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Armadillos have to be caught in live traps usually. Use boards to form a funnel into the mouth of the trap. A heavy dusting of crushed hot pepper will also sometimes work. If the animals get a big snout full of hot pepper, they will jump, spin, and run away. Killing the grubworms with toxic poison won’t do anything but contaminate the soil. Armadillos also like earthworms and other life in the soil.

Other highly fragrant materials like mustard powder, hot pepper, and finely ground tobacco will also sometimes help. Here's a web site on a good trap to use.

Question: Short of staying up all night with the handy 12 gauge, I am at a loss of how to keep armadillos from digging up my wife's bedding plants.  They don't eat; they dig, probably searching for grubs.  I have tried sculpture sprinkled on the plants for some help, but am not sure how if effects the plants.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help.  B.C., Italy

Answer: They eat grubs, other pests, beneficial insects and even earthworms.  Sometimes they just root around for the fun of it. Try a heavy dusting of dry hot pepper - the hotter the better.  If they get a big snout full, they will definitely remember it.

Question: If I made a tea using cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper and applied this to my yard, do you think it would be effective in getting rid of armadillos? I have Tifway 419 and Tifway Sport Bermuda grass. Will the pepper damage the grass? K.W., Little Elm

Answer: Liquid hot pepper will help, but a heavy application of dry hot pepper will work even better. If the armadillo gets a snoutful, it won't be back. The pepper will not hurt the grass.

Re: Your article in the Dallas Morning News about armadillos:

I purchased several bottles of Cayenne pepper at the local Dollar store (2.47 oz. at 50 cents a bottle), sprinkled it around the holes and in the flower beds, and voila, no more armadillos at a fraction of the cost. Thanks for all your advice! Christa 


 Armadillo entrance to Howard's yard.


The following information is from: Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Harris County Precinct 4 / Houston, Texas

Texans and armadillos call the Lone Star State home, but who are these armored neighbors?  There is a lot to know about this interesting mammal with tiny eyes, a pig-nose, ears like a donkey and a football-shaped body.

Armadillos once belonged to the primitive order Edentata. Edentata means "toothless," a misleading name since armadillos have 32 peg-like molars. Armadillos are now classified to the order Xenarthra. The Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), originated in South and Central America and is related to anteaters and sloths. Armadillos traveled to Texas through Mexico and stayed because our moderate climate is essential for their survival. Armadillos don’t hibernate and cannot survive long periods of cold weather.

The name Armadillo means "little armored one" and is derived from the Spanish word armada. The name Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) refers to the moveable bands across the back of the "dillo," which can number between 7 and 11. Other nicknames include "possum in a half shell," "Texas turkeys" and "Hoover hogs," to name a few. The name "Hoover hogs" began when armadillos were eaten by the economically disadvantaged during the Depression, when Herbert Hoover was President.

Primarily an insectivore with a keen sense of smell, armadillos can smell insects that are six inches under the soil. Armadillos have a long protrusive tongue with sticky saliva, which they use to collect insects out of the holes they dig. It is this digging and rooting that brings them into conflict with humans; however, their diet includes harmful grubs and ants, including the infamous fire ant which can’t bite through an armadillo’s armored shell or skin.

There are several ways to deal with an armadillo in the yard. Simply remove flowers until the armadillos are through, which can be a long wait.   Or, as a deterrent, cut up cayenne peppers and place in the garden or yard. These peppers are very unpleasant to the armadillo’s sensitive nose. You can tell if an armadillo has visited by the three-inch-deep, cone-shaped holes it leaves, which are insect traps that it revisits.

Armadillos play in shallow water, kicking it onto their belly and scooting around in it like a pig. They can swim dog-paddle style across a creek by inhaling air into their lungs, stomach and intestines to make them buoyant. Or they can hold their breath up to 10 minutes and walk across the bottom of the creek.

Armadillos have long sharp claws, four on the front feet and five on the back, designed to function like a jackhammer. Armadillo claws are used for excavating food and to dig out their burrow. Once a burrow is excavated, an armadillo gathers leaves (holding them against their belly with their front feet) and hops backwards like a bunny into its burrow to construct a nest. Texas Parks & Wildlife biologists have researched armadillo burrows and found some up to 15 feet in length, complete with curves and many rooms. And often armadillos are not the only animals living in them.

The armadillo is covered with short, yellow-white hairs which, when blown on, cause the armadillo to jump up to three feet into the air. Unfortunately, our vehicles also ruffle their hair as we pass over them in the road, making them jump into the bottom of the vehicle.

Howdy Howard, This armadillo trap is something good that comes from Texas A&M. It works!!! - HL Olsen, Stephenville, TX


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