two six-banded armadillos eating vegetables from the same bowl
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What Do Armadillos Eat?

Armadillos are extraordinary animals with unique lifestyles. They call South and Central America home, but some species have even ventured into the South of the United States. Not only does their hard outer shell-like armor protect them from predators – they can also roll up tight when faced with danger. 

Armadillos are remarkable creatures and much more than just their hard shell. These omnivorous critters have quite an appetite, both in the wild – where they might feast on insects or fruit – and in captivity. So if you’ve got armadillo visitors wandering around your backyard, keep reading to learn more about their feeding habits.

Key Pest Points:

• The diet of an armadillo are typically insects, such as grubs and worms, but are also known to snack on frogs, lizards, snakes, and rats.

• Armadillos also enjoy digging around for their food in the soil or under logs. So, if you hear scratching at night, it might be an armadillo looking for dinner.

Diet of Armadillo in the Wild

Armadillos in the wild have a varied diet, feeding on anything from insects and worms to plants and fruits. They are opportunistic creatures, which means they will eat whatever is available in their environment. You can find armadillos eating:

  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Beetles
  • Earthworms
  • Grubs
  • Slugs
  • Snails

Armadillos dine on small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and bird eggs. They also enjoy a wide range of fruits, berries, and other plant materials as part of their balanced diet. 

They will mainly eat what they can dig up, but some species have been known to eat human food scraps when they come across them. This can be dangerous, as the food may not provide enough nutrition or even be toxic. So ensure your garbage is not left out in the open where armadillos can access it.

Armadillo Diet in Captivity

Armadillos in captivity are typically fed a diet of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources such as insects or lean meat. A healthy diet for captive armadillos should include a variety of fresh fruits such as bananas, berries, and other soft fruits.

Protein sources can include mealworms, crickets, or moist canned cat food. To avoid any nutritional deficiencies, providing a balanced and varied diet for captive armadillos is essential.

What Do Baby Armadillos Eat?

Like their adult counterparts, baby armadillos need a diet rich in protein and varied. This means offering them a mix of fruits and vegetables and insects or lean meats. In addition, it’s essential to provide plenty of fresh water for young armadillos. A shallow bowl with clean water will help keep the little ones hydrated and healthy.

How Do Armadillos Find Food?

Armadillos have an excellent sense of smell and burrow into the dirt to search for food. They may also use their long claws to dig up grub, beetles, worms, and other prey that are underground. Since they have poor eyesight, armadillos may also use their strong sense of smell to detect ripe fruits and berries on trees or bushes.

Close up of a Six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) eating Macauba palm fruit.

Preventing Armadillos From Eating Your Yard

If you want to keep armadillos from eating your yard, you can use several natural deterrents. Here are a few tips to keep armadillos away:

  • Use scent deterrents: Sprinkle cayenne pepper, vinegar, ammonia, or mothballs around any area where armadillos are present. The smell of these items will deter them from entering the yard as they do not like strong scents.
  • Apply predator urine in your yard:  You can purchase predator urine and apply it around the perimeter of your yard. The smell will signal to armadillos that a predator is nearby, making them less likely to venture into your yard.
  • Set humane traps: Humane armadillo traps are an effective way to capture them without harm. Check any traps daily and release the armadillo away from your property. Armadillos are not typically dangerous, so there is no need to kill them.
  • Call a professional: If you have an armadillo problem that is too big to handle on your own, you can always call in a wildlife removal specialist.

It’s important to remember that armadillos play an essential role in nature by eating insects and other pests. So if they’re not causing any damage or disruption, it’s best to leave them alone.

Whether trying to repel a raccoon with natural deterrentssetting traps to capture a skunk, or using scent devices to keep armadillos away, there are many effective ways to deal with these critters without cruelty.

FAQs

What attracts armadillos to your yard?

Armadillos are attracted to yards with soft soil and plenty of food sources. Garbage, pet food, gardens, and compost piles are all attractive to armadillos.

Do armadillos eat snakes?

Yes, armadillos will eat snakes when they encounter them in the wild. They use their sharp claws to dig up the snake and consume it.

How do armadillos catch prey?

Armadillos use their strong sense of smell and long claws to dig up prey such as grubs, beetles, and worms. They may also use their sense of smell to detect ripe fruits and berries on trees or bushes.

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