Search
Close this search box.

Armadillo Holes in Yard and How to Get Rid of Them

armadillo holes

Armadillo holes in the yard can become quite a problem. They create trip hazards and collect pooled water. Burrows create a sunken, uneven surface that can also damage foundations, piping, and underground utility lines. Armadillo digging damages root systems of vegetation, killing plants and decimating garden beds.

To get rid of armadillos, the pest must be removed from your property first. This includes using tactics such as live trapping or deterrents that make your property a stressful place for armadillos to dig. After the armadillos have left, you can then remedy the lawn by filling in holes and burrows with gravel and topsoil. Preventative methods such as installing a perimeter fence will keep out a future infestation.

Read on to learn more about where, when, and why armadillos dig and what you can do about it.

The Where, When & Why Of Armadillo Holes

armadillo holes

Where

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is a non-native and the only species found in the southeastern United States. These states include Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, and Florida, but they may wander into adjacent areas.

They dig in soft soils found in warm or temperate conditions such as in rainforests, grasslands, woods, and semi-deserts. They also prefer areas with dense cover near a water source and plenty of insects.

Where burrowing or hole digging has taken place, you will see significant damage, including:

  • Cracked foundations, driveways, or uneven structures
  • Destroyed root systems resulting in dead grass and other vegetation
  • Uneven lawn with divots and sunken areas
  • Pooling water in holes
  • Offensive-smelling 1-inch armadillo droppings

Burrows

Burrows are typically 7 to 8 inches in diameter and 15 feet long but can be much wider and deeper. A single armadillo may build up to 10 burrows in their territory for different uses.

These burrows are connected by underground tunnels with typically only one entrance. They are formed around rock piles, brush, and stumps, or underneath terraces, porches, foundations, and air conditioning units.

Some armadillos will also construct above-ground shelters using dried material or use abandoned burrows from other wildlife.

Armadillo Holes

Armadillo-dug feeding holes are shallow, ranging from 3 to 5 inches wide and 1 to 3 inches deep. These holes can appear bigger with subsurface burrowing or water erosion.

When

Armadillos are most active at night, dawn, and dusk but can be seen during the day. In hot summer months, they are often most active from about 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM. They generally sleep about 16 hours during the daylight hours.

Why

Burrows

What do armadillos eat

Armadillos build burrows using their nose and forelimbs to pull the soil back until a hole is formed that submerges them. Once submerged, they burrow their paths. A single armadillo creates 5 to 10 connected burrows.

One burrow is the main territory and the others are used for raising offspring, feeding, and protection from weather and predators.

Armadillos give birth to 4 identical same-sex quadruplets that form from a single internal egg (and shared placenta). One of these burrows is carefully created and used to nurse and raise these offspring for a few months.

Armadillos spend less time in their burrows in hot summer temperatures and more during the cooler seasons. Even though they have armored shells, burrows give them additional protection from predators such as bobcats, wolves, large hawks, and bears.

Holes

Armadillos have a powerful sense of smell that can detect insects as deep as 7 feet underground. The majority of their diet is spent digging and using their long sticky tongues to consume insects, grubs, larvae, earthworms, spiders, and other invertebrates. As long as there are ample sources of food, armadillos will continue to dig in the area.

How To Get Rid Of Armadillo Holes (5 Steps)

Bestseller No. 1
Zone Protects Dillo Dun! Armadillo Repellent Spray. Stop Armadillos from Digging in Your Yard, Gardens and Flower Beds. Natural Armadillo Repellent Liquid Spray
  • STOPS ARMADILLOS; Armadillos can be extremely destructive on your yards/lawns, flower beds and gardens. Armadillo hunt for grubs which live just under the surface of the soil. Armadillos dig holes to get to those grubs but it’s time to STOP the ARMADILLOS.
  • NATURAL REPELLENT OILS; Dillo Dun is made with Ricinus oil which has proven effectiveness against the armadillos. The Ricinus oil (castor oil) makes the armadillos uncomfortable and eliminates the ground scents that attract the animals to your yard and flower beds.
  • REPELS BURROWING ANIMALS; Zone Protects Dillo Dun has an earthy, pleasant scent to people but not to armadillos or any other burrowing animals such as moles and gophers.
  • READY to USE: Dillo Dun Armadillo Repellent is offered as a Ready-to-Use 1 Gallon spray with high quality trigger sprayer. Perfect for small to large applications up to 2000 sq. ft. Please SHAKE WELL. Apply generously around where you want to stop the digging and create a perimeter. Allow to dry. For maximum effectiveness, a second application may be necessary.
  • EASY-to-USE; Simply create a 12” wide perimeter around your yard, flower beds or gardens and the armadillos will not cross it. RAIN-GUARD TECHNOLOGY also keeps the oil in place for long lasting applications. Gallon spray w/Trigger Sprayer is perfect for small to large applications up to 2000 sq. ft.

