Humane Armadillo Trapping: Protect Your Garden Without Harming Wildlife

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Written By Sharline

Sharline is an expert on Chinese export trade. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing in China, she is familiar with all relevant regulations and laws about China's exporting. She loves to share her experiences with people and has written many helpful articles.

Armadillos may look cute and harmless, but they can cause significant damage to your yard and garden. These creatures are known for their digging habits, which can lead to unsightly holes and uprooted plants. If you’re dealing with an armadillo problem, you may wonder how to eliminate them.

In this post, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for trapping an armadillo so that you can take back control of your outdoor space. So if you’re ready to learn more, read on!

What is an armadillo?

Armadillos are fascinating creatures with unique living habits, favorite foods, and distinctive features. These mammals belong to the order Cingulata and are part of the family Dasypodidae. They are primarily found in the Americas, ranging from South America to the southern United States. 

Armadillos have a nocturnal lifestyle, sleeping most of their day in their caves and foraging for food at night. They are excellent diggers and use their sharp claws to excavate burrows for shelter. Armadillos are omnivores whose diet consists of insects, grubs, small vertebrates, and plants. Their diet can vary depending on their habitat and availability of food. 

Armadillos are known for their unique features, including their distinctive armor-like skin covering their body, which protects them from predators. They also have a powerful sense of smell that helps them detect food, and their ability to roll into a ball when threatened is another exciting feature.

Reasons for catching an armadillo

There are various reasons why someone might want to capture an armadillo. One common reason is to remove them from residential areas, farms, or gardens where they can cause damage to property or crops. Armadillos are known to dig extensive burrows that can weaken the structural integrity of buildings, sidewalks, and roads. Additionally, they can destroy gardens and vegetable patches by uprooting plants in search of food. Capturing armadillos can help prevent further damage and protect property.

Another reason for capturing armadillos is for research purposes. Armadillos have unique biological and physiological characteristics that make them an intriguing subject for scientific studies. Researchers may capture armadillos to study their behavior, habitat preferences, or genetics. Understanding these aspects of armadillos can provide valuable insights into their ecology and evolution.

Finally, some people may capture armadillos to relocate them to safer and more suitable habitats. Human activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion have fragmented armadillo habitats, making it challenging for them to find suitable places to live. Relocating armadillos to protected areas where they can thrive without causing damage can effectively conserve this unique species.

It’s worth noting that capturing armadillos should always be done humanely and ethically. Armadillos are wild animals that can become aggressive when cornered or threatened, so using safe and humane trapping methods is crucial. Additionally, before capturing armadillos, it’s essential to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits to avoid legal consequences.

How to trap an armadillo

Before we begin, it’s important to note that trapping an armadillo may not always be the best solution. Armadillos are essential members of the ecosystem and help control insect populations. However, if an armadillo is causing damage to your property or posing a threat to your pets, then trapping may be necessary.

Here are the steps to trap an armadillo:

Choose the right trap.

If you’ve decided to trap an armadillo, the first step is to choose the right trap. It would help if you found a trap large enough to hold the armadillo and sturdy enough to prevent the animal from escaping. 

Several types of traps are available in the market, but the most common type is a live trap, which can be purchased at most hardware or home improvement stores. A live trap is a cage-like device designed to catch an animal alive and unharmed. These traps are typically made of metal or wire mesh and have a spring-loaded door that snaps shut when the armadillo enters the trap. 

Choose a trap large enough for the armadillo and easy to set up and use, typically at least 10″x12″x30″. It’s also important to check your local laws and regulations regarding trapping and relocating armadillos before you begin the process. 

Find the right location

After choosing the right trap, the next step is to find the right location to set up the trap. Armadillos are nocturnal creatures, so it’s best to set the trap in the evening or early morning when they are most active. Armadillos tend to follow the same paths every night, so it’s essential to place the trap in a location where you’ve seen armadillo activity.

Look for areas in your yard or property where armadillos have been seen or where there is evidence of their activity, such as burrows or tunnels. Place the trap near their burrows or along their established travel routes. It’s essential to ensure the trap is on level ground and stable so that it won’t tip over when the armadillo enters the trap. Also, be sure to place the trap where it won’t be disturbed by pets or other animals. 

