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Armadillo Control Blog - A Trapper's Journal

This weblog chronicles some of the adventures I have had while operating my wildlife removal company in Orlando, FL - Click any of the photos for a larger image and more information.

04.11.2012 - BOOK: Dillos: Roadkill On Extinction Highway
Author, speaker, professor, and jazz aficianado William Klemm has written this delightful book about one of nature's greatest survivors, the armadillo. Despite a brain the size of a walnut (the armadillo, not Dr. Klemm!), this strange little critter has managed to survive for 55 million years, outcompeting many other animals along the way. This book examines the history of the armadillo, and discusses many of its unique traits. Author Klemm has inserted many of his witty and insightful observations on this special animal. The book is availab ...click for more

05.18.2007 - Baby Armadillo Photograph
How cute! A baby armadillo! Armadillos aren't normally cute, but the younglings qualify, and then they get less attractive with age (like me!). Armadillos don't breed very often (like me!), and when they do, the young hide in the den and grow quickly. Thus, juvenile armadillos are rarely seen or caught. However, today we got four juvenile armadillos. Here I am, seen holding the pick of the litter. How did we come across four in just one day? That's a silly question - armadillos ALWAYS have four young! That's right, in a very strange breeding quirk, armadillos alwa ...click for more

03.23.2007 - Animal Hydration - Thirsty Armadillo
Now here's a thirsty critter! This is a Nine-Banded Armadillo, after a day of being stuck in a trap. I usually work very hard to keep the animals cool. I set traps in the shade, I cover traps when I can, and I always retrieve the animals as early as possible. The worst thing to do is to leave an animal in a cage all day, particularly out in the sun and without water! That is a very inhumane thing to do, and it causes the animal to suffer, and perhaps suffer heat stroke or death. It's important to get the animal removed and relocated quickly. In a case in which I believe ...click for more

02.06.2007 - Armadillo Cage - Pet Armadillo?
The beautiful face of an armadillo. Just look at that snotty nose and those sharp claws! Who would't want an armadillo for a pet? Why, you could just keep the armadillo in a cage or a pen, and it would be a fine and loyal companion, with all the benefits of a Golden Retriever, plus a tougher exterior and barely any shedding. We should all have pet armadillos, right? Right. I mean wrong. I've received numerous requests over the years for armadillo specimens to be donated as pets. The problem is that this animal isn't really suitable as a pet. At least, I don't think it is...click for more

11.04.2006 - How Do You Trap An Armadillo?
"How do you trap armadillos?" Many an exasperating phone conversation starts with this question on the other end of the line. Even though I have gone to great lengths to make it explicitly clear that I simply do not want every yokel across the country calling me with nuisance wildlife questions - after all, when you call me, I WILL be engaged in one of the following activities: sleeping, driving, working on a roof, or working in an attic - seriously, these are the only things I do. Sometimes I eat or type on my computer. Okay then, so I'm doing one of these things, when I get the ...click for more

09.27.2006 - Florida Armadillo Control
Here's a nice blurry shot of my friend Tim and I with some armadillos that we caught today. They've been very active lately, digging large burrows under homes. Most armadillos that I deal with tend to dig underneath homes. However, in this particular case, the armadillos were digging under a deck. They must have moved about 500 square feet of dirt in this case. The mound of sand/dirt outside the tunnel was simply huge. We had to work to climb over it. The homeowner didn't want the armadillos because they removed so much dirt out from under the deck, and the ...click for more

06.17.2006 - Nine Banded Florida Armadillo
Today I happened across one of Florida's more unusual creatures, the Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). It was crossing a parking lot. Instead of running it over with my truck, I decided to photograph it. It was making pretty good time for an armadillo, purposefully striding across the pavement. Usually they slowly root along, sniffing for snacks to dig out of the ground. However, this armadillo must have sensed that it would have difficulty digging through the pavement, so it decided to trot along to softer pastures. Since I've already explained why armadillo ...click for more

