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Meet Our New Backyard Neighbor: The Armadillo

October 30, 2018

Learn how to keep them out of your yard 


When most people see a series of holes and dirt piles in their yard, their first thought might be, ‘It’s a mole.’ However, it’s possible you may have an armadillo on your hands instead. The armadillo has slowly been making its way into Missouri within the past few decades, and it looks like it’s here to stay. 


The armadillo is about the size of an opossum and is most recognizable by its armored body with nine movable “bands” in the middle of their backs, sparse hair, short legs, big ears and a long, ringed tail. They have four claws on their front feet and five on the rear. Its diet typically consists of earthworms, spiders, scorpions and other insects and their larvae. One armadillo can eat about 200 lbs. of insects in a year. They get most of their food underground, and this is where they become a nuisance.


Cultivated grass is ideal for digging up food for a hungry armadillo. They typically leave “pock” marks, or shallow holes, in your yard, around 1-3” deep and 4-5” across. They may have dirt thrown out or a V-shaped piece of sod peeled back. Armadillos are most active from twilight through the early morning hours in the summer. In the winter, they are only active during the day when the temperatures rise. 


Controlling armadillos can be frustrating, as they are not strongly drawn to bait attractants in a trap, and fumigants and repellents have not proven to be effective. However, removing habitat that is likely to attract armadillos, such as brush, rock or wood piles, stumps and other places of refuge, will help to prevent them from calling your property home. Moist soil and green grass attract armadillos, so reducing watering and fertilizing might also help.


For more information, contact St. Peters Animal Control at 636-278-2255 or CLICK HERE.