10 Ways to Keep Armadillos Out Your Yard

Have you ever probably sighted an armadillo? Probably not because they move at night. Nonetheless, if you haven’t, you may have noted several armadillo burrows in your yard. Armadillos are a nuisance even though they are typically harmless. 

Armadillos are quite a handful. They can be stressful at some point, and getting rid of them from visiting can be the only way to relieve that annoyance. These ten ways can help you keep your yard armadillo-less for quite some time.

  • Install a fence
  • Cover their point or entry
  • Cover all the burrows
  • Eliminate possible shelter
  • Eliminate food sources
  • Use armadillos predators’ urine
  • Use animal trap
  • Use the smells that they hate
  • Use armadillo’s natural deterrents
  • Call an exterminator

You don’t have to kill the rodents as they are harmless. Instead, finding a way of keeping them off your yard is the best remedy. Read on for further insights on how to repel armadillos. 

What Time of Night Do Armadillos Come Out?

Armadillos are nocturnal animals. They are, therefore, most active in the night when we are sleeping, which means catching them is not easy. There is no particular time of the night when you can expect to find them. 

However, they sleep for approximately sixteen hours a day. Therefore, anytime from dusk to dawn, expect to find them. 

Of course, given that they are nocturnal, they are most likely to come out when it is dark. Armadillos do not have good eyesight, but an excellent sense of smell makes up for this weakness. These creatures can smell prey hidden in the cover of darkness with strain by sniffing it.  

Hence, if you intend to catch them in action, nighttime is the best. However, you need not necessarily hunt armadillos down at such a time.

There are means of trapping them and catching them anytime they show up. We are going to discuss these techniques later. 

How Do You Get Rid of Armadillos in Your yard?

Now let’s look at the effective means of getting rid of armadillos off your yard. 

1. Install a Fence

You can prevent the rodents from entering your yard by simply fencing them out. A simple chicken wire fence works well in deterring the animals. Nonetheless, since armadillos are excellent diggers, you must bury the border deep enough to prevent this. 

The ideal depth of the fence is at least one foot below the ground—however, the deeper, the better. 

Installing a fence is quite some work. Nonetheless, it is worth considering what you’ll have to put up in burying the burrows that armadillos have dug up. Your choice should be decided by the degree of infestation. 

If you deal with one armadillo, you do not have to spend big installing a fence. Instead, you can catch the rodent and take it elsewhere. Nonetheless, installing a fence will serve you best if there are many of them. 

Selecting a sturdy fence is a bonus in repelling the animals. You don’t have to spend big on this, though, as any railing will work well as long as you effectively install it.

2. Cover Armadillos Point of Entry

If you have already encountered armadillo burrows in your yard even after fencing, then there’s somewhere they are passing through. You need to conduct a thorough check of your fence area to see if they have bypassed the barrier. 

They can still get to your yard by passing under the fence. Also, there could be a section on your wall that is quite loose that it was easy for them to pass through. The key is locating the area where they passed through and sealing it. 

The same applies to if armadillos have entered your house. If you see any rodents around your home, they probably passed through the basement. Also, it could be some isolated open space. It would be best if you sealed it before it invites its relatives. 

3. Cover all the Burrows

If the armadillos have dug up several burrows in your yard, you need to cover them up. The animals dig huge holes and leave them exposed as they search for food.

It would help if you covered these burrows as it will pass the message to the others that they are unwelcome in your yard. 

There’s chance that they will still try to make the dens even after you have covered them. Hence, to prevent this, you need to use a material that is hard to dig up when covering. Use materials such as pea gravel or dirt. The coarser the material, the more effective it will deter the animals. 

4. Eliminate Possible Shelter

The rodents are fond of hiding in dark places where they are safe from predators, especially during the day when they are inactive. Bushes and low-hanging brushes are, therefore, the ideal hiding ground of the animals. 

Therefore, it is best to clear all the overgrown bush in your yard to expose the hiding armadillos. Lack of cover will also discourage them from coming to your yard.

If there are trees around, creating a dark environment ideal for their hiding, you should prune them. 

