Armadillos are mammals known for their unique armor-like shell and notorious for their digging habits. Below, you will learn general facts about the armadillo, including information on reproduction and how to identify armadillo damage.
Armadillos prefer warm, moist climates, and thrive in forested areas and grasslands. Because they must dig for their food and shelter, they generally gravitate towards areas with loose, porous soil.
These animals use their strong claws to dig several burrows throughout their home range in which to live and seek refuge from extreme weather or predators. An armadillo burrow is about 7-8" wide and up to 15 feet deep.
Armadillos are mainly insectivores, with over 90% of their diet consisting of animal matter, like insects and other invertebrates. They're also known to eat the occasional reptile or amphibian - especially in colder weather. The remainder of their diet consists of plant matter, although it's been found that most of the vegetation they eat has been consumed incidentally.
In native southern regions, armadillos are nocturnal year-round, keeping cool underground during the day and foraging at night. However because of the armadillos' relatively low body temperature, the nine-banded species in North America tends to change its habits in the cooler months and emerge during the day to take advantage of the warm sun.
Reproduction for the nine-banded armadillo begins in early summer, and the breeding period lasts about 2-3 months. It takes up to 4 months for a fertilized egg to become implanted and another 4 before young are born. Each time, the fertilized egg breaks into four identical zygotes, yielding quadruplets.
Solitary animals, armadillos spend their lives foraging alone and only interact to breed or care for their young. Young armadillos become independent about 6-12 months after they are born.
Armadillos are prolific diggers that excavate land for food and dig profound burrows for shelter. They prefer to dig in areas with loose, porous soil, rich in insects and invertebrates.
Most armadillo damage comes about as a result of their digging habits, taking the forms of holes and burrows.
Signs of armadillo damage include: