Armadillos are infamous for their digging habit, and they can wreak havoc in your garden, yard, or landscape. Here are some tips for eliminating these animals, who can also climb fences.
Armadillos carry leprosy, and they may pass the disease to humans. The risk is high for those who handle, kill, and consume these animals.
Armadillos are nocturnal mammals, who are experts in digging. These animals have sharp claws that help them with this task. They dig soil for two purposes ― making dens and searching food. Armadillos can cause nuisance, as they dig your lawn, garden, and even the foundation of the house.
Even though, there are around 20 species of armadillos that are found across the globe, the nine-banded armadillo is commonly seen in the United States. They can dig big burrows, that can be around 80 inches in depth. If made underneath a house, such burrows may cause cracks in the walls, and damage the foundation itself. Such holes may attract other animals too. The digging spree of these animals may also result in damage to plants and trees, as their root systems are affected. In short, these animals have to be eliminated from your surroundings, as early as possible. Given below are some methods to get rid of armadillos.
How to Prevent Armadillos From Entering Your Premises
Build a Fence
When it comes to preventive measures, building a strong fence is the most effective method. Metal chain-link fences are good, but make sure that they are buried in the ground by at least 18 inches. It will be beneficial to bend the bottom part outward, at an angle of 90°. This is to prevent armadillos from digging beneath the fence. The top part of the fence should stick out at an angle of 45°. Otherwise, use razor wire to cover that part.
This will prevent these animals from climbing over the fence. Though fencing is one of the best ways to get rid of armadillos from your surroundings, this method is expensive, especially for larger areas. If you are not concerned about the expenses, electric fencing is a good option. In that case, keep your kids and pets away from the fence.
Armadillos have an excellent sense of smell, and strong odors are offensive for them. Mothballs are the most commonly used repellents for these animals. Apart from that, armadillos dislike the smell of vinegar, ammonia, cayenne pepper, etc. You may also use pine mulch or pine needles for deterring them from entering your premises. Predator urine is now available for pest control purposes. You may use the same against armadillos.
Castor oil mixed with liquid dish soap is also an effective armadillo repellent. For a thousand square feet area, mix one part of dish soap with four parts of castor oil (industrial grade), along with some water. Spray the mixture in the area that is frequented by these animals. If they have a single entry point, use the deterrents outside that point. Though there is no conclusive evidence to prove how far these repellents are effective, they are widely used to get rid of armadillos.
You may either use home remedies to stop armadillos from digging up your yard, or go for commercial preparations.
Another option is to buy an ultrasonic pest deterrent device that is claimed to be effective for repelling these animals. According to the manufacturers, these devices emit ultrasonic noise that cannot be tolerated by armadillos. However, the effectiveness of such devices is still not proven.
How to Get Rid of Armadillos from Your Yard
If these animals frequent your premises and dig burrows, it is always better to get rid of them at the earliest. In this case too, repellents may prove handy. Suffocate these animals by filling their burrows with repellents. Another method is to close the den with a trap door, so that once the animal comes out of the den through the door, it won’t be able to go inside.
You can also trap armadillos and relocate them. A variety of traps are available for this purpose, but make sure that it is legal to trap armadillos in your region. Get a trap with a minimum height of 12 inches, a length of 30 inches, and a width of around ten inches. While baits are said to be of no use, people use ripe fruits, spoiled fish and meat, rotten cabbage, maggots, etc.
You may cover the bottom of the trap with soil and plant debris. Place the trap near the opening of the burrow or on their daily route. For best results, use more than one trap, and place them at different locations. Once trapped, relocate these animals to some remote, uninhabited place, preferably near some water source. This is to ensure that they will not return to your place or cause nuisance to other people.
Some people catch these animals by hand, instead of using a trap. This method is very dangerous, as the animal has sharp claws, which can be used for retaliation. Always make sure to wear gloves, while handling these animals. If you still want to try this method, catch the armadillo by its tail, and hold it away from you. You can also use a fishing net for this purpose.
Finally, you can hire professionals, who can help you in getting rid of these animals. If you want to get rid of armadillos, keep your surroundings clean and free of insects. Erect a fence around your compound and use deterrents. Armadillos are carriers of leprosy. Even though the disease is not highly contagious, it may spread from armadillos to human being. So it is always safe to keep these animals away.