03.17.2006 - Do Armadillos Carry Leprosy?
One of the bits of wildlife trivia that I'm often exposed to is the one about armadillos and leprosy. Every now and then, a concerned friend/relative or a brilliantly informed customer will inform me that I shant touch armadillos, because the animal is known to carry the dreaded disease. Well, it's true that armadillos can carry leprosy. It's also true that I handle armadillos all the time. I usually wear gloves, not for biohazard protection, but because I have clean and dainty hands, and choose not to sully them with armadillodirt. I'm not actually worried that I'll contract leprosy. It's ...click for more

02.25.2006 - How to Catch an Armadillo by Hand
When the armadillos get going, and I have no traps at my disposal, I have only one option - to chase them down with my bare hands, leap upon them like a mighty lion, wrestle them to the ground, and then lose my grip on them and watch them flee into the forest. One might think that armadillos are slow - what with the shell and all (snails, tortoises, clams) but no, they're quick little buggers. They scoot along in a series of quick, powerful hops. I scoot along after them in a series of clumsy, awkward hops. Once I get near, the armadillo changes direction and ...click for more

10.25.2005 - Roadkilled Armadillo
"Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the armadillo that it could be done." Armadillos are amongst the most common of Florida's roadkill victims. Several factors contribute to this animal's tendency to become vulture fare. First of all, armadillos are particularly vulnerable because they are not alert. Some animals are ever-cautious and aware, always keen of their surroundings, sniffing the air, feeling vibrations in the ground, slinking off into the night before any chance of danger comes their way. Some animals bumble along through life, blindly ...click for more

09.01.2005 - How to Solve an Armadillo Problem
How to Solve an Armadillo Problem? Well, first of all, identify the exact problem. Is the animal digging up the yard? The flower beds? Has it made a large burrow next to the house? Is it living under the porch? Is it driving your dogs wild at night? Now that you've got the problem identified, you can pursue an exact armadillo control strategy tailored to the individual needs and nuances of the circumstance. So for example, if the problem is digging in the yard or flower bed, I recommend trapping and removal to solve your armadillo problem. If it's burrowed next to the house, the ...click for more

07.15.2005 - Wounded Armadillo
I caught this armadillo, and it had a large wound on its back. The injury looked fairly fresh. I do not know what caused this. Armadillos don't really have any significant predators in the United States. I doubt that this was the work of another animal, such as a coyote or dog. Most likely, this was the result of a collision with a car. Why then, the big cut on the back instead of flattening tiremarks? Because armadillos tend to jump when startled, so perhaps a car passed over the armadillo and it jumped up into the undercarriage of the car and got this injury. Or perhaps it was ...click for more

05.18.2005 - Armadillo Trapper in Orlando FL
Here is a photo of four adult armadillos, all caught in one day. This is the peak of the armadillo trapping season. Well, there is no real season to speak of, since armadillos are active year-round and the population is relatively stable, but for some reason, I get more armadillos at this time of year. These dillos all came from different properties. It's rare to catch more than one armadillo at any given time on a single property. Over a course of days, yes, as different armadillos with overlapping territories cross the area, but in general, dillos are solitary creatures, ...click for more

03.03.2005 - Closeup Photograph of an Armadillo
I am very pleased with this closeup photo of a handsome armadillo. Truly one of nature's lovliest creatures. Some like the colorful feathers of the peacock, or the happy smile of a bottlenose dolphin, or the cute fluffiness of a kitten, but no one can deny the rugged good looks of the Nine Banded Armadillo. Just look at that bright and inquisitive eye, or that smooth skin. How about that cute little beard, or those adorable feet? Some animals were built for rugged utility, and some were built for pure cuteness, and I have to say that the armadillo rates at least nine ...click for more

11.18.2004 - Do Mothballs Repel Armadillos?
I am annoyed at mothballs. Somehow, somewhere, someone got the idea that mothballs would repel wildlife. Now I encounter mothballs on a weekly basis - inside homes occupied by animals who don't give a crap about mothballs. Armadillos are just one such animal for which people use the magic cure-all critter repellent, mothballs. Thus, this homeowner dumped a box of moth balls down this armadillo hole. Amazingly, the armadillo didn't care. As you can see in the above photo, lower right side, the armadillo continued to use the burrow, and some of the ...click for more

