What is the Best Bait for Armadillos – To Catch Them Easily?

what is the best bait to catch an armadillo

Usually, the major feed of armadillos includes fruits, lizards, scorpions, meal worms, insects, etc.

You can also use them as baits inside a trap to catch armadillos in your house.

However, these baits may attract other animals too and you may end up getting unnecessary results.

Apart from it, you may yourself not be able to find these baits very easily.

The procedure of catching an armadillo, therefore, isn’t just about using the best kind of bait but also about positioning the trap right.

Below in this article, we will be looking at some of the best baits you can use for trapping armadillos without any additional trouble.

Best Baits for Armadillos

As per their nature, armadillos find their food below the ground, and hence it is unlikely for them to find their food over the ground.

Plus, there is a pretty low chance that baits like worms and larvae would attract an armadillo’s attention as other animals may also prey on them.

As a result, when you use such baits there are higher chances of catching some other animal like cat, raccoon, or opossum rather than an armadillo.

One of the most recommended baits is to get a sock and fill it with bananas, stale cabbages, or rotten meat.

If you want, you can also go for non-live baits like rot eggs, fruits, fish, and sardines.

When using these baits for catching armadillos remember that these baits don’t work on their own.

You will have to use a cage trap in addition to catching these tough creatures.

Using a cage trap will help in producing a certain odor which will catch the attention of armadillos very well and can help trap them easily.

Care that if you are to use live baits like maggots, cricket, mealworms, or earthworm, then go for a nylon sock as it won’t allow any discharge.

Tips for Using the Bait and The Trap Correctly

Armadillos are night animals and so consideration of timing is important when you are placing the baits in the trap or a cage.

In addition, follow certain additional tips so that you get success in catching them.

  • You should place the trap near the burrow or hole in the yard it is digging
  • Place the trap down the pathway where the armadillos frequently pass by
  • Put some fences along the side to function as a trail reaching out to the trap
bait for armadillos

How Dangerous are the Armadillos?

An armadillo is a four-foot, armor-plated timid mammal that looks like a sloth and anteater.

They are black, brown, or salmon-colored.

Though they are chubby and have rigid armor plates, they are agile, fast, and extremely flexible.

Armadillos can easily walk on waterbeds and can also swim. They are active from dusk to dawn and they usually sleep during the day.

Plus, they possess an amazing sense of smell but lack proper eyesight and hearing.

Are they aggressive?

No, armadillos aren’t aggressive. In fact, they are peaceful mammals and they calmly do their task of eating insects, enjoying grubs and water.

Because they have sharp claws and robust legs, they are able to dig deep burrows with proper entrance and exit.

Some of the burrows measure over 15 ft. in length.

They reside in groups, so you can notice around 30 burrows in one network.

However, their burrows are differentiated into 4 categories.

  • Nursery
  • Escape route
  • Major burrow
  • Sleeping area

Those residing in Canada or in the northern parts of the USA may have definitely noticed armadillos inside the zoo or on a wildlife channel on their television.

Are they dangerous for pets and humans?

They are strange-looking critters, but they don’t pose any threat to you or your pets as they bite rarely.

However, they will definitely enter your premises and eat all your veggies in the garden.

In case they overpopulate, they may even dig your backyard garden.

With that in mind, you should also remember that armadillos are wild animals.

And like other wild lives, they can also communicate diseases (such as rabies and leprosy) if not controlled or handled improperly.

So, how can a homeowner get rid of armadillos from his house?

There are some good options available for you to get rid of them.

Some of the options include DIY while others require professional assistance.

how to catch an armadillo

How to Get Rid of Armadillos on Your Own?

As mentioned previously, armadillos are peaceful animals hence you don’t have to be worried about any potential dangers from their side.

But, if armadillos trespass your property more often and damage your gardens, you should take steps to get rid of them.

Although it is not a very difficult job to trap them, if you reside in states like Texas or Florida, you should know that the killing of armadillos is restricted.

Hence, before you look forward to getting rid of armadillos on your own by killing, you should contact animal control and see if it is allowed by the regulations.

1- Cage Trap

As an amateur armadillo trapper, you should pay a visit to your local feed store and find a raccoon cage trap.  

These cages are of normal size and usually measure around (30x10x12) inches in length, width, and height.

Good quality traps come with rolled edges internally so that the animals don’t rub their skin or fur against any sharp metal.

Usually, they are galvanized steel-wired cages and have a spring trap door that gets closed automatically as soon as the mammal enters the cage.  

Experts suggest keeping the spring tension a little high so that it doesn’t set off for small animals like mice.

Tips for trapping an armadillo in a cage

To attract them towards the cage, you should use baits they love.

