You may not have seen armadillos yet this season, but it’s never too early to gather ideas to outwit them. Although they devour bugs, crickets, grubs, ant larvae and other undesirables in your yard and garden, the ravenous little creatures plow through dinner and leave the “table” looking like a war zone. The armadillo must go!
A live animal trap, available at farm supply stores, works for this job. Set it in a location favored by armadillos. Use landscape timbers, boards, or the like to make two walls in a wide funnel arrangement that will guide the animal into the open trap. (Taking advantage of an existing fence or wall does half the work.) Your funnel walls should be 8 feet or longer and high enough that the animal can’t walk right over them. A dedicated armadillo seems to go everywhere with its head to the ground, so it is easily routed.
Trying to bait the trap is a waste of time since armadillos are not attracted to human food. But they will fall for an earthly trick: Place the trap in an area rich in compost. Armadillos seem to know it’s good hunting ground for earthworms. Abstain from watering your yard for a few days, then water only the trapping area to attract the animal. It will follow its nose.
This method may take some trial, a few errors and some patience, but the effort should be worth it. All you must do next is find your captive a new happy hunting ground.
Jackie Hope, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service