A nine banded armadillo, latin name Dasypus novemcinctus, known locally as a tattoo searching for food on the muddy floor of the rainforest.

What Smells Do Armadillos Hate?

Armadillos are fascinating critters famous for their tough, bony shells and burrowing habits. But what’s not well-known is their keen sense of smell. They have poor eyesight, so their noses play a vital role in their survival. They rely on their sense of smell to hunt for food, find their way around, and avoid danger.

So, if you’re tired of armadillos messing with your garden or property, you’ll want to know what smells keep them away. Let’s dig into some of the scents that are armadillo deterrents and how you can use them to deter these varmints from your yard.

Key Pest Points:

• Armadillos use their sense of smell to hunt for food, find their way around, and avoid danger.

Common armadillo deterrent scents include vinegar, garlic, chili pepper flakes, and ammonia-soaked rags.

• To prevent armadillos from entering your property, plug any burrows and block off possible entrances near the house’s foundation.

Common Scents That Repel Armadillos 

If you live close to armadillos, you know how frustrating these creatures can be. An armadillo’s diet is diverse, and they’ll happily snack on insects, worms, grubs, snakes, and even vegetation. So, you will find these mammals tunnel through your lawn and garden, uprooting plants and causing all sorts of havoc.

They also have a strong sense of smell, and they hate certain scents, making them an effective method to repel them. Here are some smells that armadillos hate:

Chili Pepper

When armadillos approach an area treated with chili pepper, they will quickly retreat. The capsaicin found in chili pepper is responsible for this repulsion. This chemical compound causes a burning sensation in the eyes and nose of an armadillo, making it uncomfortable to be around the area.

Growing Red Peppers At Home

How to Use Chili Pepper to Rid of Armadillos

To use chili pepper as an armadillo repellent, sprinkle some in and around the affected areas. You can also mix it with water and spray the solution around the perimeter of your property.

Chili pepper is an eco-friendly and safe alternative to harmful chemicals and pesticides. The benefit of using chili pepper as a repellent for armadillos is that it won’t harm the animals but will deter them from entering your territory.


Vinegar can be a great way to keep armadillos out of your yard – it has a strong smell that they don’t seem to like. Vinegar owes its pungency to acetic acid, and it’s both affordable and easy to get hold of. If you’re looking for a way to get rid of armadillos without resorting to harsh chemicals or complicated procedures, vinegar is just what you need.

white vinegar for home cleaning chores, natural householding detergent, affordable product for housekeeping. rubber glove and kitchen sponge next to sprayer bottle.

How To Use Vinegar To Get Rid of Armadillos

If you want to repel armadillos with vinegar:

  1. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray it generously around your yard, especially where armadillos are digging.
  3. Reapply every few days until the armadillos stop coming to your yard.

Then spray this mixture in your yard, especially where armadillos are mainly seen. 


Garlic repels numerous types of pests thanks to its strong smell and taste. Armadillos are no exception; they are sensitive to strong odors, and garlic can effectively repel them from your lawn, garden, or flowerbeds.

Garlic works so well against armadillos because it releases a compound called allicin, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Allicin gives garlic its pungent scent, and it will also cause armadillos to avoid coming near it.

How to Use Garlic To Rid Armadillos

You can make a homemade garlic insecticide spray to repel armadillos. Just crush 2-3 garlic cloves and add them to some sunflower oil. Wait for 24 hours to let them infuse. Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 500 ml of water with the garlic-infused oil the next day. Then spray around the areas where they burrow and where they might be digging.

Just a heads up: garlic is both safe and natural, but still be careful handling it because it can still irritate your skin and eyes. So, take care when handling it. By being cautious and harnessing the power of garlic, you’ll have an armadillo-free yard in no time.

Coffee Grounds

Believe it or not, armadillos hate the scent of coffee grounds and will do whatever it takes to avoid it. The bitter compounds found in coffee grounds have a repellent effect on armadillos, making them change their course and stay away from the area. 

Someone putting coffee grounds with a small spoon at the foot of a plant in a flower pot

How to Use Coffee Grounds To Rid Armadillos

To use coffee grounds to get rid of armadillos, sprinkle them around the perimeter of your yard or garden. You can also place them in areas where armadillos are known to enter, like around your trash cans, flower beds, or any other possible entry points. Remember to refresh the coffee grounds every few days, especially after rain or heavy moisture.

Aside from being a natural armadillo repellent, coffee grounds also have other benefits for your yard. They’re a great source of nitrogen, which helps plants grow and thrive. Plus, they can deter other common garden pests like slugs and snails.


