At some point in time, you have most likely encountered an armadillo. While they seem harmless, they have the capabilities to cause extensive damage on a large scale. We have found damage in Williamson County, Davidson County, Rutherford County, Wilson County and surrounding areas!
Armadillos range in size from 25 – 48 inches long (including the tail), and weigh between 8 – 18 pounds. They have a number of distinguishing features, including a greyish-brown body with a long tapered tail. The head is long with a pointed snout, and small beady black eyes on each side.
The hard armored shell, known as the carapace, has 7 – 11 bands around the center. The four short legs have long claws that are used for digging. Armadillos have poor eyesight, and therefore rely on their heightened sense of smell.
Armadillos are primarily insectivores, as over 90% of their diet is comprised of insects and invertebrates. The remainder of the diet consists of plant matter. Their favorite foods include larvae, beetles, worms, snails, maggots, ants, grasshoppers, and termites.
Reproduction begins in the early summer months, and lasts between 2 – 3 months. A fertilized egg takes 4 months to become implanted, and an additional 4 months for the young to be born. Each breeding cycle, the fertilized egg becomes four identical zygotes, which yields quadruplets. Baby armadillos, known as pups, are weaned between 2 – 4 months, and become independent between 6 – 12 months after birth.
Armadillos prefer to reside in warm, moist climates. They thrive in grasslands and forested locations. They prefer areas with loose, porous soil, as they use their claws to dig for food. In addition, they use their claws to dig burrows in which they seek shelter from weather and predators.
During the day, armadillos are nocturnal, keeping cool during the day, and foraging for food at night. They spend most of their day sleeping, at an average of 16 hours a day.
In the wild, armadillos live between 7 – 10 years. Armadillos damage comes from their digging habits, which includes burrows and holes. Signs of armadillo damage includes but is not limited to: holes throughout the yard, burrow entrances underneath or next to structures or shrubbery, damaged underground pipes and wires, and uprooted plants and seedlings.
If you believe armadillos are damaging your Middle Tennessee yard, give Ace Wildlife a call. We have proven humane methods to protect Nashville and the surrounding locations against armadillo damage.