Ar­madil­los in North­west Ge­or­gia

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a busy road­way. The give­away is the pro­tec­tive ar­mor on the head, body and tail of the ar­madillo. The ar­mor will have 7 to 10 mov­able rings be­tween the shoul­der and hip shield on the an­i­mal. The ar­madillo will have a pig like snout with peg- like teeth that are good for grind­ing food, but not good for catch­ing other an­i­mals. There is only one species of ar­madillo that cur­rently will call the south­east home.

Ar­madil­los have few nat­u­ral preda­tors. At the same time, they are not pro­tected in Ge­or­gia. They can be hunted or trapped through­out the year. It is safe to say you see ar­madil­los most of­ten when you see one on the side of the road that was killed by an au­to­mo­bile. I will add that if you con­clude you must do some­thing to erad­i­cate or re­duce ar­madillo num­bers on your prop­erty, to con­tact DNR or Game Man­age­ment to make sure what you are go­ing to do is le­gal in fash­ion.

Ar­madil­los will dig their own bur­row for a home or will use the bur­row of an­other ar­madillo. Ar­madil­los do not hi­ber­nate in the win­ter, but they also are not ac­tive when tem­per­a­tures are above 85 de­grees F. In the win­ter, they will be ac­tive in the warmer parts of the day. When we get hot in the sum­mer, ar­madil­los will be­come more ac­tive in the night hours. Ar­madil­los can stay in the un­der­ground bur­row for days, but they are not known to store food and do not have much body fat. They must come out of the bur­row to look for food. I will add that in bad weather events, they can freeze or starve to death if they are un­able to find food sources. They have poor eye­sight and need a good sense of smell to find food. The diet will nor­mally con­sume of in­sects and, be­lieve it or not, soil and plant lit­ter. They will eat fruit items or veg­etable mat­ter when avail­able. In­sects pre­ferred to con­sumer are bee­tles, wasps, moth lar­vae, ants, mil­li­pedes, cen­tipedes, snails, leeches and earth­worms. They can eat frogs and toads plus lizards and even small snakes. A UGA study of ar­madil­los did show in­sects as the main part of the diet.

What type of dam­age can ar­madil­los do? Root­ing in lawns, golf cour­ses, veg­etable gar­dens or flower beds may be the most com­mon. Dig­ging dam­age by bur­row­ing un­der foun­da­tions, drive­ways and other struc­tures can be prob­lem­atic, too. There has been ar­madillo com­plaints in some parts of the U. S. where ar­madil­los keep folks awake at night by rub­bing their shells against the home. Ar­madil­los can carry dis­ease such as lep­rosy, but to be clear, our pub­li­ca­tion states no re­ported pos­i­tive cases in Ge­or­gia, Alabama or Florida. There have been a cou­ple of cases in Texas of trans­mis­sion, but it was from con­sum­ing raw or un­der­cooked ar­madillo meat. There was one study on ar­madillo dam­age in Texas in the mid to late 1970s and one in lim­ited area, the dam­age was es­ti­mated at $ 20,000.

Again, as far as I know, ar­madil­los are not pro­tected in Ge­or­gia. I would visit with DNR prior to do­ing any erad­i­ca­tion to con­firm your le­gal­ity in ar­madillo re­moval. Ar­madil­los are at times con­trolled by trap­ping. Wire cage live traps mea­sur­ing at least 10 x 12 x 32 inches are rec­om­mended. It is also rec­om­mended to use wings of 1 x 6 inch lum­ber placed in a “V” ar­range­ment in front of the trap to fun­nel the ar­madillo into the trap can help. Try putting the trap along nat­u­ral bar­ri­ers like logs or side of a build­ing can help in­crease cap­ture. There are no bait, lure or at­trac­tant that have shown to be suc­cess­ful in in­creas­ing the num­ber trapped. There are no re­pel­lents, no tox­i­cants or no fu­mi­gants reg­is­tered f or ar­madil­los. Shoot­ing in some places has been an ef­fec­tive con­trol method if or­di­nances al­low. Also, check with reg­u­la­tory agen­cies such as Game Man­age­ment on trap­ping and re­leas­ing. This may not be well re­ceived since you are re­leas­ing on an­other per­son’s prop­erty or not good for the ar­madillo. You are tak­ing the an­i­mal from their food, wa­ter and shel­ter that can re­sult in death to the ar­madillo. There are also nui­sance wildlife con­trol op­er­a­tors that can re­move ar­madil­los as a busi­ness.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact UGA Ex­ten­sion- Gor­don County at 706- 629- 8685 or email gbow­man@ uga. edu.

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