Q: I have an armadillo that thinks he’s a bulldozer in my back yard. He (I guess it’s a “he”) has plowed up my flower beds and ruined parts of my lawn. We have a trap but he won’t go in it. How do you control armadillos?
A: Until a few years ago, I had never heard of armadillos in Georgia. Now there are groundhogs in the north part of the state, coyotes in the west and your “possums on the half-shell” moving up from Florida. All are a bother but not yet quite as complaint-generating as our native deer.
Armadillos eat soil-dwelling insects, like grubs and earthworms, so that’s why they favor flower beds and lawns. You have discovered how vigorously they can root through the soil looking for a meal.
Legend has it that when animal brains were being distributed, Armadillo and Possum were playing together somewhere else. Their mental acumen has not improved over the years and you can take advantage of that.
Your first task is to find their path. Armadillos typically travel a single route going from their den in nearby undergrowth to their feeding grounds. Look for beaten-down grass going from the edge of your property to your damaged areas.
Next, purchase a one hundred foot roll of twenty-four inch wide chicken wire and some short wooden stakes. Drive the stakes into the ground and staple the wire to them so that you end up with a long funnel. (see the improvised drift fence constructed by my friend Tommy G. below). The two sides of the funnel at the wide end should parallel the path from the woods, a few feet on either side of it. The narrow end of the funnel should terminate at the mouth of your trap. When Mr. Armadillo next snuffles into your yard, never looking up, he will be gently guided by the wire funnel into your metal prison. I’ll leave it up to you what to do with him afterwards.
Evaluation of Baits for Armadillo Control none worked!
armadillo (photo courtesy of David Funderburk)
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