How can I rid my lawn of armadillos? (11-8-10)
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One of the most frequently asked questions I received during the recent Garden Fest in Crystal Springs was how to keep armadillos from destroying lawns?
A well manicured lawn can be severely damaged from the voracious and destructive digging caused from armadillos in a single night. These small nine-banded armor-shelled animals, with long snouts and strong claws, can rip up a lawn in minutes when searching 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? Even though you may hear of several local tales for their control it basically comes down to only a few choices;
Fencing can be effective, but often does not lend well to the landscape and can be expensive. Shooting is a controversial subject and is not allowed in many areas. Therefore, your choices may be narrowed to eliminating the food supply with insecticides or trapping.
Insecticides, while effective in reducing the food source, may not stop hungry armadillos from periodically checking your lawn for a potential meal.
Trapping can be effective, but takes some skill and patience. A small live animal trap with temporary wings (fencing or boards) extended out several feet in a “V” shape will help herd the critters into the trap. Baits of overripe fruit (apples or bananas), live mole crickets or earthworms held in thin netting or panty hose placed inside the trap will help lure the armadillos into the trap.
Published November 8, 2010
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