Dogs and Armadillos

Jul 3, 2019 | Pet Health, Pets

I was talking to a friend who was telling me about three armadillos and a raccoon she found on her property and how curious her dog was about them.  This got us thinking about what would happen to her dog should the armadillos and raccoon (more about raccoons in a later blog) go into attack mode.  These are wild animals and their first instinct would be to defend themselves and their territory.  

“Yep, it’s just your sock”. “What?”  “You mad at me?”


“Maggie, what is in your mouth?”


“This is Maggie resuming her position and laying under my chair while I get ready in the morning”.  “And Jake is always close by”

What you need to know about Armadillos:

  • Armadillos are small animals, clumsy in their protective armor.
  • They are prolific diggers, swimmers and runners.
  • They can swim under water and they are able to hold their breathe for over six minutes.
  • They may have poor eyesight and a great sense of smell.
  • There are many diseases that are associated with armadillos.
  • They can carry the mycobacterium Leprae known to cause Leprosy.
  • The armadillos can transmit the Leprosy when they attack using their claws.
  • They can carry the rabies which can only be transmitted through the bite of the armadillo.
  • The armadillos can also affect the animal with the tapeworm.
  • They are also known to carry salmonella which can be transmitted through fecal matter.

Without a good food source, Armadillos will typically not stay on your property.  If you are the unlucky homeowner who now has a family of them burrowed under or next to your foundation, call the local Humane Society to find out the wildlife laws in properly removing them.  The best recommendation in removal is to have a professional do the job.   If you plan to live trap this animal in your garage on your own and need bait, worms work great. Wrap the worms in a nylon stocking and set your trap. Always wear gloves to protect yourself when handling a trapped armadillo.

Are you ready to release him? Keep in mind they are territorial so they will not quietly leave your garage. Release them near a body of water such as lake or pond. They tend to make new burrows closer to water. Once you are sure you have removed the little creature, try placing a few moth balls or some pine scented oils strong enough to smell the entire garage and he will more than likely keep away. 

In order to keep the armadillo population down in your yard, put in a fence deep enough into the ground at a slight angle because they dig for grubs and worms and burry themselves deep into the earth.  Make sure your landscape does not retain to much moisture because they love moist soil.  

These creatures have very sensitive noses. Anything with a strong obnoxious odor tends to steer them away. It has been known that these guys do not like the smell of pine. Pine mulch could be a help around the perimeter of the yard, near flower beds and around your fence. Then there is always the nice old mothball fix or ammonia remedy which has been debated if it actually works or not.  Just make sure that if you have other pets or children, they do not come in contact with the mothballs or ammonia.  

What about feeding this creature with rat poison or antifreeze?  First of all, this is inhumane.  Armadillos will typically not eat rat poison unless it is placed under rotting fruit or meat but you run the risk of other animals or domestic pets eating the food and dying.  If you are thinking of leaving a bowl of antifreeze in your garden, the armadillo will drink from it and die a slow painful death.  Again, you run the risk of another animal finding it first.  It is best to have a professional handle this situation for you.

There is also the myth of using human hair or chemical repellent found at stores like Home Depot but in my research, have found that neither are effective in removing your pesky friends.  

Armadillos generally stay to themselves but if provoked such as by a curious dog, get your dog away from them as soon as possible.  If they decided your house is one that appeals to them and they make their home next to yours, take the necessary steps in properly and humanely removing them to another location.  Make sure that if you find one, their babies might be close by and remove the whole family.  Should an armadillo die on your property, the smell is very hard to get rid of.  

Hope you enjoyed this blog post!

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