Monday, April 23, 2012

To catch an armadillo...or not

Armadillos are blind and dumb. Yet somehow the one digging holes in our yard is smart enough to outsmart the two of us plus three hired armadillo catchers. Thus far.

We had our annual termite inspection recently. During the inspection we discovered a tunnel next to the foundation, behind some rather shabby looking bushes (shame on me). Turns out we had an armadillo. I'd known for a while that we had one as I noted all the little holes sprouting up in our yard. We're on five wooded acres so I expect some wildlife to do damage at times.

I "assumed" the thing had space out in the woods never crossed my mind to think we were sharing space.

I went out on the Internet and did a bit of research. The general consensus was it was fairly easy to catch the supposedly dumber-than-average pest with a trap. The cost of the traps ran from around $60 - $90 for the armadillo size.

When I read through the comments from people who tried the traps, and failed more often than not it seemed, I decided to explore letting a professional handle the trapping of our yard destroyer. We found a great local company that only charged when the caught the critter. Some companies charge a fee to set up the traps.

A week later and a visit a day from the company and we seem to have scared the armadillo out of two homes without catching him.

It's a waste of time to bait the trap because armadillos are only interested in things like grubs that they dig out of the ground. Baiting a trap with cat food or other interesting things would probably have netted us a raccoon or maybe a squirrel but it wouldn't tempt an armadillo.

The pest folks put the trap next to the hole the armadillo had dug next to our wall. They rigged it so he had could only go into the trap if he left. We learned that first night that he wasn't in the hole, he must have been creating a second home...and we had blocked his ability to get into the "new" home. We saw his little prints going up the mud to the back of the trap. So, they turned it around. He didn't come back.

We found another place where it looked like he's started making a new home but it was hit or miss on where to put the trap...and we missed.

At this point we've decided to give up. We dropped rocks into both holes and covered them up. Our next option is to put down a grub killer on a regular basis which would make the neighbors yard more enticing... no, that's not a nice thing for our neighbor, but chances are the dumb thing is also destroying their yard already.  They travel wide and far.

The holes are still appearing in the yard so I know he's out there somewhere. I've read enough to know that none of the home remedies work on ridding the area of the pests. I'm going to do some more noodling to see what else we might try. I'm open to suggestions!

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