Armadillos - moth balls?

roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)May 23, 2006

A friend suggested i toss out moth balls in the yard - to run off the armadillo that is DESTROYING my flower beds....her sister swears it works, so i am gonna try it. Do i need to pick them up after the armadillo goes away, or just let them decompose?

thanks in advance for any ideas....

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Moths balls should never be put out in the open, anywhere. They are composed of a highly toxic substance that is hazardous to soils, and a host of non-target animals. Humans should never touch them with their bare hands, or inhale the fumes. And NO, there is no reason why they should deter armadillos.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 12:28PM
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Even though it is an off-label usage, I have several acquaintances who have had great success using moth balls for chasing away larger animals. As noted above, these materials do have impact on humans, and therefore there is some hope that they can impact other mammals such as armadillos. This is also a remedy that you see recommended fairly often by extention folks who are trying to help out; there really are not many pest control materials for larger mammals, because they would probably have significant human impacts also if improperly used. I am rather skeptical about effectiveness of this kind of treatment for large animals, but have not tried it myself. There is plenty of information to suggest that the moth balls should be able to target mammals such as armadillos or deer. Moth balls are generally either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Both of these materials sublimate, that is go directly from a solid to a vapor. There is generally no residue to care about from the moth balls after they have been out in the open for a while, and I can see no reason why you should try to collect them after they have been distributed in the garden. As long as they smell, they are still sublimating; when you can't smell them, you can forget about them. Keep in mind that you do not want to be handling these materials yourself; they can have adverse effects if you have skin contact, or breath the concentrating fumes. (Of course, that is exactly what you hope will happen to the armadllos!) You might want to consider putting the balls in holes you find to increase the impact on the critters. The impact on your garden may be that you have fewer pest insects as well. Just let them be, and see how they work. Moth balls are inexpensive enough that they seem to be worth the effort. By the way, there is a large botanic garden in Maryland that I've visited numerous times with a horendous deer problem. They have resorted to using moth balls sprinkled around some of the most targeted plants. Since the garden is public, they have also put up some fencing and signage to keep people and pets away from direct contact with the balls. I note that there are also a number of threads in the garden web forums dealing with moth balls for a variety of pests, with some pretty encouraging results reported. I also did a quick look with a web search, and noted that this is a fairly common approach to armadillos. We have enough pests as it is; I'm glad this is not one of our local residents. Good luck on the garden.


Here is a link that might be useful: Armadillo control

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 7:07AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Thanks Renais - i had actually found that very same weblink the other evening! I bought some, and am going to try it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 8:13AM
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salvialvr(Utah Zone 6)

IT worked for me last fall, I had one that must have had psycic surveilance on me because I could never catch it but it was rooting up my Broccoli almost every night. I put out the moth balls fairly heavily around the perimeter of my garden space and only had one more visit from the grey demon. and he only rooted once before leaving for good.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 12:44AM
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I agree with rhizo_1 - don't put toxic mothballs into the environment. If anything, shove some newspaper in the hole - if it remains undisturbed for 24 hours, you know the animal isn't inside (armadillos keep several, often over 20, burrows) then seal the hole shut with steel screen. If you must get rid of the animal, trapping and removal is a good option.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Get Rid of Armadillos

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 2:44PM
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