armadillo in my peppers

johnlaneMay 8, 2011

I have about seventy pepper plants of various types. Every morning I wake up to find two or three less. A very aggressive armadillo has taken up under my shed. I live in town so cannot shoot it. Traps are expensive, so not an option. I bought gas bombs but they shoot out a flame, so unless I want to burn my shed down I can't use them. Even tried urine. All attempts have failed. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

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perhaps you can call animal control?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 9:27PM
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City limits wouldn't slow me down. But if the .22 is not an option, a simple leg hold trap might work. Not the most humane but usually effective on any critter with legs. Just put the trap at the opening of his den so that he has to walk over it to get out. Those only cost about $5 or so I would guess. Have you considered poison? I live in Wisconsin so I dont know what dillos eat (other than pepper plants) and what kinds of poisons are available. Here is another couple hints that may get them to simply leave: Moth Balls throw lots of them under the house and the varmints will move out. Those are inexpensive. I also noted that rags soaked in vinegar or ammonia thrown in the hole under the shed might work. I usually go for the most direct, quick and effective solution so I would start at the beginning of my list. But that is just me. I dont really have a problem with pests, but just like every time I smash a mosquito, I say to myself, "I dont care if you fly around, just dont land on me an no one has to get hurt".

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 10:40PM
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Check with your local humane society to see if you can rent or borrow a live trap. Maybe check with local police and/or DNR for advice about what can be done in town.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 12:57PM
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    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:07PM
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Depends, are you okay with outright killing it, and is there any other dogs/cats that come into your yard that you wouldn't want to risk?

We have an old storage house that had a horrible problem with rats (there were old abandoned greenhouses on the next lot over) that were chewing through anything that wasn't a quarter inch steel plate.

We tried traps, normal rat poison, nothing worked. Turns out rats will wait until one of them tries something and see if it dies or not. If it does, the rest won't touch it, so they ignored the poison pellets.

What finally ended up working was a cookie tray filled with anti-freeze (set inside where no neighborhood dogs/cats could get to it). Not the new pet safe stuff, the old "tastes like candy and will kill you dead" kind. Came back a few days later to an empty pan and we haven't had rats there since.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Anti-Freeze? Nice. Great solution. One caution is that using poison might kill the rodent, but then with something like an Armadillo and it's mate and pups, you might wind up with several pounds of rotting animal in the den. If it is under an exterior shed, it wont be a big deal but under the porch of your house might cause a couple months of agony.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 7:34PM
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I would use mouse traps. They will not harm it but will scare it quite a lot when they go off and fling dirt everythere. If you keep resetting them I pretty much guarantee it stops coming into that area. I had a VERY stubborn cat tearing up the same place in my garden night after night and crapping and nothing worked except for mouse traps. I tried physical barriers and cayenne pepper all over and all sorts of crazy stuff, but after the 3rd time that I found my little mine-field of mouse traps set off it has not dug anymore!

What I did was place empty pots and things around to make one obvious entrance to the garden area, then I put the traps down and covered them with mulch carefully and you could not even see them if you tried! Great booby trap, even got me a couple times. Sort of dangerous to setup though!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 7:39PM
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If and when you do catch the armadillo, be careful of how you handle it... There was a story on MSN and CNN a week or two ago about how 'dillos can carry the Leprosy bacterium and transmit it to humans in rare cases...
The stories made this out to be a new discovery, but the link has been suspected for some years. I remember hearing about it when I was in college (we won't discuss how long ago that may have been)...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 4:40PM
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Exactly why I wouldn't mess around trying to be nice. The way I look at it, if someone is invading my space, I ask nicely, give them a gentle hint and if that doesn't work, all bets are off. If you are going to try the mouse trap method, I would use rat traps. They are essentially the same as the mouse traps but about three times bigger. A mouse trap to an armadillo is probably little different than stepping on a twig that breaks. Give that a shot and if it doesn't work, consider that the "gentle nudge".

