Four-Legged Pests: Dealing With Armadillos Digging Up Your Garden


For any flower-lover, digging burrowing animals are a nightmare. While you can teach Fido not to uproot your petunias, wild animals can still wreak havoc on a garden in search of bugs to eat - and none is better at this than the armadillo. If you want to keep armadillos from turning your flowerbeds into their personal buffet tables, or if you desperately need to end a serious armadillo infestation, the first step is to figure out what makes the little critters tick.

Make Your Yard A Place Armadillos Don't Want To Visit

If you're fortunate enough to have never dealt with an armadillo infestation, you can keep up your lucky streak by making your yard extra unpleasant for burrowing pests. These preventative measures work not only on armadillos, but also on possums, raccoons, moles and other small digging mammals.

One way to scare small mammals away from your yard is to sprinkle it liberally with predator urine, like that of a wolf, fox, coyote, or mountain lion. Don't worry, you don't have to try and collect it yourself! Processed predator urine is available in the pest control section of many stores both in liquid and spray form. While this is somewhat of a smelly option at first, the smell will fade in one or two days, but the treatment should protect your yard for much longer. As an added bonus, animal urine is completely harmless to your beloved plants.

Another way to make your garden inhospitable to burrowing pests like armadillos is to remove their food source. Spraying insecticide over your yard or having it professionally treated will kill the bugs armadillos rely on for food, so you won't see them any time soon. The downside of insecticide treatment is that some bugs armadillos eat are beneficial for the garden, such as earthworms. You'll need to decide whether you want to get rid of your yard's bugs entirely or choose an alternative armadillo-blocking option.

Get Armadillos To Pack Up And Skedaddle

If your preventative measures fail, don't resign yourself to an existence plagued with burrowing holes. You can annoy armadillos into leaving your garden several ways.

If you have dogs, consider letting them spend the night outside for a little while. Barking and chasing armadillos is normal behavior for many dogs, so they may be able to scare the pests away. Of course, this only works with dogs significantly bigger than armadillo-size - your teacup chihuahua is likely to get bullied by varmints if you leave it out overnight.

If you have no outdoor pets, you can try coating your flower beds in a number of unpleasant substances. Castor oil, cayenne pepper, vinegar, ammonia, and dish soap can all be extremely unpleasant to armadillos, who will often find some other garden to tear up after digging in these substances. Be careful with more delicate plants: some repellents, like vinegar or ammonia, can hurt especially fragile plants. Try to apply repellents as far away from the flowers themselves as possible.

If all else fails, you can always call an exterminator to trap and kill your armadillos. While killing them may seem cruel, many states do not allow relocating armadillos. If you want to be free forever from burrow holes, orchestrating their demise is the only permanent option. You can try trapping and killing them yourself, but most people prefer to save the dirty work for the professionals. Having a pest expert on hand can also be a boon because it's a great opportunity to ask for advice on keeping armadillos and other pests at bay in the future.

Don't let armadillos - or any burrowing pests -  ruin your garden. Take preventative steps now and act quickly if you spot signs of an infestation. If you've tried everything and those burrowing pests just won't go away, don't be afraid to call your local pest control company like Cavanaugh's Professional Termite & Pest Services for help. It may be a hassle to deal with unwanted pests, but your flowers will surely thank you.


10 October 2014