As mentioned previously, some of the food items used to invite armadillos inside the cage are spiders, carrion, lizards, snakes, insects, frogs, beetles, and scorpions.

The place where the cage trap is kept should be at some surface level which is important or else the cage will flip over as soon as an armadillo enters it.

As armadillos are nocturnal, the perfect time to place your trap is after sunset.

Check it in the morning and you will find the little mammal trapped.

Just pick the cage through its handle, carry it and open it in some wooded area, at least 5 miles away from your house.

2- Fencing the yard

Most of the time armadillos are found to either scurry along the ground or dig through the soil inside your garden to find food and shelter at night.

Building a fence around your garden and property may help your family sleep peacefully without worrying about these animals anymore.

Make sure, as they are the real diggers, you will need to embed the fence deep into the ground at least by 1-foot deep.

A fence that’s placed just above the soil will not be going to work for stopping these creatures from entering your yard through the soil underneath.

Better if you can also spread some pine mulch along the perimeter of the fencing installed.

Armadillos do not like the smell of pine mulch and this will help in keeping them away.

3- Reduce the food sources

Reducing their food sources is another easy way by which you can be getting rid of an armadillo problem on your own without taking any extra trouble.

Keep an eye on the pet food leftovers, garbage, or compost you may have to lie idle in your yard.

These materials may attract insects and other rodents and hence can attract armadillos to take refuge.

Having excess moisture in the garden soil or standing water in your yard can also provide a good environment to reside insects, earthworms, and armadillos.

Make sure you keep your yard dry and fix the leaking drainage system (if any) to reduce the chances of having armadillos.

Important Considerations

Getting rid of armadillos needs a lot of patience. It may take some time before you get rid of all of them.

Live trapping helps you to evict these animals easily, especially the ones living deep in your home.

They are effective where chemical repellents may not work. 

Some important points you will need to consider are:

  1. Know about the trapping and relocation regulations of your state before you try catching an armadillo
  2. After all the armadillos are out of your garage and property, make sure you check all the burrows and know if they are empty.
  3. Put the newspaper in every entry and see if they have been moved the next day or not. This is how you will know that you really don’t have any armadillos in your garden holes now.
how do you trap an armadillo in the yard
Are armadillos bulletproof?
Unlike popular beliefs and cases that reports of bullets ricocheting off armadillos, these long-nosed animals aren’t bulletproof.

Instead, the shells that cover their body is typically made up of bony plates (called osteoderms). These grow in the skin and do not make armadillos bulletproof.


How Can You Avoid Armadillos from Entering Your Yard?

Armadillos like to roam around, so as soon as one may leave your property the other may enter.

Hence, you should have a good control plan even after they have gone out of your property.

One of the easiest ways to prevent armadillos in your yard is by scaring them away.

Armadillos are generally known to be shy creatures and they will easily scurry away if they feel themselves to be unsafe.

Just a simple remedy like having a dog guarding your home and yard can be therefore effective in keeping off the armadillos.

This method may however do not work in all cases.

We, therefore, have several options to deter armadillos and wipe them out from your property. Some of them are…

1- Homemade Repellents

A homemade DIY repellent for armadillos can be made with products available in the house and there are some points to keep in mind when making them.

First and foremost, you should know the area infected with armadillos.

If there are holes 4-5 inches wide and 3 inches deep, then you will need to specifically target those areas.

Also, see if the plants in your garden are uprooted and eaten. These can be majorly due to the presence of armadillos.

You should also find burrow entrances as they may weaken your structure’s foundation.

After the infected area has been discovered, you should get ready to take action to prevent any further damage from occurring.

Some of the best homemade repellents you can use for deterring the armadillos include:

a) Castor oil repellent

Castor oil works as a perfect repellent as they are simple to handle and efficient in its task.

This oil is highly effective in preventing these destructive beasts from spoiling your garden vegetation.

The castor oil adds an unappealing odor to their burrows and they may resist entering again in the yard.

However, you should be careful, in case the oil gives you some allergies.

Some of the advantages of using castor oil repellent for armadillos are:

  • It is the Do-It-Yourself method
  • The procedure is cost-effective and fast
  • A safe method for removing the armadillos from your property

There are two kinds of castor oil available in the market that you can go for – granule and liquid.

If you are using granules, mix some water with them and spread them deep in the hole.

If you are going for the liquid one, you will need to mix some water with it as the oil is highly concentrated.

You can then spray it in the holes as well as other entrances – armadillos will never enter it again.

b) Cayenne pepper and water

This is yet another tried and tested homemade repellent which can be easily made by mixing cayenne pepper and water.

Add some water to the pepper and spray it all over the infected area and the pepper will stick there.

