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How to Kill an Armadillo
Armadillos are majestic and noble creatures. It is odd to think you would ever need a reason or have the desire to hurt or kill one, even if it has somehow penetrated your home or workplace. As with everything, there are exceptions. If you find yourself in a life-threatening situation with an armadillo, there are certain measures that can seriously hurt, damage or even kill an armadillo.
Oftentimes when people are frustrated with armadillos, it is because they have found peoples’ gardens and vegetable patches. They eat the worms in the ground, which are important for healthy and nutritious soil or worms in compost bins which are vital for the breaking down food by-products into rich and moist gardening soil. They are strong and mighty and able to burrow under garden fences or even greenhouses and feed at nighttime.
Traps and Relocation
Traps work best at gate or fence openings, where armadillos enter a garden or lawn. The gate can be used as funnel to move the armadillo into the primary direction you want. Using a path of grubs or other worms, you can tempt the armadillo further into a trap because they will follow their hunger instincts.
Other traps work well placed on top of armadillo holes. These typically involve some sort of home-made body clamp mechanism that will snap on an armadillo’s head when it emerges. This trap is particularly dangerous and oftentimes lethal for not only armadillos, but beloved household pets like cats and dogs.
Relocating armadillos is pretty simple. Keep the armadillo in the trap and drive it out five miles to your nearest wildlife or nature preserve or wilderness area. Then, set the armadillo free and they will not come back to your garden.
Most folks who have resorted to killing armadillos instead of humanely trapping them and relocating the creatures to a more natural habitat use rifles or shot guns. It is important to remember when deciding whether or not to kill an armadillo that automatic weapons are more dangerous than armadillos themselves.
There is no known armadillo poison. Armadillos love grubs and worms and are not tempted by anything other than that. If you do try to poison an armadillo, this slow death will cause the armadillo to hide out under your porch or even dig a hole under your house—potentially breaking through a basement wall—and will die there and continue to decompose for a year. The smell is horrendous.
Yard dogs work to scare off armadillos. If trained to protect gardens and lawns from these critters, a dog will howl, bark and chase the armadillo until it leaves. If not, the dog bark will at least alert you and you can wake up and trap the animal another way.
There are other electronic alert systems as well. Baby monitors are a cheap system and most people have one lying around. Once the armadillos being rooting and tunneling, the sound will carry to wherever the other monitor. Other, more technical and expensive electronic devices are motion censored and will sound an alarm when a critter is detected. You can then further observe the armadillos’ habits and then trap it or shoo it out of your yard.
Deep fences, if put down into the ground far enough, will keep armadillos at bay. Fences and gates that go just under the surface will not keep armadillos away. Just go a little lower and they will be out of your garden for good.
Certain scents will also keep armadillos away. They do not like the smell of moths or mothballs. Walking around your yard and swinging cheesecloth, or other permeable fabric, full of mothballs will help distribute the scent.
Beneficial nematodes are a natural soil protector but you can buy more beneficial nematodes to help armadillo invasions. Beneficial nematodes are microscopic organisms that invade other pests and release toxic bacteria that kill the other organism within two days.
If you want to avoid hordes other critters from feeding on dead armadillos, best bury them deep into the ground and in the wilderness if possible. House dogs especially love to nibble away at a fresh armadillo carcass.
However, if you want to lure large birds, such as turkey vultures for further hunting, an armadillo carcass will do the trick. The predatory birds will waste no time devouring this meal.
While armadillos can be stubborn and frustrating, killing them is not the only option. Trap and release methods are the most humane and equally effective for eradicating them from your garden.