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Armadillos are capable of constituting a great nuisance in farmyards, lawns and gardens with their burrowing activities and it is fortunate that there are many ways through which they can be eliminated. Some methods are lethal and inhumane, while others only exclude or remove them from your property without causing them much harm.
Albeit an expensive venture, building fences is the surest way to prevent armadillos from getting into your garden or yard. Armadillos are good diggers but poor climbers, therefore the fence does not have to be very tall but must go deep beneath the ground level enough to prevent armadillos from digging under the fence to get in.
Metal chain-link fencing is best used for this purpose, and it should stand at least 2 feet below the ground and 2 feet above the ground. The metal chain-link fences are usually strong and effective in keeping armadillos at bay. The top part of the fence should bend outward to prevent them from climbing over and crossing to the other side.
Use a steel cage that is as long as 30 inches, about 12 inches in height and at least 10 inches wide. This can be obtained at animal control stores; the Havahart trap and the Tomahawk trap for instance, are commonly used. You may also hire a trap in the alternative, or design a strong home-made trap by yourself.
To trap an armadillo successfully, you must study it to know the time it comes out of its burrow and the path it follows around the area. Usually, armadillos are nocturnal, so they come out late at night or very early in the morning, thus your chances are higher when you set the trap at these times. Place the trap around debris to camouflage it and let the entrance of the trap lie flat on the ground or else armadillos will not walk into it. Read the guides How Armadillo's Can Be Removed Using One-Way Exclusion Funnels and Should You Use Mothballs Or Ammonia to Repel Armadillos?.
Baiting is not actually necessary as armadillos usually prefer to dig up soil to get their live food, but if you want to bait, use worms, grubs or overripe fruits. After catching an armadillo alive, transport the trap far away from your house and release the animal into a suitable wild life environment, where food and livelihood is available for it.
Remove Food Sources
Armadillos like other wandering wildlife are attracted by food and their preferred foods include worms, grubs, insects, and in rare cases fruits and seeds. If your garden or farmyard is cleared of these things, the armadillo would have no incentive to invade.
You may get a good insecticide to eradicate these invertebrates in your garden. However, removing a significant amount of invertebrates may not be easily achievable and it could be detrimental to the vegetation and plant life on your land. Likewise, you may remove debris, which the armadillo thrives in, but this as well may affect other animals.
These are various substances and devices also employed to deter armadillo pests. Some of them do not perform what they claim to be able to, while others do perform but for a short period of time.
Most are home remedies and there are some store-bought remedies with offensive odours that irritate the armadillo’s sharp sense of smell – Naphtalene balls, Ammonia, castor oil, garlic, and Epsom salts. Garlic plants may be grown around the fence and Cayenne pepper is also commonly used on the soil.
Ultrasonic sound emitters are also used but have few success stories. Read the guide Is A High Pitch Sound Deterrent Machine Useful Against Armadillos?
Poisons, such as fumigants and other toxicants, have been used time after time by people wishing to get rid of armadillos, but poisoning is an inhumane way to deal with these pests. Most times, the poisons do not even kill the animals at all as armadillos prefer to dig up live food from the ground than eat any laid out poisoned food.
Lethal trapping may be an effective way to get rid of armadillos, but it is not an easy task especially to find the right one. This is because of the armadillo’s shelled body that protects its internal organs. A lethal trap that would work will have to be very strong indeed as most lethal traps target the internal organs and the spine. The trap grips the armadillo and puts a lot of pressure on it until it dies within a short time.
Shooting an armadillo is not that easy a task as the animal is capable of moving very fast when under threat. Besides, armadillos are nocturnal and only come out at night; this reduced visibility is not good for getting an accurate aim. It is quite common for would-be armadillo killers to misfire too, a dangerous occurrence. Killing of armadillos with rifles and shotguns is more common in rural areas.
Finally, armadillos may cause a lot of nuisance, but they are actually not dangerous animals, and it is therefore quite unnecessary to kill them. The best way to get rid of armadillos is to trap them with live traps and relocate them after which they are barred from re-entering your garden or farmyard with fences. Read more about What to Do If You Find a Nest Of Baby Armadillos and Best Ways to Remove Armadillos From Under Your Shed Or Porch.
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