Armadillos – as lawn pests (11-10-08)
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In one night a manicured lawn can be severely damaged from the voracious and destructive digging caused from armadillos. These small, nine-banded, armor-shelled animals with long snouts and strong claws can rip up a lawn in only hours as they look for morsels of their favorite foods of frogs, mole crickets, insect larvae, ants and any other tasty invertebrates.
So, what can we do to keep them from destroying our lawns? Basically, it comes down to only a few choices; elimination of the food supply, exclusion, shooting or trapping, even though you may hear of many other tales for their control. Fencing can be effective, but often does not lend well to the landscape. Shooting can become a controversial subject and is not allowed in many areas. Therefore, your choices may only be eliminating the food supply with insecticides, or trapping. Trapping can be effective, but takes some skill and patience. Adding temporary wings (fencing or boards) to a small live animal trap helps herd the critter into the trap. Baits put inside the trap such as overripe fruit (apples or bananas) or live mole crickets or earthworms held in a thin netting or panty hose will help lure them into the trap.
Published November 10, 2008
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org