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Armadillos becoming more prevalent locally

How can I get rid of an armadillo? Ten years ago, we never got that question in the Extension office. Today, we get it quite often. In a study by UGA researcher Mike Mengak, baited traps caught zero armadillos. In fact, they were unable to find any bait that helped them to trap significantly more armadillos than an empty trap.

These findings suggest that if armadillos are to be captured, trap placement is much more important that attractant selection. Homeowners and others attempting to live trap armadillos should carefully select a trapping location. It is likely that a trap (even one without bait) with wings placed near an active burrow will be the most effective method for capturing individual nuisance animals. Homeowners and others can place traps near natural barriers or fences such as the walls of patios, edges of buildings or landscaping features; or near natural fences such as fallen trees. The use of baits and attractants does not appear to increase trap success.

Problems and complaints about armadillos have become much more important now that they have moved into our area. Armadillos do not eat plants around the house, but they will turn a yard into a mess as they dig for insects and worms. Controlling insects in the turf can help to control armadillo damage, but removal is often recommended. Here is Dr. Mengak's advice:

Armadillos can be controlled by trapping (adding baits seems unnecessary). Wire cage live traps measuring at least 10 x 12 x 32 inches are recommended. Use of wings, constructed of 1 x 6 inch lumber in various lengths and placed in a V-arrangement in front of the trap can help to "funnel" the armadillo into the trap. Setting traps along natural barriers like logs or the side of a building increases capture success. Placing the trap in front of a burrow entrance is better than random placement in the environment.

No bait, lure or attractant has been shown to be effective in increasing capture success, although there are numerous reports of baits used with varying success.

No repellents are registered for use with armadillo. No toxicants (poisons) are registered for use. Pesticide use to reduce insect populations in landscape settings may be effective. No fumigants are registered for use to control armadillo. Shooting is an effective control technique. Armadillos are not protected in Georgia. There are no season or harvest restrictions. Use a .22 caliber rifle in a safe and legal manner. Check city and county ordinances before discharging weapons. Always practice safe gun handling procedures.

Web posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006

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