Also, it could be that the patio furniture is giving them an excellent hiding ground. Consider moving it if that’s the case, and you will have destroyed armadillos sleep area.

You should also check around your basement for signs of rodents. If it’s dark, it is a matter of time before they make it to their shelter. 

5. Eliminate Food Sources

Armadillos dig burrows in search of small insects that they feed on. Hence, a sure way of chasing them off your yard is removing the food supplies. Discourage the presence of insects around your yard by using parasitic worms. 

Parasitic worms prey on insects that are around your yard. Hence, the armadillos will be discouraged from coming around by the absence of food and relocate to other areas. 

Here are some practical ways you can do to prevent armadillos from coming to your yard: 

  • Keep your yard insects free by eliminating all possible attractants such as trash.
  • Encourage natural predators to visit. Such as lizards and frogs, they will decimate the insect population leaving so little for armadillos to feed on. 
  • Consider attracting birds to your yard as they also prey on insects. The best way is to install a bird feeder in the yard.
  • Remove old and rotting tree stumps from your yard. Old stumps are the perfect habitat for all sorts of insects, as most of them feed on rotting matter.

6. Use Armadillos Predators’ Urine

You can take advantage of the rodent’s fear of these predators to scare them off. You don’t necessarily have to use the actual predators. Instead, take the armadillos predators urine and sprinkle it around the areas where these animals visit. 

Armadillos will immediately recognize the urine smell, mainly if it has been freshly applied, and avoid the area. They will relocate to other sites that they perceive to be safe. 

7. Use an Animal Trap

Another interesting way of removing armadillos from your yard is to catch them alive. You will need an animal trap which sshouldn’tbe too hard to get from your local hardware.

Alternatively, you can create the entrapment yourself if you possess sufficient expertise. The ideal measurements of an armadillo trap are 30 cm by 25cm by 75cm. 

Here are the key steps to follow when setting up the trap. 

Purchase a Live Trap

A live trap is one of the most effective catching an armadillo. It is also humane, and you do not risk having the animal attack you. It will also acquire the animal even when unavailable, such as at night.

We recommend Havahart 1085 Easy Set One-Door Cage Trap because it is large enough to catch the animal and rust-resistant. Thus, you can use it in all weather conditions.

Additionally, it has a sturdy door to prevent the animal from escaping. Ensure that the trap you buy from your local hardware has these properties. Also, ensure that it features the following properties: 

  • Ensure that it is a live trap. You could also find it being referred to as a catch and release trap. Essentially the aim is to catch the animal and release it. Hence, you must not buy one that kills the armadillo.
  • Ensure that it measures the above-provided dimensions. An armadillo is larger than a typical rat. Hence, to catch it, you must use a trap that can accommodate the animal. 

Watch the Armadillo

You must identify where the armadillos frequent to boost your chances of catching them. Hence, watch out for their possible entry points.

The presence of holes is a sign that they have already entered your yard. Place the trap around the shelters in such a case. 

The other potential hiding areas are zones of the yard that are concealed. Therefore, check out your garage or basement areas. Position the traps in these zones if there is a sign of the rodents. 

Set the Trap

The next step is to set the trap in the ideal position. Note that armadillos are most active under darkness or early in the morning.

Hence, you cannot set the trap at such a time. The best period is in the afternoon when there is no chance of the animals seeing you. 

If you have located an armadillo burrow, position the trap with the mouth facing the entrance of the rodent’s hole. It will enter the entrapment immediately after it leaves its shelter. Also, if you have noted that the armadillos frequent a particular bush, place the lure on its path. 

During this step, consider these factors:

  • Often, armadillos will avoid going through the middle of space and instead prefer to walk in the outskirts. Hence, you shouldn’t place your trap in the middle of the yard.

    In such a position, there are diminished chances of catching it. However, if you have noted the presence of armadillos in the middle of the yard, you can consider taking your chances. 
  • There is a common tendency by most people to use earthworms as bait to catch the armadillos. However, this technique is not effective, and you should avoid using the bait.

    The animals prefer to burrow and get their food. Thus placing earthworms in the trap may be futile in attracting the rodents.
  • Rather than using bait, it is best to direct the animals to enter your trap directly. You can use a v-shaped board that leads to the trap to facilitate this. They will unknowingly enter the trap if you use the technique.  

