Armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are cool. These armored animals are a unique species on America’s southern landscape. The one common to the United States is the nine-banded armadillo. but as cool looking as they are, their quest for invertebrates in the lawn can leave lawns in a shambles. In the state of Georgia, extension agents claimed that 10% of the calls received for information focused on armadillos. Clearly, armadillos are big problem in the southern states.
The Armadillo Challenge
You may think, well I will just bait a cage trap and get rid of the offending armadillo. Not so fast. What bait would you use? Turns out that there isn’t a bait that shines out as a clear winner in the “attractiveness to armadillo” game. Am I saying that there is no “armadillo bait”? I’m not telling you. It’s researchers that are saying this. I am just the messenger.
In 2005, researchers, Daniel J. Gammons, Michael T. Mengak, and L. Mike Conner, published an article entitled “Evaluation of Attractants for Live-trapping Nine-banded Armadillos in the Wildlife Management Publication Series (WMS-05-04), Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia. Their study sought to find the best lure to attract armadillos to cage traps.
They looked at 11 different armadillo baits and lures:
- Live night crawlers
- Live crickets
- Rotten chicken feed
- Whole eggs
- Rotten eggs
- Vanilla wafers
- Moistened soil
- “Armor plate” a commercially available lure
They tested these armadillo baits between April and July 2004 in the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in Newton, GA. Out of 863 trap nights, only 4 of the armadillo baits caught an armadillo and then only one armadillo was caught for each bait. Those four baits were, crickets (94 trap nights), rotten eggs (52 trap nights), moistened soil (44 trap nights) and “Armor Plate” a commercial attractant (102 trap nights).
Evaluation of Armadillo Baits
Before you convince yourself that effective baits were the four armadillo baits that caught an armadillo, understand that there was no statistical difference between the effectiveness of these baits versus an unbaited cage trap. That’s right. You had as much chance to catch an armadillo in an unbaited trap as a baited one. Now, does this mean that there is no preferred bait for armadillos? No. Perhaps these baits don’t work well in the spring and summer. Maybe they would work better in other months. Maybe there is another bait that would work better. Maybe the baits work better in urbanized areas. So while this research is certainly saddening, it is not the final word.
Understand that if you are not having success baiting an armadillo, it might be because armadillos don’t like bait. You will likely need to use a different trap set to capture them. But that is for another blog.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel) along with several books (https://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/store-2/). Listen to his podcast at PestGeek Podcast (https://pestgeekpodcast.com/). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. If you would like to have Stephen speak at your event or use his consultation services, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.