09.20.2004 - Armadillo Hunting in Florida
I am an armadillo hunter. There are two types of armadillo hunters. One is a slack jawed yokel who stalks these critters from the back of a beat-up pickup, shoots it with a 12-gauge, has his dillo hound retrieve the carcass, brings it back and roasts it up for supper, drinks a little moonshine, and scratches the rosy area between his shoulders and head. The other type of armadillo hunter is an educated professional who sets humane cage traps, removes the animal in a timely manner, relocates it to wilderness areas, and goes off to a sophisticated dinner of poached ...click for more

06.09.2004 - Armadillo Capture by Hand
I captured this small armadillo by hand. I was at an armadillo trapping job, when I noticed this dillo scurrying through the underbrush. I chased after it, and despite its attempts to escape via short and quick erratic hops, I was able to get my hands around it and pick it up. I don't think I would have been able to do so if this were an adult armadillo. The young ones have a softer, more flexible shell, as you can see in the above photo. Adult armadillos have much harder shells, and thus are hard to hold. In addition, adult armadillos are much heavier and stronger and also ...click for more

04.27.2004 - What Bait to Use to Trap Armadillos
Everyone wants to know what bait to use to catch armadillos in cage traps. After all, it's easy to use peanuts to catch a squirrel, or cat food to catch an opossum, or marshmallows to catch a raccoon, so surely there's something that we can throw into a cage trap to catch an armadillo. I shall now examine the various baits that I've heard recommended: Earthworms: Armadillos eat earthworms, it's true. So I've heard the recommendation of using earthworms for bait. However, this is tricky, because earthworms tend to be smaller than the bars of a cage trap, ...click for more

03.04.2004 - How To Stop Armadillo Digging
This is a photo of a Nine-Banded Armadillo digging a fresh burrow. I came across this animal while on an armadillo trapping project. Dillos usually dig several burrows within their home range. I'm not sure how many, but the number may be from 10-20. They usually have a primary burrow or two in which they sleep - and armadillos sleep about 20 hours per day. These big burrows are straight and deep, and may have a chamber at the end. However, most of the burrows that armadillos dig are merely short-term escape tunnels, in case they need to bolt from danger. Fact...click for more

07.15.2003 - Armadillo Pest Control
This is a photo of me and my armadillo pest control service based in Orlando FL. I caught this small armadillo from a customer's property. It's a juvenile, so I am able to handle it with these thick gloves. Notice how the armadillo has a worn down spot on its head. This is because armadillos don't hesitate to crash their way through brush, undergrowth, dirt, and even into hard objects. What armadillos lack in intelligence, they make up for in determination. What they lack in their belly, they fill with invertebrates such as earthworms and beetle larvae. This is often why ...click for more

06.27.2003 - Armadillos Invade Florida
The Nine Banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus is not native to North America, including the two states in which it most thrives, Florida and Texas. The mammal is originally from south/central America. However, it has been transplanted to the states, and it survives just fine here. Rumor has it that the species was introduced to Florida in the early 20th century when two armadillos escaped from a small zoo. Who knows. Usually, exotic, or non- native species end up establishing populations in suitable habitats, because people invevitably transport the animals. In ...click for more

05.23.2003 - Armadillo Removal Tactics
I managed to capture this fine photo of an armadillo running along at night. Armadillos are nocturnal creatures, so they're not often seen. When they are spotted, they are frequently rooting around, sniffing the ground for worms and grubs, and digging. I saw this armadillo sniffing the lawn at a customer's house after dark (I work long days) and I quietly approached it. It ran away, but I ran along after it, and managed to take this photograph. It's a nice looking (in my opinion) and relatively harmless animal, so why do people desire armadillo removal? The ...click for more

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