An average American spends about 125$ to 450$ on lawn care which includes weed control, aeration, trimming, etc. Among the many pests and nuisances, Armadillo occupies one of the top spots in Florida’s landscape.
They are a new world placenta mammal and belong to the Cingulata order. They are often considered pests due to their inherent nature of destroying lawns and gardens. It is therefore important that every resident in the state be it a permanent one or a temporary one, should know about this nuisance.
Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about the Armadillo in Florida.
Are There Armadillos in Florida?
Florida is a beautiful state and inhabits one of the most diverse wildlife in the country. The state’s fauna catalog also includes Armadillo. These mammals have a unique Armor like shell and that’s where their name comes from. Their shell is strong and along with their sharp claws helps Armadillo dig burrows, laws, and garden.
In terms of body length, they come in many sizes. From 6-inch-long pink fairy Armadillos to 5-foot-long dark-brown giant Armadillo, they vary in size and color across the country.
How Many Species of Armadillo Are There in Florida?
In continuation to the above topic, there are about 20 species of Armadillo found across the world. But only one of those is found living in the United States including Florida.
The nine-banded Armadillo found in Florida and other parts of the country has a grayish-brown armor that covers its whole body. They pretty much look like miniature versions of warriors of the past.
Where Can You Find Armadillo in Florida?
Armadillo is quite adaptive and hence found to thrive in a range of Florida landscapes. In the wild, these creatures tend to live in forested, wooded areas with dense vegetation. This also includes state parks, nature reserves, and zoos.
Like most of the other pests, Armadillo has also adapted to people and now exists in residential and suburban areas, golf courses, parks, and roadside edges especially where there are green grassy areas.
While they live in residential areas, it is difficult to spot them. Hence, if you do want to observe them, visit nearby state parks or other natural areas in Florida.
How Did Armadillo Get to Florida?
Yes, you are right. Armadillo is not a native species of Florida. For millions of years, these creatures have been inhabiting Central and South America. Armadillo especially the nine-banded Armadillo in Florida has believed to have expanded to the state due to several factors.
They were initially introduced in Florida to establish a commercial Armadillo farm. That failed but the creatures succeeded in spreading across the state into homes, wooded areas, and national parks. Their expansion was also fuelled by human activities like agriculture and settlement that provided open areas and abundant food sources both of which are crucial for Armadillo’s.
These along with Armadillo’s inherent characteristics of traveling for long distances, and ability to tolerate different climates sided them in reaching and settling in Florida.
Also Check Out Our Guide On Armadillo in US
Can You Kill an Armadillo in Florida?
The Armadillo population in the state is managed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. To deal with these creatures, specific rules, and regulations as per the commission needs to be obeyed and followed.
Armadillo in Florida are classified as non-game animals and therefore are not protected by any law. Instead, they are a form of nuisance to the residents and are not typically a significant threat to human life. While it is legal to kill them, do explore other non-lethal options to manage them when they damage your property.
It is always recommended to contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or any nearby local wildlife agency when you have a problem with Armadillos on your land.
Is It Legal to Trap Armadillos in Florida?
Yes, It is perfectly legal to trap Armadillos in the state. In fact, it is a necessity.
These creatures have been destroying laws, and gardens in their quest for finding insects to eat or to make a shelter to live. Being powerful diggers, they destabilize tree root systems and even building foundations with their tunnels. If this wasn’t bad, they also carry leprosy.
In this stage, people have no other option than to trap them for their health and well-being. While you as a resident are allowed to trap them by yourself, it is always safer to call in a professional wildlife control company to do it for you.
Can You Eat Armadillo in Florida?
As the apex predators of apex predators, humans are known to consume anything and everything. This also includes Armadillo. Referred to as “possum on the half-shell” due to its taste and texture, people in some parts of the country including Florida consume Armadillo meat.
But beware, it is not recommended as these creatures carry leprosy and it may spread to you. It is also not a local custom to consume them.
Can You Own an Armadillo in Florida?
Did you know, Armadillo is the only mammal other than humans to carry Leprosy? Yes, one of the most infectious diseases found in all the continents. This, therefore, makes it logical to not own them.
In Florida, it is illegal to own these creatures as a pet. However, they can be possessed for specific purposes like research, education, and rehabilitation. This includes state parks, natural reserves, etc. For this, you would need to apply for and obtain permits and licenses from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Also Check Our Guide On Armadillos In Alabama
How To Get Rid of An Armadillo Florida?
Okay, we understand your need to get rid of these nasty creatures. Since their first presence, they have been digging through all residential properties, parks, golf fields, etc. While it is difficult to get rid of them, there are a few steps you can try before going to a professional trapper.
Try fencing your property one foot underground and 3 feet above the ground. This will restrict the movement of Armadillo into your property. There are also some repellents available in the market that may help you keep them at bay from your plot.
If you live in other states, it’s important to consult the state wildlife authorities before trying to get rid of Armadillo. Unlike Florida, it is illegal to kill or harm these creatures in some states.
And that was everything you need to know about the Armadillo in Florida. I hope this article answered all your queries.
Thank You For Reading!
Our Source For This Guide
Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.