We have all seen armadillos either attempting to make their way across the road (often winding up as roadkill) or running through our yards. They are not native to Florida but are found statewide. Armadillos eat mainly grubs and other small insects leaving little holes in the top of the soil, grass or mulch that typically range anywhere from 1-3 inches deep. When customers call me and are trying to explain what they are seeing in their yard, I typically ask "Does it look like you took your knuckle and shoved it into the ground?" That normally gets a "ya...it does" response from them. This is called rooting. Another more obvious sign of an armadillo is a large hole in the ground where they have dug a burrow. We most commonly see armadillos burrow under areas where there is a 4 inch slab of concrete. These areas include air conditioning pads, pool pump systems, sidewalks, driveways and patios. They will also dig near tree and plant bases especially if the soil is soft. Armadillos can have multiple entrances to one burrow. Adding to the challenge in catching them, many times they will burrow in one yard, yet feed in others. Baiting an armadillo is rarely, if ever, helpful as they are used to rooting for their food not just walking up on it in a cage. They can be a very challenging animal to trap.

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Armadillo facts:

  • They have very poor eyesight but most commonly feed at night.
  • An adult armadillo is 15-17 inches long (not counting the tail) and will weigh 8-17 pounds.
  • Pregnant females always give birth to identical quadruplets. She has one egg that splits into four all female or all male young.
  • When an armadillo needs to cross narrow water bodies they often walk on the bottom under water. If it is a wide body of water, they will inflate their stomach to twice its normal size allowing for enough buoyancy to swim across.
  • When surprised an armadillo will often leap into the air and then run quickly to a nearby burrow.
  • Watering gardens or lush plant areas in the morning is preferable since the soil can dry out in the afternoon and not be as easily detected by night-foraging armadillos.
  • Armadillos can also be excluded from small areas of extensive damage with fencing at least 2 feet high and with the bottom buried at least 18 inches deep.