Armadillos don’t have to ruin your landscape

Johnny Morgan, Reed, Donald P.  |  6/18/2011 2:16:35 AM

News Release Distributed 06/17/11

Though there are no repellents or poisons registered for armadillo control, there are several options for those plagued by this nuisance animal.

The species of armadillo found in the United States is the nine-banded armadillo. This animal is classified as an outlaw quadruped, making it legal to kill armadillos throughout the year, according to LSU AgCenter wildlife specialist Don Reed.

“Shooting is one method that is legal in Louisiana. With recent changes in the night-hunting regulations, armadillos can be hunted with the aid of artificial lighting,” Reed said.

Weapons are restricted to shotguns or .22 caliber rim-fire rifles, Reed said. Center-fire weapons can be used if permits are obtained from any local Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries field office.

“These night hunting privileges are only legal when conducted from the last day of February until the last day of August,” Reed said.

Bringing the water hose out to keep the landscape green during this dry period has caused an increase in armadillo activity around homes and gardens, according to Reed. These moist areas provide a prime place for this nuisance animal to feed.

The burrowing and rooting habits of armadillos are often the cause of the animal coming into disfavor with homeowners.

“Characteristic armadillo activity in a landscape consists of shallow holes that are 1 to 3 inches deep and 3 to 5 inches wide,” Reed said.

The majority of the digging activity by armadillos is done while searching for food, and a well-watered yard provides a more attractive environment for many of the food items that armadillos depend on.

“Ninety percent of their diet consists of insects and larvae, while earthworms, fruits, berries, snails, slugs, ants, amphibians and reptiles also are consumed in small quantities,” Reed said.

In urban areas where armadillos are common and cause many problems, shooting is not a viable option because of restricted firearms use.

Another choice for control is a wood trap, which employees at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station are having good success with, Reed said. If you can catch one armadillo, the wood in the trap tends to hold the animal’s scent, and then other armadillos will be attracted to the trap.

Another trap option is made of wire mesh. However, this trap does not hold the scent of an armadillo and is not as effective.

For additional information on armadillos and their control, you can contact Reed at 225-683-5848.

Johnny Morgan

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