In the United States the sole resident armadillo is the nine banded armadillo.Their range is as far east as South Carolina and Florida, and as far north as North Dakota, but is most common in the central southernmost states particularly Texas. The armadillo, in fact, is the state small mammal of Texas.Their life span is usually 12 to 15 years. Their armor-like skin appears to be their main defense, However, many armadillos escape predators by fleeing (often into thorny patches, from which their armor protects them) or digging to safety. The armadillo’s armor plating is made up of actual bones, making them rather inflexible.
Diet: Insectivore; grubs, beetles, ants, termites, grasshoppers
Armadillos have powerful claws for digging up meals, mostly insects and their larvae. They also dig burrows in which to den. The softer the ground, the better they dig. You may even find evidence in your yard or garden! Although considered pests by some, the armadillo also eats grubs, which are particularly harmful to crops. Because they have almost no hair to help regulate their body temperature, armadillos forage for food in summer evenings and on warm winter afternoons.
Mating Season: July through August
Nine-banded armadillos, the only species found in the United States, almost always give birth to four identical quadruplets that develop from the same egg.
Three Fun Facts About Armadillos
- When startled or scared, these armadillos can jump four to five feet high.
- They are actually good swimmers when they need to be. They can also hold their breath for up to six minutes and are really skilled at walking underwater to cross streams.
- These small mammals can sleep for up to 16 hours each day, and this will usually be during the daytime.
Encountered an Armadillo?
Armadillos are passive creatures and, unless cornered, are very unlikely to show any aggression towards humans. They only eat worms and small insects, so there is zero chance of one attacking out of hunger or just randomly. However, when they feel trapped or threatened, they can become aggressive, and their teeth, although very small, can absolutely penetrate your skin. It is best to leave these guys alone and let them be on their way!
How to keep armadillos out
Electronic deterrents can be a great above-ground solution for scaring away armadillos. Above all else, armadillos care about their food source. Removing their food sources from your home or lawn can deter armadillos from entering your property. Removing shrubs, bushes, tall grass, or other places where armadillos’ main food can live is a good starting point. Although armadillos climb well, installing an in-ground fence may be a solution for also deterring armadillos from homes. To improve the fence’s effectiveness against armadillos, bury at least 12 inches of fence underground, then slant the fencing outward at a 40-degree angle and allow at least 24 inches of fencing above ground. Because armadillos use their strong legs and front claws to dig, it’s crucial the fence is made of sturdy material and has no larger spaces for armadillos (or other creatures) to crawl through.