These strange-looking animals are the only mammal that has a hard shell. This leathery shell is tough and flexible with armor-like plates. The Spanish word for “armadillo” is “little armored one”!
Armadillos are nocturnal animals and active at night. They are not social animals, spending a majority of their lives alone, and only get together to mate or keep warm. They often spend 16 hours a day sleeping.
Armadillos do not hibernate and are not able to store fat as insulation against the cold. That is why these animals prefer temperate climates, as they cannot endure prolonged freezing weather. These strange- looking creatures are related to sloths and are close cousins to anteaters. Their barbed, sticky tongue makes it easy to attack ant hills just like anteaters.
Armadillos can be very destructive as they use their powerful claws and pointed snouts to root in the soil and dig holes. Their long heads create a cone-shaped pit about 3-4 inches deep with a large amount of dirt encircling it. Raccoons also dig and their holes may look similar to damage caused by armadillos. The difference is raccoons use hand-like paws to dig and the shape of the dirt mound they create is different. Also, raccoons can tear up an entire lawn, while armadillos damage areas along the edges of a path or in the garden. It is easy for a trained wildlife professional to spot the difference between damage by raccoons and damage by armadillos.
Armadillo reproduction is amazing and quite unique. These animals breed in the Fall, but the embryo remains dormant until the following Spring. The nine-banded armadillo then delivers four identical pups of the same gender from the single embryo! Armadillos are the only mammal to deliver multiple young that form within a single egg.
Armadillo pups are born with their eyes open and quickly become mobile within a few hours of birth. The mother nurses the pups for about two months until they are weaned. The young armadillos remain with the mother until the next breeding season. They are usually mature and ready to mate around two years of age.
Yes, armadillos do have diseases. They carry fleas, ticks and parasitic worms, but the most dangerous disease an armadillo can carry is Leprosy!
The only mammals that can be infected with Leprosy are humans, armadillos, and Mangabey monkeys. Leprosy is not a disease that is immediately noticeable — it can take years for symptoms to manifest.
Regardless of the possible exposure, there are some people who eat armadillo meat and say it tastes like pork! To ensure that the meat is non-infectious, it must be thoroughly cooked well-done. The greatest risk of exposure to the Leprosy virus is during the preparation and cleaning of the meat. It is possible to contract leprosy through contact with the animal’s body fluids and tissue.
We also perform wildlife trapping in Eads 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!