Did you know that armadillos are the only mammal that has a hard shell? This shell is tough and flexible with armor-like plates. Armadillo is Spanish for “little armored one”.
Armadillos are nocturnal which makes them active at night. They are not social animals and only get together with other armadillos to mate or keep warm. They can spend upwards of 16 hours a day sleeping. Armadillos do not hibernate and have no fat stores to insulate them against the cold. These animals prefer climates that are temperate to warm since they cannot endure prolonged freezing weather. These strange looking creatures are close cousins to anteaters and related to sloths. Their finely barbed, sticky tongue makes it easy to access ant hills just like anteaters.
An armadillo uses its nose to root and their powerful claws to dig. Their long heads with pointy snouts create a cone-shaped pit that can be 3-4 inches deep with a large amount of dirt banked around it. Raccoon diggings look similar to the damage caused by armadillos. However, raccoons use their hand-like paws to dig. The shape of the divot they create is different. Raccoons generally cause damage to an entire lawn, while armadillos damage areas along the borders of a path or garden. A trained wildlife professional can easily spot the difference between damage done by raccoons and damage caused by armadillos.
The way that armadillos reproduce is fascinating! They breed in July, yet the embryo manages to somehow lay dormant until November. The nine-banded armadillo delivers 4 identical pups of the same gender in each litter. All 4 pups develop from the same egg and share the same placenta. Armadillos are the only mammal that regularly deliver multiple young that form from a single egg.
Armadillo babies are born with their eyes open and become mobile within a few hours of birth. The mother nurses her babies until they are weaned at approximately 2 months. The pups then remain with the mother until the next breeding season. These youngsters are usually mature and ready to mate around the age of 2 years.
Armadillos will carry fleas, ticks and worms, but the most dangerous disease they carry is Leprosy!
Humans, armadillos, and mangabey monkeys are the only mammals that can be infected with leprosy. It can take 3-5 years for symptoms of leprosy to manifest. Yikes!
Of course, there are people that eat armadillos and say it tastes like pork! The meat must be cooked thoroughly to ensure that the meat is noninfectious. The greater risk of contracting leprosy would be 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!