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How to get rid of armadillos?

Thankfully, there are several means by which you can get rid of them and stop them from causing further damage.

June 23, 2022

12 min read time

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There was a time when armadillos were a problem for residents of Texas alone.

Well, times have changed, and these animals have migrated to other regions in America.

If you have an armadillo problem, then I suggest you keep reading.

In this article, we’ll be giving you useful tips on how to get rid of armadillos.

Armadillo Control

In the Southwest region of the United States, armadillo control has been a big issue recently.

These small rodent-like creatures typically migrate to regions with mild winter, and they are notorious for digging up flower beds and burrows in search of food. Among the things they eat include bugs and worms.

The burrows leave gaping holes in the soil and can leave young plants uprooted. An armadillo is every gardener’s nightmare because of the damage they cause, and getting rid of them would be a priority.

Getting rid of armadillos requires a thorough knowledge of their behaviors.

Armadillos are nocturnal animals. This means they go about in search of food at night. They don’t see very well but can pick up scents easily.

They are fond of digging holes and traveling through. If you spot some holes in your soil, then it was probably dug up by an armadillo.

They have solid legs with powerful claws, that they use in digging burrows in the soil, termite mounds, and anthills.

They also have a very sharp sense of smell, all thanks to their very sensitive noses. They use this ability to sniff out food from the source, which is mostly under the ground.

The good news is, armadillos aren’t interested in coming into your home unless, of course, it is packed with all sorts of bugs and worms. You can sleep well at night, knowing this.

They also have no interest in attacking people; all they care about is their food. Once they have it, they will be satisfied.

One of the biggest problems with armadillo control is that they aren’t territorial animals. Unlike other pests that pay return visits to an environment with food, an armadillo may not return to a garden they have recently ravaged.

This means the armadillo that dug up burrows in your yard today may not be the same one to dig up burrows tomorrow.

How Do You Get Rid Of Armadillos In Your Yard?

Gardeners can be thankful that there are several ways by which they can get rid of Armadillos. Follow the simple armadillo removal methods listed below to get rid of armadillos in your yard.

1. Use A Live Trap

An effective method you can employ is to trap the animal alive. You can buy a live trap from a pest control store near you to catch an armadillo.

If you’re a DIY person, you can actually make the trap yourself.

We have to mention, though, The trap you’re using should be able to catch the animal alive. Armadillos may be pests, but it will cause them to suffer before they die if the trap injures them. This could pass for animal cruelty.

This is not to say you can’t kill an armadillo. You can, but it depends on the region or state you live in. Check with your local laws regarding armadillo traps and killing to get relevant information.

Please don’t use a small trap; buy one large enough to hold it.

Using an armadillo trap, you will need some bait. Knowing that they like eating worms and other insects, you can place some topsoil containing bugs inside the trap and place it in an area where the invading armadillo will easily spot it.

The major reason armadillos need to dig deep is to get food. But if they can get it with the smallest amount of effort from the traps you set, chances are they will take the bait and enter the trap.

As the armadillo enters the trap, the spring door will be shut behind it, and it wouldn’t be able to come out.

Be sure to buy a trap that is made of durable wire weaves. Remember, armadillos have strong claws and they will try to get out. If the trap isn’t durable enough, they will rip through it and escape.

If you need help catching an armadillo, then you can call a close friend or neighbor with experience to help you trap it.

You can also follow the simple instructions on the manual before you use it. An extra tip here is to ask the attendant at the pest control store to give you a quick demonstration before taking the trap home. You can give it a try yourself before you leave.

You can get two traps if you wish.

After the armadillo has been caught, you can call a professional animal control service to help you get rid of it.

2. Use Harsh Scents (Vinegar, ammonia, pine cleaner)

As powerful as the smelling ability of an armadillo is, it can also be its weakness. You can use this information against them.

An armadillo uses its nose to find food by picking up the slightest scents, but what if the armadillo perceives something stronger?

You know how it is with dogs and their powerful smelling ability, and how they sneeze or move away when a glass of strong whiskey is held close to their noses? Well, it’s the same for armadillos.

Strong scents can help you remove an intruding armadillo from your yard.

Vinegar is one of the scents that an armadillo absolutely hates. Humans don’t pick up scents as good as armadillos, yet we are turned off by vinegar. Imagine how harsh the scent will be to an armadillo!

You can spray around the ground of your yard with vinegar to deter armadillos.

Be careful not to spray vinegar on your plants, as it can harm or kill some plant species. You can sprinkle some vinegar around the ground to keep them away from your garden soil.

Ammonia is also a substance that packs a punch scent-wise, and armadillos hate it simply because it is too strong for their noses to bear.

You can also sprinkle some on the ground across your yard, but not on the plants! Place small bowls of vinegar in the area where they may intrude for better results.

You can also sprinkle some ammonia around the perimeter of your house to deter armadillos from coming into your yard.

The process should be repeated every couple of weeks, as the vinegar and ammonia smell can wear off over time. It could also be washed away by rain.

