Armadillos are funny looking mammals that can’t see very well and spend their nights hunting for grubs and insects to eat. They hunt by smell and, unfortunately for many home owners, dig up the ground and people’s lawns and gardens looking for food. Trapping armadillos is most often the best way to eliminate these burrow-dwelling critters in suburban areas, but how do you trap an armadillo? There is more than one way.
If an armadillo that is tearing up your lawn or garden does not live in your yard, or if you can’t find the burrow, then you might consider shooting or trapping it. Armadillos are usually active early in the morning or late at night. A gun and a flashlight is all that you need if you’re a night owl, but this method is not suitable for suburban areas. Home owners can either get up early or stay up late and attempt to net the armadillo if you see it.
I’d recommend getting some shut-eye and letting a live trap do the work for you. If you would like to try a live trap, first make sure it is big enough to hold an armadillo. They are around the size of a large cat when fully grown. Bait the trap with fresh fruit or earthworms. Worms probably will work the best because baits that consists of fruits might just attract a raccoon or opossum instead. If you use worms, put them in a nylon stocking so that their smell gets out, but they do not.
Traps should be at least 12 inches high, 12 inches wide and about 36 inches in length. Place your earthworms into the trap and set the trip mechanism on the trap. To really up your odds of trapping the armadillo right off the bat, place the trap adjacent the burrow or where recent damage has been observed.
Once you’ve trapped the problematic armadillo, you can release it away from your home. Just don’t try to eat it, armadillos carry a bacteria that causes leprosy. To prevent it from coming back, you can release it somewhere that seems a bit more natural. Try to let it go near a lake, river, stream or pond. There should be some amount of brush or other cover nearby for it to hide in. Armadillos are not strongly territorial, so the probability of it returning is nil.
Armadillos tend to wander about looking for food, and they can make it just about anywhere so do not feed bad about moving your problem out of the neighborhood. Of course, if you release the trapped armadillo into another neighborhood, then someone there will be wondering how to trap and armadillo. And the cycle of life continues. They can learn just like you did.