Armadillos are nocturnal animals, generally feeding on insects and their larvae. With a diet including earthworms, spiders, scorpions, snails, cockroaches, wasps, beetles and grasshoppers, they can be seen as a form of pest control. Unfortunately, they become a nuisance when leaving multiple holes throughout your yard and plant beds while foraging. I find the even bigger nuisance is when they return to the same location where they repeatedly dig holes that resemble burrows. Upon closer inspection, most holes typically dead end and extend only about a foot in length. Preferred areas for digging seem to be along home foundations, barrier walls and slabs for pool equipment. While most pose no damage to homes or property, they are an unsightly annoyance.
So the most obvious question I receive is, "How do I great rid of them?" Over the years I have read about several methods. My first action is to simply fill the hole with the displaced soil. I find that after several attempts, some armadillos do move on. This may take a half a dozen attempts or so before it is successful.
For the more persistent critters other options may include:
- "Live" trapping by a pest removal company. This can prove quite costly.
- Sprinkling cayenne pepper in the area because they don't like the smell of spicy herbs.
- Burying chicken wire, rocks, broken concrete or paver stone pieces under the soil where they dig to frustrate them. (This one idea that has worked for me.)
On a side note there is often talk about armadillos spreading leprosy to humans. This recently has been found not to be as common as once believed. You can read more armadillos and leprosy at this link. www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-armadillos-can-spread-leprosy-180954440/