Armadillos weigh on average about 13 lbs but the largest specimens can reach weights of up to 22 lbs. Nine Banded Armadillos are the largest of the species and measure anywhere between 25 and 42 inches including the tail. The outer shell is composed of non-overlapping "scutes" which are similar to scales but are formed in the outer layer of the epidermis. The scutes are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor protection covers their back, sides, head, tail and outward sections of the legs. The underside and inner portions of the legs have no armor but are protected by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair.
They use their front claws to dig out burrows to live in which are only as wide as the animal itself. They often have several within their home range. They also use their front claws to dig up the ant and termite nests.
The middle toes on the 2 front feet are longer than the rest and are used for digging but are not as large as the much bigger Giant Armadillo of South America. Contrary to popular belief it is only the Three Banded Armadillo that can roll itself into a ball to avoid attacks. Most species of armadillo will try and flee any danger by running into heavy brush or thorn bushes if available. The North American Nine Banded Armadillo can jump 3 to 4 feet straight up into the air when surprised often colliding with the undercarriages and bumpers of passing vehicles.
Though armadillos have short legs they can move quickly when threatened. Armadillos will inflate their intestines to float across small streams and rivers or sink and run across the riverbed. They can hold their breath up to 6 minutes underwater. It is believed they developed this ability due to the fact they have their snouts buried in the soil for long periods of time forging for insects. Armadillos have long stick tongues that aid in the collection of ants, termites and other insects and have been observed rolling in ant and termite mounds to dislodge as many insects as possible to make feeding more productive.
Armadillos have extremely bad eyesight and rely on their fine-tuned sense of smell to get food. They are insectivores with their diet consisting of ants, termites, beetles, earthworms, grubs and other insects. They will also eat fruit, some vegetation and have even been known to eat carrion they come across.
Armadillos have been seen eating roadkill but some researchers believe that it is possible that the armadillo is actually eating the maggots that accompany dead animals rather than the actual animal itself.
Their tongues are long and sticky to get into tunnels of ants and termites, their main food source. Armadillos are nocturnal, but on occasion they will forage during the daytime.
Thanks to their powerful claws and forelimbs which allow them to jab the ground to take out termites and ant mounds. They are also known to consume fallen fruits. Armadillos munch on food with the help of their peg-teeth that lies to the side of jaws.
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Favorite Foods of an Armadillo
Armadillos thrive in warm climates and live in rainforests to semi arid deserts. They have low fat stores which makes them vulnerable to long periods of cold weather. The populations of all armadillos species is threatened except that of the North American Nine Banded Armadillo which is expanding (see map). Red areas of the map indicate present day populations of armadillos in the United States. The shaded red areas denote areas that are expected to areas of armadillo occupation in the near future.
Armadillo Range in North America
Armadillo burrow against home foundation.
Burrow under front porch. The placement of this burrow can undermine the integrity of the concrete and lead to a collapse.
Trapped armadillo in non-lethal cage trap. All captures are released unharmed to the wild.
There are some sure fire signs you may need to get rid of armadillos. You may wake up to find deep holes throughout your lawn which is a result of armadillos digging for grubs and earthworms. They might also choose to dig a tunnel (burrow) under your deck, porch, shed, or home for a place to live.
Armadillo burrows are typically 6-8 inches in diameter and are only as wide as the animal's body. They can move quite a bit of dirt and can potentially undermine the stability of a structure if they remove the supporting soil beneath it. Armadillos typically move approximately 35 cubic feet of soil for each burrow system they dig.
When trapping armadillos Jarrod's uses humane catch and release methods. We survey the areas of your home or business for signs of armadillo activity then set out live capture steel cage traps. Once an animal has been caught we transport it to a remote woodland area for release.
We have years of experience in trapping armadillos and will eliminate your armadillo problem the first time - guaranteed! While many nuisance animals can easily be captured by homeowners the armadillo isn't one of them.
Armadillos don't respond to bait and back out of steel cage traps when they come into contact with them. Armadillos recognize changes in surface textures and become wary when they suddenly change (i.e. from grass to the metal of the trap).
Getting rid of armadillos can be a accomplished by trapping them with a humane, live trap. A wire mesh cage trap 10 x 12 x 30 or larger (about raccoon size) will do the job. Using bait to trap armadillos doesn't work.
Professional wildlife trappers have tried for years and have come away empty handed. Armadillos need to be "funneled" into a trap. If you decide you want to try to trap armadillos yourself Jarrod's sells armadillo traps at the lowest prices you will find on the web. Whether you are a homeowner or a wildlife removal specialist you will not find armadillo traps for less than Jarrod's.
However, trapping armadillos yourself isn't easy. It's more of an art than a science. Many homeowners have trouble getting rid of armadillos themselves because they are so "trap wary." At Jarrod's Affordable Wildlife Eviction we know how to get rid of armadillos for good. We've been doing it for a long, long time. Call us for a free estimate 706-221-8000
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In Georgia we provide armadillo removal to Columbus, Hamilton, Pine Mountain, Fortson, Lagrange, Fort Benning, Americus, Waverly Hall and all towns in between. To see if you fall in our service area click here.
In Alabama we provide armadillo removal in Phenix City, Eufaula, Smiths Station, Auburn, Seale, Cusseta, Opelika and everywhere in between. Click to see if you fall in our service area.
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In Georgia and Alabama
Ft. Benning Ga.
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