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Homeowners and particularly people in suburbia and the countryside have long told tales of mixtures and concoctions that could keep pest animals away, and everybody would tell the story about their uncle or cousin who swore by a particular mixture. With the birth of the internet, this ability to share and propagate old wives' tales has multiplied infinitely, and some of those substances that are most often talked about are mothballs and ammonia. There is no doubt that both of these substances are toxic and have a very strong scent, and armadillos are animals with a particularly good sense of smell, so surely there must be some truth to the rumors, right?
The Theory Behind Using Mothballs And Ammonia As A Repellent
The idea behind this kind of repellent is really straightforward, and what the stories say is that putting a bag of mothballs or a saucer of ammonia in an armadillo's den, then it will make it so unpleasant for the animal to be there that it will leave. That would certainly be logical, based on the reaction that most people will have when they smell mothballs and ammonia, and surely an animal with a sensitive nose would want to do the same.
Problems With This Approach
Unfortunately, this simply is not the case, and much like those people who can put up with a creaking door or a stain on the wall for months or years, armadillos can easily put up with and eventually ignore a strong scent, when the other factors keeping them in the den outweigh the inconvenience of a strong smell.
Dangers Of Using These Chemicals
One of the issues that comes with trying to use ammonia or mothballs is that not only does it not work effectively as a repellent, it is also highly toxic. Leaving a source of mothballs or ammonia around the yard or garden to try and repel the creatures is simply irresponsible, as it can easily cause harm to children or domestic animals.
How To Deal With An Armadillo Problem Properly
The real solution for getting rid of an armadillo will be to trap and remove the animal if it is already on your property, or to install a good fence to keep them out. If you are installing a new fence, make sure that it is embedded in a trench at least twelve inches deep, to prevent these frustrating creatures from being able to dig underneath.
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