Often mistaken for rats, these medium-sized animals have a thick armour-like shells. Unlike turtles and tortoises, their shell doesn’t curl up. Instead, these wild creatures jump upright when threatened. Yes, we are talking about none other than Armadillo.
Their expansion in the United state is one for the books. As Armadillo has a bigger role to play in their ecosystem and leads to the sustenance of the same, it is pertinent that we have all the important facts in hand.
Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about their presence across Missouri.
Are There Armadillo in Missouri?
Oh yes, Armadillo is not just inhabiting Missouri, but their population is thriving as well. All thanks to climate change, Armadillo who prefers warmer climates has been able to find more warmer regions in the state.
However, it’s important to note that they haven’t been able to migrate much toward the north due to the cold climate.
While Armadillos do have an environmental impact as prey eaters, their presence in a new ecosystem affects the existing fauna and flora as well.
What Kind of Armadillos Live in Missouri?
Did you know, there are about 21 species of Armadillo throughout the world? And among those, only one is found in the United States, including Missouri.
The nine-banded armadillo is the only species of armadillo found in the state and it’s not even a native species. These creatures call South America their home and migrated to the northern continent after the Isthmus of Panama was formed.
Where Are Armadillos Found in Missouri?
Armadillos are adaptive and can live and thrive in a variety of terrestrial habitats. But in general, they prefer wooded bottomlands, fields, and bushy areas with loose soil as this makes it easier for them to dig out holes and burrows.
In Missouri, they predominantly inhabit the central and southern parts of the state due to suitable weather conditions. Armadillos cannot tolerate extremely cold weather and therefore aren’t found in the northern parts of the state.
Moreover, during winter in the northern counties, there is only snow available and the Armadillos aren’t able to dig holes to make their home nor are they able to find insects to eat.
Also Check Out Our Guide On Armadillo in US
Do Armadillos in Missouri Carry Leprosy?
Yes, Armadillos in Missouri can carry the slow-moving Leprosy bacterium. But it’s important to note that, there have been no armadillo-transmitted leprosy cases in the state.
Some tips to follow if you are frequently handling armadillos are to wear gloves whenever you handle them alive or dead and cook the meat thoroughly.
Leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease. It spreads pretty quickly and for that, there must always be physical contact between the animal and people. Just being near it wouldn’t affect you.
Can You Shoot Armadillos in Missouri?
Are the armadillos destroying your lawn and garden with holes and burrows? Fret not. You can kill them to get rid of this issue. In fact, this is the only time you are legally allowed to kill these rodents.
As per the state wildlife agency, there is no separate hunting season for these creatures and therefore, they cannot be killed as a sport and their meat shouldn’t be sold.
While yes, it is pretty straightforward to get rid of these pests by killing them, the state always supports any non-lethal measure.
Why Are There So Many Dead Armadillos on The Side of The Road in Missouri?
Let’s clear the air on one of the biggest misconceptions of Armadillo. While Armadillos do have thick armor, when startled, Armadillos are more likely to flee or jump off the ground. The armor provides a somewhat strong exterior, but these creatures can still be consumed by other predators like bobcats, coyotes, etc.
The Armadillo population has drastically increased in the state including edges of roads. However, it is really important to manage a sustainable life.
As these creatures inhabit near roadways, when startled they are known to jump off. This is the reason for the large number of dead bodies on the side of the road in Missouri.
Also Check Our Guide On Armadillo In Kentucky
And that was everything you need to know about the Armadillo In Missouri. 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.