The following steps explain how to get rid of holes, which requires getting rid of armadillos and taking preventative actions to keep them from coming back and digging again.

1. Get Rid Of The Armadillos

You cannot simply fill in holes and burrows to get rid of the uneven landscape. If you do not get rid of the armadillos themselves, they will continue to burrow and dig holes.

Keep in mind that armadillos can carry diseases such as rabies and Hansen’s disease (leprosy) so avoid direct contact. Also, in most places, it is illegal to harm armadillos. Check on local regulations and restrictions for trapping and using other methods used to get rid of armadillos.

Our armadillo control guides can provide further information about how to get rid of armadillos. These include the following tactics:

  • Live Trapping: Catch and release armadillos using traps with nonlethal baits of mealworms or grubs mixed in with some soil. This is the quickest and most effective method if permitted in your area. Professional pest control services can help with this as well.
  • Odors: Use offensive odors such as vinegar, pine, ammonia, castor oil, and Epsom salts. These make it difficult for armadillos to smell food sources and they may go elsewhere.
  • Motion-Activated Devices: Use motion-activated devices such as sprinklers and ultrasonic devices near burrows to scare armadillos away.

These methods can take time and patience before you can move on to the next step.

2. Repair The Damage

Now that the armadillos are gone and no longer active in your yard, you can repair the damage. Fill in armadillo holes and burrows with gravel and cover with topsoil. Gravel makes it harder for pests to burrow in the ground. Or you can use topsoil alone. These areas may settle over time and need topping off. Use a lawn roller either from professional or rented equipment services to get an even ground. Eliminate or remedy any areas with pooled water to keep insects from congregating. Costly fixes may be necessary for foundation, paving, and structural damage as well as underground pipes and utility wires.

3. Remove Hiding Spots

Remove potential hiding locations that future armadillos might find. Tidy up the yard by removing brush or rock piles, stumps, and areas with dense vegetation.

4. Reduce Food Sources

It can be difficult to eliminate all food sources from the ground since insects are found everywhere and are essential for soil health. It is not recommended that you use toxic insecticides since these can harm other wildlife and pets and often come with regulatory use. However, you can lower the number of insects that armadillos have access to by doing the following:

  • Eliminate areas with pooled water (as mentioned above).
  • Add nematodes to the soil which kill grubs.
  • Get rid of rotten stumps, wood, and vegetation as well as open trash bins, pet food, and other sources that invite insects in.

5. Implement Preventative Strategies

The following can help you maintain a yard that is less inviting to future armadillos:

  • Install perimeter fencing which is an effective deterrent around yards and gardens. It should be buried at least 24 inches deep and have an angled top since armadillos can jump up to 5 feet high.
  • Regularly leave out open bowls of vinegar around gardens if armadillos are prevalent in your area.
  • Use pine mulch in gardens and landscaping which smells offensive to armadillos.
  • Continue to maintain the yard, keeping it free from piles of debris, trash, and pooling water.

Conclusion

To effectively get rid of armadillo holes, you must first get rid of the armadillos. This typically involves live trapping or the use of nonlethal deterrents. Once the armadillos are gone, the armadillo holes and burrows can be filled in and structural damage can be repaired. Homeowners should use preventative methods to keep future armadillos out, such as the installation of fencing and ensuring the yard stays tidy and free from debris and insect infestations.

RELATED POSTS