Since cayenne pepper is hated by armadillos, they will never enter your property if they smell this cayenne pepper spray.

Some of the advantages of using cayenne pepper repellent are:

  • Easy to make and use
  • Effective and can work instantly
  • The price is very low – a cayenne pepper bottle will cost only around $5

A few pest control professionals also suggest using a mixture of soil and mothballs.

Armadillos usually hate the smell of this insect repellent which discourages them from coming again.

The only drawback of using these homemade spray repellents is they can be temporary and you will need to apply them on a regular basis.

Plus, if there is rainfall these can wash away easily. You will have to re-spray the mix to work as effectively as the other remedies.

2- Electronic Repellent

Armadillos like to wander around and if you see one, there is a high chance that there will be another one too under your house or garden. 

Hence, you should lookout for a perpetually working solution.  

Motion sensor electronic repellents (like Hoont Solar Powered Motion Activated Ultrasonic Animal and Pest Repeller) are proved to be quite helpful in preventing armadillos from entering your premises.

The good thing I liked about an electronic repellent method is it will automatically get activated if it detects some movement.

It then throws water from the sprinkler in the direction it has sensed the motion of an armadillo.

You can easily install it around your house boundaries or at the place where holes or burrows are seen.

A few advantages of using a Hoont ultrasonic electronic repellent are:

  • Easy to install around your house
  • Powerful enough to cover bigger areas
  • Help in preventing the entrance and digging of your yard, round the clock
  • Extremely helpful in securing the boundaries of your house, especially at the place where burrows are seen

The only disadvantage is these can be a costlier remedy in comparison to homemade repellents.

3- Commercial Repellent

Commercial repellents for repelling and chasing away armadillos are known to be more durable.

One major advantage of using them in your garden is they effectively penetrate the deep soil in comparison to the homemade repellents.

This also means you don’t need to apply them as frequently as homemade repellents.

Due to the benefits, it offers these commercial repellents can be a bit pricier.

Some of the best products you can buy online and use are:

  • Armadillo Scram Granular Repellant
  • Yard Guard Organic Armadillo Repellant
  • Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Armadillo Repellant

Before you use these commercial repellents remember that some of these may contain potentially harmful chemical substances that may be dangerous for humans and pets too.

It’s good to research a bit and pick a product that is completely organic and safe for your kids and pets at home.


How to Know if You Have an Armadillo Inside Your Property?

The armadillo is the only mammal with a shell.

Since they carry distinctive features such as a long nose, telling them is easy from the other animals.

Once they are inside your property or building, you will start finding holes in the garden.

This is the strongest evidence that there is some animal nearby invading your property.

One thing you need to remember is that depending on your location, the types of armadillos present in your property may vary.

While there are many different species of armadillos found across the globe, the most common ones include:

  • Long-Nosed Armadillos
  • Giant Armadillo
  • Hairy Armadillos
  • Naked-Tail Armadillos
  • Three-Banded Armadillos

So, if you live in an area that’s prone to armadillo damage, it’s good to know about their different types and the species that may be present around you.

can you pick up an armadillo

Other Related Questions:

What can kill an armadillo?

If you are planning to poison an armadillo in your garden, it’s good to know that you will have a hard time getting success.  

In simple words, it’s nearly impossible to kill an armadillo by poisoning.

Since they dig out to eat the worms and grubs fresh, they are not at all interested in the food/poison that is just sitting on the surface.

If you really want to kill the animal, first make sure that it is allowed in your area. And then try shooting it with a gun.

Since it’s hard for a bullet to penetrate the “armor” make sure you use a weapon like a 22 rifle from no more than 15 yards distance.  

Can you catch an armadillo by hand?

Armadillos are nocturnal animals that are often seen in your yard and not inside the house.

So, if you want to capture them by hand, you will most likely run after them through the dark.

While it’s easy to catch the young critter by hand (because of their smooth shell), it’s often hard to capture an adult armadillo.

They may quickly dart to safety by running with high hops.  

So, if you can run and chase them really fast, only then you can catch and pick up an armadillo by hand.

The Conclusion

Armadillos enjoy digging for their food inside the ground, flower bed, lawn, and garden.

They won’t find it appealing if they find their food above the ground.

The armadillos’ baits I have just mentioned above are just a way to attract these creatures and increase the chances of getting them trapped.

While many people believe that it’s unnecessary to use bait for catching an armadillo (due to the nature of the armadillo’s diet), if you still need to use it, you should place the trap in the right position.

Also, it’s important to stop them from coming in the future by using a combination of methods that can work for you.

It would be better to get professional help if you find the groups of armadillos (Roll) severely damaging your garden.

They may suggest some better alternatives and remedies that can help you in getting rid of them.

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