shrubs. Armadillos prefer to burrow in areas of ample cover, so by opening up your yard, they'll feel less at home.
- Cleaning up fallen berries and fruits, to which some armadillos may be attracted (especially if the underground food source is spoiled).
- Armadillos are wandering animals; once they deem one area unsuitable for digging, they will move onto the next, more suitable area. It's important to treat not only the areas damaged by armadillos, but also other areas on your property that have similar characteristics - i.e. loose soil, ample cover, possible underground grubs or insects.
- Repelling armadillos takes patience and persistence. It may take some time for the armadillo to associate the effects of any repellent(s) with the protected area.
- Once the armadillos are gone, it's important to continue monitoring and treating your yard to ensure that others do not wander onto your property in the future.