The word Armadillo in Spanish translates into "Little Armored One" and they first arrived in Texas around 1850.
Armadillos are found across the entire Southern US but have now also been documented as far west as Eastern New Mexico and Colorado and up the Eastern Seaboard into North Carolina. They have moved as far north as Nebraska with occasional sightings into Illianois and Indiana. They can roam great distances from their ground den and may have 8 or 9 dens within an individuals territory. The dens are about 8 inches in diameter, up to 4 feet deep and can be as long as 24 feet.
Armadillos will grow from 24 inches to 32 inches long and 9 inches to 15 inches tall. They are grayish-brown with small sparse hairs and have a small head consisting of small eyes and large ears. Their body is covered with scaly plates with 9 jointed bands on the mid-section. They have 4 toes on the front feet and five toes on their back feet. The proper name is the "Nine Banded Armadillo".
Their importance as pests is their rooting and digging of gardens, lawns, flower beds and golf courses. Their burrows along streams can cause erosion. They are confirmed to be responsible for about 1/3 of the new Leprosy cases reported each year in the United States. You should avoid all unprotected contact when possible.
They have a keen sense of smell with poor eyesight and good hearing when not preoccupied by its quest for food. They are fast runners for short distances; good swimmers and can hold their breath for several minutes where it walks underwater to cross streams or to search for crayfish.
They are 80 to 90 % insectivores but will also feed on crayfish, amphibians, reptiles and their eggs, bird eggs, plant roots, vegetable matter and worms.
Nocturnal (except during cold months); they are sensitive to cold and can die in extreme cold weather. Will curl up like a ball when attacked by predators and can completely cover itself in loose soil within 2 minutes.
The main reason for it being roadkill is its habit of being so engrossed in its search for food that it loses track of its surroundings and when it is startled (by a car for example) it jumps straight up into the air (hence, roadkill).
Armadillos will mate between July and November and the gestation period is 3 to 4 months. They have a litter of 4 that are all of the same sex. Longevity is up to 16 years.
Control: The main problems that armadillos cause in urban areas is the rooting and digging up of lawns and flower beds in search of their food. Armadillo’s primary food source in a lawn is grubs worms. Gulf Coast Exterminators can offer a soil treatment for your lawn with an insecticide to eliminate this food source. This provides the property owner with an added benefit of a healthier lawn.
Other control methods we have employed include the baiting of live catch traps. Gulf Coast Exterminators will then humanely relocate these animals to a sparsely populated area.
IMPORTANT FACT: A GOOD PERCENTAGE OF THE ARMADILLO POPULATION HAVE LEPROSY!
Armadillos are a popular Houston pest we get service calls for. Call us today at (281) 449-7404 and let Gulf Coast Exterminators help you with your Armadillos problem.
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