There is one downside to this armadillo control method. Many people aren’t fond of the scent of ammonia or vinegar. If you’re one of them, this may not be the best armadillo removal method for you.

On the other hand, if you can bear the smell of vinegar or ammonia in your yard, then you can give this method a try.

3. Pine Needles Or Pine Bark For Mulch

Another scent armadillos do not like is pine tree scent. Use this information to deter armadillos.

Lucky you if you already have some pine trees planted. The smell can help keep an armadillo away.

If you don’t have any pine trees, you can go to a home improvement store near you to buy pine needles and pine bark.

Use the pine needles and bark for mulch. If an armadillo enters your garden and the ground is laced with pine mulch, they wouldn’t be able to stand the smell and would shun the idea of digging your soil.

Make sure you buy as many bags of mulch as you would need. The mulch should be at least 3 inches thick and should cover the entire garden area.

4. Remove Attractants

Truth be told, it is impossible to remove all the worms and insects from under your soil. However, there are things you can do to keep the insect population to a minimum.

The trick here is simple, the more grub you have, the more armadillos will be attracted to it.

Among the things you can use to reduce the insect population is a natural predator. Animals like lizards and frogs eat insects too, so you can buy some and introduce them to your compound, and help you reduce the insect population.

There are bird species that also eat insects and worms. To draw them in, you can place a bird feeder close by and fill it up with birdseed.

The birds will swoop down for their free meal, and the garden insects will serve as a bonus.

Birds have good memories and can remember where they got their last meal from. As long as there is a feeder there, they will pay return visits.

If you want the birds to land directly on the soil, scatter the seeds on the floor rather than the feeder. As they pick up the birdseed, they will eat up the bugs as well.

Another way to make your yard unattractive to armadillos is by removing old tree stumps and any dead or decayed woodpiles. These are perfect hiding spaces for insects, and armadillos can sniff them out.

The less dead or rotten wood there is, the fewer insects you will have in your yard, and the less interested armadillos will be.

5. Build A Perimeter Fence

A fence is arguably the best way to prevent armadillos from entering your yard, as well as most other animals. Denying them entry with a fence in the first place solves the problem. All you have to do is build a fence around your property to keep the pests away.

If it’s a picket fence, make sure the posts are within an inch or two of each other so the armadillo can’t squeeze through.

The fence should also be dug about 3 feet deep all around your yard so the animal won’t be able to dig burrows and pop up from the other side. Remember, armadillos are experts at digging holes!

Many people may not buy the idea of having a fence around their own homes, but no armadillo control method is better in all honesty. It is the best way to restrict access to your property.

This will effectively keep armadillos away.

6. Call An Animal Control Or wildlife Professional

Not everyone is the DIY type, and that’s very understandable. If you need help removing an armadillo or any other unwanted animal from your property, then your next best option would be to call a professional Animal control service or a wildlife expert.

They are in an excellent position to assist you with removing armadillos from your property. Being that they have experience with pests of all sorts.

Does Cayenne Pepper Keep Armadillos Away?

Yes, cayenne pepper can keep armadillos away from your home.

This is possible for two reasons.

• Cayenne pepper has a strong scent

• Armadillos have a sensitive nose

Just like vinegar and ammonia, armadillos cannot stand the effects of cayenne pepper on their noses.

Use powdered cayenne pepper and sprinkle it all around your yard to ward them off. Please apply to the area where you expect them to invade.

This substance isn’t harmful to the soil, so you can scatter an adequate quantity around your home to keep armadillos from digging.

Once your yard becomes unconducive for the pests, they will go somewhere else in search of food.

Be sure to repeat the process once in a week or two. This is because the cayenne pepper powder can be washed away by rain or blown away by the wind over time.

What Time Of The Night Do Armadillos Come Out?

Armadillos prefer going out in search of food at night. Between sun-down and sun-up is when you can find them being active.

The reason for this is that they’d rather avoid extreme temperatures such as the scorching sun in Texas or the Southwest parts of the United States.

In the winter season, armadillos might go out for food during the warmer parts of the day.

What Are Armadillos Attracted To?

Besides water, which every living creature needs to survive, armadillos are attracted to grubs and other insects that live under the soil on your property.

They have a sharp sense of smell and can pick up the scent of insects buried as deep as 7 feet underground.

How To Make Your Yard Unattractive For Armadillos

As we have mentioned before, it is impossible to remove all the grub and insects from underneath your home garden soil. This means armadillos will keep being attracted to your yard.

What you can do is reduce the insect population using natural predators like frogs to prevent armadillo activity. You can also use scents like vinegar, ammonia, and cayenne pepper to deter them.

Do Armadillos Harm People?

No, they don’t harm humans; neither do they have any interest in doing so. They are actually shy and would rather remain concealed in their burrows.


Armadillos can damage your flower beds and other soil areas in search of food. They do this by digging holes in the ground. Thankfully, there are several means by which you can get rid of them and stop them from causing further damage.

Using any of the methods listed in this article, you can prevent them from causing further damage.

We hope this article on how to get rid of armadillos has been helpful.

Good luck!

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