Keep an Eye on the Trap

You need to regularly observe the trap, preferably at least once per day. The best time is in the morning as they are most likely to be caught in the night.

Forgetting to check the trap can be a bad idea, especially as you may end up starving the rodent to death. 

Also, regularly checking the trap will inform you whether you chose the correct location. Move the entanglement to another place if there are no signs armadillos.

Of course, your new location choice must be guided by the probability of finding an armadillo. 

If, despite moving the trap around the yard regularly, there is no sign of the animal, think of changing your tactics. The best way is to involve animal control. They will check what you have been doing wrongly and propose the ideal alternative. 

Release the Armadillo

When you find that you have at last caught an armadillo, ensure that you release it quickly. As earlier mentioned, keeping it for long will only torture the animal. 

However, take precautions when releasing the armadillo. Ensure that you put in protective gloves as the armadillo claws can hurt you.

You will not remove the animal close to the yard as it will find a way of returning. It will come back, especially if your yard is an insects haven. 

Therefore, please take it as further as possible from your yard. Place the trap on the back of a truck and drive off to the woods.

The best distance from your yard should be at least five miles away. Also, ensure that the area you choose to release has plenty of water. 

During the release, ensure that you are not directly standing at the cage entrance. The animal may hurt you with its claws when you stand on its face. Therefoit’sit’s best to be cautious. 

Repeat this process for the other armadillos. As you might have noted, it is tedious. Thus, it is best for use in situations when you are dealing with a small armadillo infestation. 

8. Use the Smells That They Hate

There are several forms of smell repellents that you can use to repel armadillos off your yard. They have a strong sense of smell that can detect an insect buried deep in the ground. Hence, one of the best ways to chase them off your yard is by using a scent they detest. 

Smells Armadillos Hate

Armadillos detest strong scents of substances such as ammonia, vinegar, and pine cleaner. An armadillo will use its strong sense of smell to pick out the presence of insects in the ground. But what happens when you put these repellents close to its nose? 

Let’s look at each of the substances in close detail.


Hence, a substance such as vinegar is the best in repelling armadillos. Imagine how it is easy for us to pick up the scent of vinegar, yet our sense of smell is somewhat moderate. What about an animal with a massive ability to pick up odors?

Without a doubt, the smell of vinegar will be too harsh on the armadillo. It will thus avoid coming close to anything in your yard that smells of vinegar. Therefore, for effective deterrence, spray it around your yard. 

We recommend Calyptus 45% Pure Super Concentrated Vinegar. It carries a very pungent smell that the rodents can identify from a distance. 


Ammonia also has a strong, pungent smell. Armadillos will find such a smell very hard to bear especially given they are too quick to pick even the slightest odors. Therefore, you can effectively use it to deter armadillos from coming to your yard. 

Sprinkle ammonia to the ground while being keen not to apply it on plants. It is pretty toxic, especially on the vegetative matter. You don’t want it scorching your flowers or other plants in the yard. Hence, apply it with caution. 

Where you have identified the possible entry points of armadillos to your yard, place bowls of ammonia in these points.

They will pick up the smell from far away and avoid coming to that area. Lastly, if armadillos are coming to your house, spray ammonia around, and they will keep off. 

Note: You must be careful when applying ammonia as it can also scorch the skin. Remember to use protective gear such as gloves and an overall. 

Also, the smell of ammonia will dissipate after some time, mainly if you apply it during the rainy season. Therefore, often reapply to keep it alive and strong. 

Pine Cleaner 

Pine Cleaner will work in the same manner as the above-mentioned smell-based deterrents. It will make the armadillo uncomfortable, and the animal will avoid sniffing around the area. 

We recommend King Pine Concentrated Pine Oil Cleaner. It is environmentally friendly, and will effectively discourage armadillos from visiting the yard. 

9. Use Armadillo’s Natural Deterrents

You don’t have to worry about keeping armadillos off your yard when you can go the natural way in repelling them. All you need is to identify their natural deterrents and ensure they are always in your yard. 

