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Armadillo

Armadillo at night on log (15987 bytes)The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is an odd-looking mammal covered with armored plates, and is about the size of a cat.  Armadillos are not native to Florida, but are now common over most of the state.  Armadillos like forested or semi-open habitats with loose textured soil that allows them to dig easily.  They dig burrows for homes or to escape predators.  They eat many insects, or other invertebrates, and some plants.  They most often feed at night, and have very poor eyesight.

Armadillos prolific rooting and burrowing can severely damage lawns and flower-beds.   To reduce armadillo damage to your lawn keep watering and fertilization to a minimum.  Moist soil and lush vegetation bring earth worms and insect larvae (armadillo candy!) to the surface of the soil.  Armadillos can sometimes be enticed to move by watering areas adjacent to the damage site.  Armadillos can also be excluded from small areas of extensive damage with fencing at least 2 feet high and with bottom buried at least 18 inches deep. 

It is lawful for a landowner to live-trap or humanely destroy nuisance armadillos although they are difficult to capture with live traps. Armadillos are not considered native to Florida and are, therefore, illegal to transport and release.  Relocating wildlife is seldom biologically sound, the animal often does not survive.

You can receive technical assistance for armadillo problems by contacting your nearest FWC regional office.

More information

Texas wildlife fact sheet on armadillos

Mammals of Texas life history info 

private site with armadillo information

Wildlife Resources Handbook life history fact page

University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension (.pdf)