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The only North American mammal armored with heavy, bony plates
Scaly-looking plates cover head, body, and tail.

Armadillo trapping, control and removal

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Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

Nine Banded Armadillo
Nine Banded Armadillo
There are about 20 species of armadillo worldwide, but here in the United States, we have only one. The Nine-Banded Armadillo ranges across most of the southeastern United States. In Alabama, they can be found in 59 of 67 counties usually belly-up on the side of the road. Many armadillos meet their untimely demise on the roadways because of their natural instinct to leap into the air when startled. This adaptation serves them well when they encounter a predator. The behavior may alarm the predator long enough to give the armadillo time to escape. The behavior gives the armadillo a decided disadvantage in an encounter with a car.

Armadillo Tracks
Armadillo Scat
resembles grey marbles
The amadillo has been expanding its range, this is explained simply by the existence of few or no natural predators of the armadillo within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, and the animal's high reproductive rate. It is speculated that the northern expansion of the armadillo will continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey and all points southward on the East Coast of the United States. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo's inability to tolerate especially harsh winters, due to having little body fat to protect it from the cold.

Armadillos are mostly nocturnal, solitary creatures, and rarely present a real problem for humans. They eat grubs and insects that they hunt by digging holes and tunnels through loose soil. If an armadillo is messing about in your garden or orchard, it may quickly come to resemble a minefield with small three toed prints throughout it. Remember that cedar mulch or bark is a wonderful habitat for bugs and grubs that attract armadillos. If your garden or flower bed is where you suffer the most damage, consider switching to a gravel mulch.

Nine Banded Armadillo
Nine Banded Armadillo

For the most part, the damage these animals inflict is cosmetic and of no real economic impact; however, their burrows can reach up to 25 feet in length under ground and can lead to flood or drainage issues depending on the contours of the property. Extensive burrows under concrete foundations can lead to structural damage in very rare cases. Armadillos are also rumored to be carriers of the bacteria responsible for human leprosy; however, the bacteria can only be transmitted to humans that eat undercooked armadillo meat.

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