Armadillos are known for their peculiar appearance and tendency to dig holes in search of food, which can result in damage to gardens and landscapes. These fascinating creatures can become a nuisance for homeowners who want to protect their yards from damage.
To effectively and humanely catch armadillos, it is important to have an understanding of the process of trapping armadillos and to implement strategies that are safe for the animal and the environment.
Read on to learn all about how to effectively protect your yard from Armadillos.
Identifying an Armadillo Problem
Armadillos are small mammals known for their distinct appearance and unique digging abilities. They may become a problem when they start burrowing in your yard, causing damage and searching for food. If you’re unsure whether you have an armadillo problem, look for some of these common signs.
Holes in the Garden
One of the most noticeable signs of an armadillo issue is the presence of holes in your garden. Armadillos dig shallow holes, usually one to three inches deep, as they forage for insects, worms, and grubs. These holes often have a conical shape and can be found randomly scattered around your yard.
Burrows Near Foundations
In addition to digging holes, armadillos may also create burrows. They typically choose to do this near the foundation of structures, such as your home or deck.
These burrows can be damaging to your property, and armadillos may even dig under fences to access other areas. Armadillo burrows are usually seven to eight inches in diameter and can be several feet long.
Preparation for Trapping
Before attempting to trap armadillos, gather the necessary tools and materials. Choosing the right armadillo trap is crucial for success.
A live trap, particularly those that are 32-42 inches in length and 12 inches high, is ideal. These dimensions allow enough room for an armadillo to fully enter the trap. One can opt for either a one-door or two-door model. Two-door traps often have a higher success rate but may require more effort.
Wearing gloves is essential when handling traps to avoid leaving human scent on the equipment. Armadillos have a keen sense of smell, and any unfamiliar scent may deter them from approaching the trap. Use gloves made of materials that do not retain scent, such as latex or rubber.
Effective Baits for Armadillos
When attempting to trap armadillos, selecting the appropriate bait is critical for success. Armadillos are primarily insectivores, with their diet consisting mainly of insects, grubs, and earthworms. As such, these are the most suitable baits for luring an armadillo into a trap.
Insects, particularly those found in the armadillos’ natural habitat, can serve as an effective bait. Common insects used as bait include beetles and larvae.
Grubs, which are the larval stage of beetles, are another commonly used bait for trapping armadillos due to their high nutritional value and strong scent, which can attract armadillos from a distance.
Earthworms are an additional bait option since they form a substantial part of the armadillos’ diet. These can be collected from the garden or purchased from a fishing store.
In order to bait your trap effectively, it is essential to place the bait in an appropriate location within the cage. This will help to ensure the armadillo fully enters the trap, increasing the likelihood of a successful capture.
One method is to bury the bait beneath the soil inside the trap, mimicking the armadillos’ natural foraging behavior. Alternatively, the bait can be placed at the far end of the trap behind the trigger plate, encouraging the armadillo to step on the plate and activate the trap door.
When using insect-based baits, it is important to ensure that the insects or grubs are fresh and have a strong scent to attract the armadillos. It is also crucial to regularly check the trap and replace the bait with new and fresh offerings, as this increases the chances of attracting an armadillo and successfully trapping it.
Trap Placement and Setting
When it comes to trapping armadillos, selecting the right location and properly setting the trap are crucial for success.
Locate Prime Areas
Armadillos tend to follow specific travel paths, so start by observing their daily routes and identifying the areas where they frequently pass by or dig for food.
Set your trap close to these paths or near entrances to burrows in order to increase the likelihood of capturing the armadillo.
Set the Trap
When setting the trap, place wooden planks on either side of it to guide the armadillo toward the entrance. This makes it more likely that the armadillo will enter the trap from the correct side and trigger the plate.
To set the trap, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the steel cage. Typically, this involves securing the doors in the open position and attaching the trigger plate mechanism.
Monitor the Trap
Finally, monitor the trap frequently to ensure success and a humane release process. Armadillos are active during the night, so checking the trap early in the morning is advisable.
Once you have successfully trapped the armadillo, follow appropriate guidelines for releasing it back into the wild or contact a wildlife removal expert for assistance.
Handling Captured Armadillos
Once the armadillo is caught, it’s essential to handle the animal with caution and care. One should wear gloves to minimize risk and ensure their own safety. Approach the trap slowly and gently, so as not to startle the captured armadillo. It’s common for armadillos to react unpredictably when they feel threatened, so remaining calm is key during this process.
Relocate the Armadillo
Next, make sure to choose a suitable relocation site for the armadillo. Select a location that is at least six miles away from your property to minimize the chances of the animal returning. Look for an area with ample bushes and a water source nearby so that the armadillo will have access to both food and water after it’s released.
Release the Armadillo
Finally, when releasing the armadillo, open the cage door slowly and carefully, allowing the animal to exit at its own pace. Watch from a safe distance to ensure that the armadillo moves away from the trap and into its new environment. Once it has left the trap, remove your gloves and sanitize them properly to avoid any potential contamination.
Discouraging Future Armadillo Visits
To help prevent recurring armadillo invasions, several steps can be taken to make your property less inviting for these creatures.
First, it’s essential to reduce attractants. Armadillos are primarily attracted to the insects and invertebrates living in your lawn and garden. To minimize their food sources, maintain your garden and keep the soil well-aerated, addressing any pest issues immediately.
Fencing is another effective way to discourage armadillos from entering your property. Installing a fence with small openings and burying it at least 18 inches deep will deter armadillos from digging underneath. Make sure the fence is tall enough as well, so they cannot climb over it.
Using an armadillo repellent can also help keep these animals away from your property. Some popular repellents include strong-smelling substances like vinegar, castor oil, and Epsom salts. Additionally, spreading cayenne pepper around the perimeter of your property can be a powerful deterrent, as armadillos dislike the scent.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most effective armadillo trap?
The most effective armadillo trap is typically a live cage trap that is large or x-large in size, about 32-42 inches in length and 12 inches high.
These dimensions allow enough room for the armadillo to fully enter the trap. You can choose from either a one or two-door model. Traps are often constructed with metal wire and a strong spring mechanism to provide a secure and humane capture.
Are there specific times when armadillos are easier to catch?
Armadillos are primarily nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the nighttime. Therefore, the best time to catch an armadillo is during their peak activity hours, typically between dusk and dawn.
Setting your trap in the evening will increase your chances of catching them while they are foraging for food. Be sure to check your trap regularly to ensure the humane treatment of the caught animal.
What materials are commonly used for armadillo traps?
Metal wire is the most common material used for armadillo traps, as it is sturdy and durable. The wire mesh should be tightly woven to prevent the armadillo from escaping. Additionally, it should be resistant to rust and corrosion to ensure longevity.
The trapping mechanism is usually made of strong springs and metal bars to securely hold the animal inside the cage while minimizing the risk of injury. Some traps also feature carrying handles for easy transport and release of the captured armadillo.
Wrapping up Armadillo Trapping
Armadillos can be a real nuisance, but with proper traps and bait, you’ll be well on your way to eliminating them from your yard and garden.
Dealing with any other troubling critters? Check out our Guide to Woodchuck Trapping.