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:11PM
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Thanks for all the advice. Got some more options to think about. To esox07, they eat worms and grubs. Its digging up the plants. So poisoning it by food would be hard to do.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:52PM
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A trap in the link below looks like not that expensive. Will this work?

Here is a link that might be useful: Collapsible Small Animal Trap

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:14PM
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Thanks for the link on the trap, but its only big enough to trap a baby one.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:25PM
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You can navigate the site as they have ones for medium and large animals. cheers!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Thanks I'll check it out.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Even their Large one is too small for a big critter...

How big do they get?

I guess it depends on how bad the critter wants what you put in it...
Get some knight crawlers at the garden supply or tackle shop,put what is left over in the garden or compost pile.

Go to a Boyscout site and see if they have plans for making a box trap.

Homemade animal traps on google had a ton of links.
E How has plans too.

Wonder if I make a lobster trap and put it in my garden I'll catch a few crabs or Lobsters....
They would taste good grilled with fresh peppers and onions... :)

Armadillo Trap from here:


Here is a link that might be useful: large trap

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:55PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Some people eat 'dillers. They'd go nicely with hot peppers and tomatoes..... Smothered down with onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Couldn't pay me to eat one.

They're not too bright and I doubt if mouse/rat traps going off around them would even link up with making them avoid the garden. They're kind of like little living tanks and have armor all over their funny little bodies except for their undersides, which is why they will curl up into a ball if bothered and can't run.

They will be in the middle of the road and if a truck comes along, instead of crouching down, they will leap into the air high enough to get hit.

I can almost walk right up to one before it will decide to mosey off, but they can run pretty fast if they decide to do so.

I think they're really cute and funny, but not if they are destroying someone's garden and crops.

They CAN carry leprosy and it's good that there are antibiotics that will stop it, but nothing is foolproof, so it's better not to touch them if you don't have to.

That's an old, well-known fact and I don't know why there would be anyone who would try to make out like it's a new discovery. Leprosy, a.k.a. Hansen's Disease, has been a problem in Louisiana in the past and it's said that one can get it from bacteria in the soil here. Perhaps that's where the armadillos pick up the bacteria for leprosy because they burrow into the ground and dig around.

One of my neighbors had a whole family of armadillos living under the slab their air conditioner was sitting on. She called someone to get them out of there. I think they poisoned them and they died under the slab and it was awful.

I've been told that you should never pick one up by the tail because they will start thrashing around and the plates on the tail will cut you up pretty bad, plus they have some large claws.

I don't know why a good-sized humane trap wouldn't be large enough for an armadillo. Those traps catch raccoons and they're about the same size.

I saw quite a large armadillo while I was walking my dog late one night. It meandered away when it saw the boxer beady-eyeing it, but wasn't particularly afraid.

We saw a huge 'possum one night, as well and it stopped and beady-eyed US for a short while, then decided it had better beat feet into the darkness of the neighbor's back yard.

I'm wondering if the armadillos and 'possums will bother my potted peppers and tomatoes this year. The plants are doing well so far and I don't have them fenced off.

Good luck in getting rid of the creature.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 3:07AM
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Armadillo's get to be around 17 pounds, body length between 14 and 17 inches with the tail at about 16 inches. That puts it at about 33 inches total.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:42PM
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Well, are they dead yet?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:57AM
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I've heard that setting a radio in an area that skunks have taken to will drive them off...maybe it will work with 'dillos?
I do know that there is a Have-a-Hart trap that is large enough to hold a big racoon(cuz we have one). They're not cheap but you might still be able to borrow/rent one from DNR or the Humane Society.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:58PM
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I trapped 4 coons in a have a heart trap one summer. They were coming onto our deck and stealing the dog food. Mine wasn't the biggest trap they make either. Here is a size bigger than mine and should be plenty big for a dillo:
.22 shells are cheaper though.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 4:06PM
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You want to trap the animal linked to leprosy? Id call a professional.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:44PM
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I believe i'm gonna call animal control monday. And see if they can get it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:49PM
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