28-48 inches long with 9-15 inch tail. 6-18 pounds
Signs of their presence:
The animal itself
Holes in the lawn, around 3-5 inches wide and 1-3 inches deep
Uprooted plants and seedlings
Small burrow entrances near a structure. Around 7-10 inches in diameter
In some cases, cracks sidewalks, driveways, or foundation due to their burrowing
Scat: Pellets around an inch long with bits of food visible
Sounds: They will let out a shriek or squeal when in distress. They will emit a cricket-like chirp
Insectivores. They mainly eat insects and other invertebrates; however, they are known to eat small reptiles, amphibians, and plant matter as well. They consume beetles, termites, ants, maggots, snails, grasshoppers, worms, and larvae.
Typical activity patterns:
Social style: Solitary excluding breeding season and taking care of the young.
Daily activity: Mainly nocturnal. However, during colder months they will come out during the day to warm their body.
Armadillos are mainly found in the western region of the state. However, the population seems to be spreading into the eastern part of the state.
Prefers forests with mature trees including pine, oak, and hickory.
Territory and Home Range:
May vary. During breeding season armadillos defend their home range in order to better their chances of breeding a female.
Pair bonding style: Polygamous. Males are thought to have more than one breeding partner
Breeding Dates: July-August. Gestation takes about four months. Implantation is delayed three to four months, so the young are not born at a bad time.
Litter Size: Four young are born from one fertilized egg.
Birthing Date: Around March
Weaning Date: Around 3 months
Amount of time young remain after weaning date: three to nine months. After they are weaned they will forage with the mother and leave in six months to a year.
Common nuisance situations:
Time of year: Any time of the year
What are they doing?
Their presence might frighten people due to disease risks
Digging up lawns in search of food
Damaging underground pipes
Damaging foundations, sidewalks, or driveways with their burrows
Ripping up young plants in search of food
Disease Risks: leprosy
Legal status in Tennessee:
Unprotected. Armadillos may be hunted year-round
Fence off Vulnerable Areas:
Erect a wire fence around the foundation of your house. Bury the fence 2 feet deep and have it near 2 feet above ground. Put electric wire through the top of the fence to stop them from climbing over.
Put of the same fence for gardens and flower beds. Putting hardwood chips down may deter the armadillo as well. They will not want to dig through all the chips.
Make your yard uninviting:
Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the yard. This will irritate the nose of the armadillo
Get rid of the grubs and worms that the armadillo is digging for with pesticides
Spread castor oil repellents in the yard
This makes the grubs and insects taste bad and creates a foul smell in the burrows
Remove any wood piles, rotting woods, or other structures that bugs and grubs live in
Set up motion-activated sprinklers. Armadillos are skittish so a burst of water will deter them from an area
Trap the armadillos near their burrows or flower garden
Remove Artificial Food Sources:
Feed pets inside
Store birdseed, pet food, and animal feed indoors or in a secured container
Store compost in a sturdy container, such as a 55-gallon drum or a store-bought composter
Trapping armadillos can be extremely helpful in alleviating the issues.
Set a trap right in front of the burrow or along the wall or fencing closest to the damaged area
Create a funnel with wood guiding the armadillo to the trap
Set a body-gripping trap at the burrows entrance or on a trail traveled by the armadillos
Set them at dusk and make sure pets cannot get into the yard
Preferred killing methods:
CO2 chamber (if caught in a cage trap, simply place the trap in the chamber.)
Shooting, using a shotgun, rifle, bow, or crossbow (target the chest area)
Acceptable killing methods:
Control strategies that don’t work particularly well or aren’t legal in Tennessee:
Mothballs have been used but have no effect on armadillos.
For information on legal pesticides click the following link, https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/environmental/environmental-health-topics/eht/pesticides.html
Motion-activated lights have no real effect on armadillos since they have such poor eyesight
Pour vinegar around a vulnerable area to deter armadillos from entering