Although armadillos are beneficial because they eat insects and other invertebrates, they sometimes become a problem by digging in lawns, gardens, and flower beds. Some damage has been caused by their burrowing under foundations, driveways and other structures. They invade home landscapes because normally the soil is less compacted, moist and easier to dig in.
Armadillos can be infected by an organism that is thought to be the human leprosy bacterium. Armadillos are unusual animals. They do not have a body covering of hair. Instead, the body is covered with a protective shell of bony armor. There are nine moveable bands across the back and the tail is covered with a series of overlapping rings. The underside parts are covered with soft skin and some long hair.
Armadillos usually weight 8-17 pounds. Adults grow to approximately 2½ feet. Their front feet are well adapted for digging. Armadillos have poor eyesight, but a keen sense of smell. They can run fast when in danger. They are good swimmers and can walk across the bottoms of small streams and farm ponds.
Armadillos are active primarily from dusk through early morning hours in the summer. In the winter they may be active only during the day. Armadillos have one litter of young per year born in the spring. The litter size is usually quadruplets of the same sex.
When armadillos cause damage they need to be controlled. But controlling them is not easy. Cage trapping is an effective way to capture armadillos. Although they can be difficult to catch, because they are unpredictable. Trapping can sometimes be more effective if two long boards are used on either side of the trap to funnel them into it. Over ripe or spoiled fruit is recommended as bait.
There are not fumigants, toxicants, or repellents registered for the control of armadillos. However, since most of the damage they cause is a result of their digging for insects in the soil, an insecticide can be used to make the area attractive to armadillos. Once the food source is eliminated, the animals will sometimes go elsewhere to search for food.
Although it is legal to trap armadillos at any time, persons wishing to trap armadillos and then relocate them should contact Texas Parks and Wildlife representatives. Sale of live armadillos is unlawful.