Natural Deterrent for Armadillos

A natural deterrent is anything that you can use to put off the rodents from the yard the natural way. Hence, you will not have to spray some smell-based deterrent or put up a fence to keep it out of your yard. 

Keeping dogs and using pine bark mulch are the two natural deterrents for armadillos. 

Rearing a Dog

There is no better way of keeping guard of your homestead at night than having a dog. It will identify an armadillo in the dead of night as you are peacefully sleeping and chasing it away from your yard. 

Dogs will also bark when they identify armadillos, which is scary to the animals. Therefore, rear a dog and allow it to roam in the yard at night. Dogs also feed on armadillos. Hence, if you have a large infestation of animals, a dog will eat some of them. 

Use Pine Bark Mulch or Pine Needles

Armadillos detest the smell of pine trees. Therefore, you can plant a few of the trees around your yard to keep off the animals. Their scent will make the area an unsuitable hunting ground. 

Alternatively, you can use pine needles and pine bark, given that pine trees may take a long to grow. Lay the matter on the ground. As armadillos roam in their regular hunting sessions, they will find the smell and avoid staying in the area.

For best results, use a thick cover of pine needles. Approximately 3 inches of pine is enough to repel the animals. Spread it all around your fence. It will act as a barricade to the entry of armadillos to your yard.  

The pine mulch will lose its smell with time as it dries. Hence, you need to replace it for the best results continually. 

10. Call an Exterminator 

At times, you might not be able to carry out the above practices on your own, probably due to some commitments. On the other hand, it could be that you have tried in vain to eliminate the roaming armadillos from your yard to no success in the matter. If that is the case, consider involving an exterminator. 

An animal control expert has training in the art of conducting such exterminations. Therefore, get one to solve armadillos’llos’ problem.

The expert will propose some key measures to get the job done. Also, the professional will do a follow-up check to ensure that the problem is done and dusted. 

Does Cayenne Pepper Keep Armadillos Away?

Cayenne pepper is known to repel most pests and animals that unwelcomingly frequent the yard. Since it has a solid and irritating scent, the pepper will keep the animals off your yard. 

As earlier noted, armadillos have a strong sense of smell. Therefore, they will easily pick the scent of cayenne pepper from the ground. It will irritate their noses that they will detest coming to the area again. 

The upside of using cayenne pepper as a deterrent is that it is harmless to the soil. Hence, sprinkle a little around the favorite burrowing spots, and they will vacate the site immediately. 

You need to reapply the pepper after some time as its strength will slowly dissipate with time, especialit’sf it’s raining. 

What Are Armadillos Attracted To?

Like any other animals, armadillos are likely to move to your yard in search of water. However, water is the least of the attractions for the animals. Primarily they’ll be in search of food and specifically insects. 

They dig deep burrows in search of these insects. Such strong is their sense of smell that they will identify an insect buried as deep as seven feet.

Therefore, eliminate the attractants using the above-discussed techniques to keep them off. 

Are Armadillos Harmful to People? 

Armadillos do not attack people. Hence, this is why after you catch them, you should not hurt or kill them as they are harmless.

They prefer to stay away from people hidden in their burros. That’s why they come out at night under cover of darkness. 


Armadillos are some common rodents that visit homestead yards in search of food. Nonetheless, your homestead is not even their preferred habitat. 

They prefer to live in the woods where there is a vast supply of insects. Therefore, you can make them leave your yard by making it unattractive to them. Also, make it inhabitable by applying smell-based deterrents.  

You will need to apply the above-provided ways of keeping them off the yard. Installing a fence buried deep in the ground is the best means of deterrence. However, the other methods will also be effective. 

For best results, use at least a few methods together. 


Photo of author

Hubert Miles

Hello! My name is Hubert Miles. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. One of my favorite parts of my job is inspecting decks and patios. I also enjoy spending time in our backyard with friends and family. My team and I started this site to share this journey. We hope you enjoy the content.

DISCLAIMER: The content published on BackyardPatiosDecks.com is not professional advice. You should consult with a licensed professional and check local permit requirements before starting any project.
BackyardPatiosDecks.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We also participate in other affiliate programs with other affiliate sites. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.