The nine-banded Armadillo is found only in the United States. The Spanish word for Armadillo is “little armored one”. It is unique as it is the only mammal with a hard shell. This leathery shell is tough and flexible with armor-like plates.
About 90% of the Armadillo diet consists of insects, including spiders and scorpions. Their nocturnal foraging habit makes them active only at night. Otherwise, they spend about 16 hours a day sleeping. Armadillos are not social animals and only get together with other armadillos to mate or keep warm. The Armadillo is related to sloths and anteaters. Much like it’s anteater cousins, the long, sticky tongue of an armadillo makes it easy to access yummy ant hills.
An armadillo uses its long nose to root and powerful claws to dig. Their long heads with pointy snouts create a cone-shaped hole several inches deep with a large amount of dirt banked up around it. Holes caused by Armadillos may look similar to that caused by raccoons, but raccoons use their hand-like paws to dig. The shape of the dirt piled up around the hole is different. Armadillos create damage in the garden or along the border of a path. Raccoons generally cause damage to an entire lawn. It’s easy for a trained wildlife professional to spot the difference between damage done by raccoons and damage caused by armadillos.
Armadillos have a unique manner of reproduction. They breed in late Fall, yet the embryo manages to somehow lay dormant until springtime. A nine-banded armadillo will deliver four gender-identical pups in each litter. All four pups develop from the same egg and share the same placenta.
Armadillo pups are born with their eyes open and become quickly mobile within a few hours of birth. When they are this young, their shells are flexible enough to allow them to roll into a ball, much like a little roly-poly! The mother nurses her babies until they are weaned at approximately two months of age. The pups remain with the mother until the next breeding season. These juveniles usually mature and are ready to mate around the age of two years.
While Armadillos can host parasitic worms and even rabies on rare occasions, most conversations around Armadillo diseases is about Leprosy. Its name alone causes panic!
The only mammals that can be infected with the Leprosy virus are humans, armadillos and Mangabey monkeys. In some locations, more than 20% of Armadillos are infected. Leprosy is a slowly evolving infection that can take years for symptoms to appear.
Of course, there are people who eat armadillos and say it tastes like pork! If you are going to eat the meat, take precautions. Make sure to cook the meat until it is well-done. The greatest risk of virus contact is during the cleaning and dressing of the animal for consumption. Exposure to body fluids and tissue carries a high risk.
We also perform wildlife trapping in Arlington TN for rats, mice, squirrels, skunks,
moles, opossums, raccoons, and much more.
So if you have some little visitors you need evicted from your home or property,
give Apex Wildlife Control a call today.
We are happy to help!