Did you know that Armadillo is Spanish for “little armored one”? These barrel-shaped animals are the only mammal that is covered with natural armor-like plates. The hard leathery shell is tough and flexible and works well against predators, but not against cars.
Armadillos are insectivores, and their closest relatives are sloths and anteaters. While most of their diet consists of insects, but they will eat fruit, eggs, small vertebrates — and even carrion. It’s their roadkill diet that often exposes them to highway traffic … and their demise!
Armadillos are not social animals and spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping. They are nocturnal mammals that forage for food at night. The only time Armadillos get together is to mate or keep warm in cold weather. These solitary animals do not hibernate and prefer temperate climates since they cannot endure prolonged freezing weather.
Armadillos are beneficial because they eat insects and other invertebrates, but are a major pest because they can damage lawns, gardens and structural foundations.
The Armadillos long head and pointy snout creates a cone-shaped pit about 3-4 inches deep with a large amount of dirt banked around it. Raccoon diggings look similar, but raccoons use their hand-like paws to dig and the shape of the divot is different. Armadillos tend to damage areas along the borders of a path or garden, while raccoons generally cause damage to an entire lawn. A trained wildlife professional can easily spot the difference between raccoon damage and damage caused by armadillos.
Armadillo reproduction is fascinating! These animals breed in the Fall, but the embryo remains dormant until Spring, giving the pups a better chance of survival. The nine-banded Armadillo always delivers 4 identical pups of the same gender in each litter. All pups develop from the same egg and share the same placenta. Armadillos are the only mammal in which multiple young form from a single egg.
Born with eyes open, Armadillo babies quickly become mobile within a few hours of birth. The pups are nursed until they are weaned at approximately two months of age, and remain with the mother until the next breeding season. These youngsters are usually mature and ready to mate around the age of two years.
Like many wild animals, armadillos will carry fleas, ticks and worms. The most dangerous disease they carry is Leprosy! The only mammals that can be infected with the Leprosy virus are humans, armadillos, and mangabey monkeys. This “stealth” virus can take 3-5 years for Leprosy symptoms to manifest.
There are actually people who eat armadillos and say it tastes like pork! If you are planning armadillo for dinner, the meat must be thoroughly cooked to ensure that it is noninfectious. The greatest risk of contracting leprosy is during the cleaning and dressing of the animal for consumption. It is possible to contract leprosy through contact with body tissue or fluids.
We also perform wildlife trapping in Memphis 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!