Finally, consider placing some bait inside the trap to lure the armadillo in. Armadillos are omnivores and eat various foods, including insects, fruit, and vegetables. Try using bait such as worms, grubs, fruits, or vegetables to entice the armadillo into the trap.

Bait the trap

To effectively trap an armadillo, baiting the trap is a crucial step. Armadillos are attracted to live bait, such as earthworms or grubs. Place the bait at the back of the trap, beyond the trigger plate. You can also try using a piece of fruit or peanut butter.

To bait the trap, use a strong-smelling food that appeals to the armadillo. Some effective bait options include rotten fruit, such as apples or bananas, worms or insects, or cat food. Place the bait in the trap’s center, ensuring it is secure and cannot be easily removed by the armadillo. 

It is also recommended to place some of the bait outside of the trap, leading up to the entrance, to encourage the armadillo to enter the trap. Additionally, avoid handling the bait with your bare hands as the scent of humans may deter the armadillo from approaching the trap.

Set the trap 

Once you have selected the appropriate trap and found the ideal location, it is time to set the trap. Begin by placing the bait inside the trap, ensuring it is not visible outside. Make sure to position the bait as far back in the trap as possible to encourage the armadillo to enter the trap fully. 

Once the bait is inside the trap, you need to set the trap door. Pull back the trap door until it clicks into place, and ensure it is secure. Armadillos can be strong and may try to escape, so it’s vital to ensure that the trap is set securely. Check the trap frequently, at least once every few hours, to ensure that any captured armadillos are not left in the trap for an extended period.

Check the trap regularly 

It’s essential to check the trap every morning, as leaving an armadillo trapped for an extended time can harm the animal. If an armadillo is trapped, cover the trap with a sheet or towel to reduce stress and calm the animal.

Once the trap is set, it’s essential to check it regularly to prevent the armadillo from suffering or escaping. Ideally, check the trap every few hours, or at least once a day. Armadillos are nocturnal animals, so checking the trap in the early morning or late evening when they are most active is recommended. 

When approaching the trap, do so slowly and quietly to avoid startling the armadillo or causing it unnecessary stress. If the armadillo is captured, be careful when handling the trap, as armadillos can carry diseases and become aggressive when frightened. 

If you plan to release the armadillo elsewhere, make sure you do so in a suitable habitat where it can thrive. If you plan to relocate it, check with your local wildlife management agency to ensure that it’s legal to do so and to find a suitable location. Alternatively, you can contact a professional wildlife removal service to safely and humanely trap and remove the armadillo.

Release the armadillo

Once you’ve trapped an armadillo, releasing it as quickly as possible is essential. Drive five miles from your property and release the armadillo in a wooded area. Ensure you release the armadillo during daylight hours, so it can find its way to a new home.

When releasing the armadillo, it is important to do so safely and legally. Find a suitable location for release, away from residential areas and highways. Choose an area with natural cover and water sources. Open the trap door slowly and step back to give the armadillo plenty of space to exit on its own. 

The armadillo may take a few minutes to leave the trap, so be patient and do not try to force it out. Once the armadillo has left the trap, leave the area quietly and do not disturb it further. It is also a good idea to disinfect the trap after use to prevent the spread of disease. 

Remember, trapping and relocating armadillos may not always be the best solution, and it is important to consider other non-lethal methods of armadillo control before resorting to trapping.

Prevent future armadillo problems

After releasing the armadillo, it’s important to prevent future problems. Armadillos are attracted to areas with abundant food sources, so keeping your property free of any potential food sources is essential. This includes removing any fallen fruits or nuts and securing trash cans with tight-fitting lids. 

You can also use a fence to prevent armadillos from entering your property. Ensure the fence extends at least one foot underground to prevent the armadillo from digging underneath it. Additionally, try eliminating any hiding places or potential shelters, such as piles of leaves or brush. 

Finally, consider using repellents, such as predator urine or castor oil, to discourage armadillos from returning to your property. With these preventative measures in place, you can effectively keep armadillos from becoming a problem.


In conclusion, trapping an armadillo can effectively address the damage they may be causing to your yard or garden. 

With patience and care, you can safely and effectively trap an armadillo and relocate it to a more suitable area. Doing so can protect your outdoor space and ensure that you and the armadillo can coexist peacefully.