Whenever armadillos catch the smell of ammonia, they run away at lightning speed. It’s because ammonia is a strong irritant to their eyes and respiratory system, which makes it even more effective in keeping them away.

How to Use Ammonia To Rid Armadillos

Grab a small plastic container and combine 2/3 cup of clear ammonia with 1/3 cup of water. When applying above ground, including a rag in the container to soak up the solution. Then, place the cloth in areas where armadillos have been spotted or are likely to visit. The pungent smell and irritants in the ammonia will drive them away, and they will be less likely to return.

Remember that ammonia is a risky chemical, so you must be careful when handling it. Putting on gloves and goggles and keeping them out of reach of kids and pets is necessary.


Mothballs have a strong odor because of naphthalene, which repels armadillos but is toxic to animals and humans. You can use them to protect your garden by placing them in strategic locations. Take care to use them safely, away from children and pets.

Moth balls in the glass over the sackcloth.

How to Use Mothballs To Rid Armadillos

To use mothballs to get rid of armadillos in your yard, first, identify the areas they frequent. These could be spots where you see holes or digging. Then purchase mothballs and place them in these locations. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package and use the appropriate amount. You can also place the mothballs in mesh bags and hang them around your yard to create a barrier.

It’s important to remember that mothballs might not always work against those persistent creatures. However, with regular monitoring, you can protect your plants and keep your garden armadillo-free.

Predator Urine

Predator urine is a natural and effective way to repel armadillos from your yard. The urine contains pheromones and other natural compounds that signal danger to armadillos, prompting them to vacate the area.

Coyote urine is one of the most common types of predator urine used for armadillo repulsion. Armadillos are natural prey for coyotes, so the scent of coyote urine effectively signals danger to armadillos.

How to Use Predator Urine To Rid Armadillos

First, locate the areas where armadillos appear most often. Then sprinkle the predator urine around those areas, covering enough space to repel the armadillos effectively.

It’s also important to note that predator urine needs to be reapplied every few weeks to ensure its effectiveness.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is a natural oil that is derived from the castor bean plant. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal and therapeutic properties. But it is also a great way to repel armadillos. The reason is that castor oil contains a compound called ricinoleic acid, which could be an irritant to animals. When they come in contact with the oil, they’ll avoid your yard altogether.

Castor oil with beans on wooden surface
Castor oil with beans on wooden surface

How to Use Castor Oil To Rid Armadillos

If you pour castor oil on the ground, it messes up the taste of the soil. This is perfect for stopping armadillos from digging in their tracks since they won’t like the unpleasant flavor.

Armadillos are nocturnal animals who love to dig and eat insects, so pour the oil in areas where they tend to hang out. This will cause them to stay away from your garden. You can also spray it on plants and trees if armadillos are destroying them.

Tips for Dealing with an Infestation of Armadillos 

Armadillo infestations can mess up your property and even be bad for your health. So, it’s crucial to take immediate action to avoid more damage. Here are some tips to help you deal with an armadillo infestation:

1. Identify Their Habitat: First, you have to find where those armadillos are living before you can take action. These guys love to create dens by burrowing into the ground, so keep an eye out for areas in your yard where the soil has been dug up.

2. Make Your Yard Less Inviting: Armadillos are attracted to areas that are moist and have plenty of insects to eat. To make your yard less inviting, eliminate areas of standing water, such as birdbaths, and keep your lawn well-mowed.

3. Install Fences: One of the most effective ways to keep armadillos out of your yard is to put up a fence. Choose a fence that is at least three feet high and bury it at least six inches into the ground to prevent the armadillos from digging under it.

4. Trap and relocate: If all else fails, trapping and relocating the armadillos may be the best option. Make sure to use humane traps and release them into a suitable habitat far away from your home.

5: Call a professional: If all else fails, it may be time to reach out to a professional pest control service for help. The professionals will have a better understanding of the situation and can develop a tailored plan to get rid of the armadillos.

By following these tips, you can safely and effectively deal with an armadillo infestation in your yard. Remember to always handle armadillos with care and caution, as they can carry diseases that are harmful to humans and other animals. Armadillos are not dangerous so long as they are not provoked. So, keep your distance and don’t try to touch them.

An Armadillo looks up after rooting in the dirt at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.


Does Pine Sol repel armadillos?

Yes, Pine-Sol is effective in repelling armadillos. The strong smell of the pine scent can help disguise your yard and make it less inviting to armadillos. Additionally, you can use Pine Sol to clean up any areas where armadillos may have been digging.

Does peppermint oil deter armadillos?

Armadillos hate the smell of peppermint. The easiest way to keep them at bay is to plant tons of this herb and mash-up its leaves. The leaf oils will waft through your garden and keep them far away.

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