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armadillo

Q: Apparently the armadillo under my back steps invited others to join or had babies! I appreciate any help you can give!

Q: I have had one armadillo home under my back steps since I moved in 3 years ago. I thought it was OK and didn’t find him/her too much of a nuisance. BUT now, I have a condo attached to the original home and I’m having my grass dug up all over. Apparently the armadillo invited others to join or had babies!  I appreciate any help you can give!

A: Wow, this must be the month for backyard nuisance pests. The following is information from a University of Florida publication called “Dealing with Unwanted Wildlife in an Urban Environment”. Armadillos live in dens and some damage also can be caused by their burrowing under foundations, driveways, and other structures.

More than 90 percent of the armadillo’s diet is made up of insects and their larvae that live in the soil. They also feed on earthworms, scorpions, spiders, and other invertebrates. Armadillos are most active at night, when they make small cone-shaped holes in the ground while rooting for food. There are no successful repellents, toxicants, or fumigants registered for armadillos. The use of insecticides to reduce food sources also has not been proven to stop armadillo digging.

A fence slanted outward at a 40° angle, with a portion buried may be a somewhat effective barrier under certain conditions. Although trapping live armadillos is very difficult, some people have experienced limited success by using a 10x12x32 inch live or box trap. The bait used by successful trappers is earthworms in a ball of dirt and placed in the toe of an old nylon stocking. Trapping is most effective when leaf litter or soil is placed over the trap entrance. Armadillos caught in these traps can be released in an area where you have obtained landowner permission several miles away from your home. Armadillo meat is edible if properly prepared. To download the complete article from the internet check out: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW070