Asked on Sep 07, 2013

How do you keep armadillos out of your garden?

Alisa W
by Alisa W
I have what seems like a herd of armadillos attacking my flower beds every night. This morning a camellia plant was totally uprooted and upside down in the bed. Four big holes are around one of my rose bushes...about the size of a gallon can of paint - each one. It's a miracle the rose bush is still in the ground. Any ideas? I'm desparate...
  32 answers
  • Victoria Victoria on Sep 07, 2013
    That makes two of us. I wake up in the morning and it looks like someone rototilled!
  • Carole Carole on Sep 07, 2013
    Oh dear! There are many instances where the local wildlife is not conducive to having a lovely garden - it can turn into a constant battle! We don't get armadillos so I have no idea what the answer is unfortunately. Good luck and hope someone here has some answers for you.
  • GranArt GranArt on Sep 07, 2013
    When we had that problem it was GRUBS!! They were coming to chow down on the grubs. They did not stay long after I sprayed the yards real well and they have not been back.
    • See 1 previous
    • GranArt GranArt on Sep 08, 2013
      @Alisa W Hi Alisa, I used the yard spray Bayer. We also had fleas real bad during that time and it took care of that as well.
  • Victoria Victoria on Sep 07, 2013
    Hummm, I don't have any grubs but lots of ants. Maybe that is what the eat.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Sep 07, 2013
    Well that's a new one on me. But not to many of those here in VA, LOL However, I do believe they, like voles are looking for grub larvae, so if you control your grub problems they have no dinner and will go elsewhere. You might check with your local extension office for some additional information and help with this problem. I'm betting you are not the first with this problem.
  • TJ TJ on Sep 08, 2013
    When I first read your question, I just thought "Easy -- move to Minnesota, there aren't any armadillos here. Too d*^* cold. We do have opossum." btw - @Catherine Smith you meant moles, didn't you, not voles?? Do voles dig for grubs?
    • See 3 previous
    • Lynn Dement Lynn Dement on May 21, 2018

      We have tunnels all in our yard. My mom was going out in the yard to get her dog back inside one night. She put her foot down and the ground collasped under her foot causing her to fall. That morning we could see how many tunnels had been dug throughout the backyard. Can’t get rid of them. They move and then return.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 08, 2013
    Texas A&M recommends a fence slanted outward at a 40-degree angle, with a portion buried.
    • Geoffrey Geoffrey on May 25, 2018

      How about a smaller fence to go round my flower beds say a about 1 food high any ideas thanks for your help Douglas

  • Alisa W Alisa W on Sep 08, 2013
    Well I am going to start with trying to get rid of the grubs. I did read about the fence but they recommend it go under ground 18 inches and 24 inches tall. That would be a project and a half to keep them out of every where I seem to have a problem. We're thinking electric fence next.
    • Amy Amy on Jun 11, 2020

      I have put a fence up every year and not buried it and they haven't bothered the garden. Obviously being such good diggers I suppose they could get under it if they really wanted to but I think it wasn't worth it for them to mess with when they can dig up other places instead? I don't use any pesticides or chemicals as they kill the pollinators, which is, of course, counter productive. Hope that helps.

  • Lawns & More Lawns & More on Sep 09, 2013
    Try to find out the food source they are seeking and eliminate it. In Texas they are looking for grub worms. We treat the area for grubs and the armadillos go away.
  • Gaild Gaild on Sep 09, 2013
    OMG Alisa W. did I laugh when I read this!!!! Sorry, I Ilve in very citified Willow Grove, PA, just outside of Philadelphia!!!! Our biggest worry is Deer, very tame deer. Try these pages.....good luck.
    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Judy on Sep 09, 2013
      @Alisa W The deer don't eat your hydrangea? Before I got my big dogs I planted 2 & the deer ate them right down to the ground!
  • Nancy Phillips Nancy Phillips on Sep 09, 2013
    I still hoping for a magical resolve to the armadillo issue. Every morning, my flower garden is uprooted! I've tried throwing out boxes of moth balls but that doesn't seem to deter them. Does anyone have an answer/suggestion?
    • Jac22666355 Jac22666355 on May 17, 2017

      HI Nancy, I have tried moth balls too, no help. I am just afraid of one moving in my lawn and then I heard others follow. If one moves into my

      lawn I will call a trapper to remove it. Good luck.

      Jack from Bradenton fl

  • Barbara Sawyer Barbara Sawyer on Sep 09, 2013
    We use moth balls, if it is a particular place they live in, they will avoid it. They have dug huge holes next to my house where I think they sleep during the day. Unfortunately they will just move to another location, hopefully in a spot where it doesn't do damage. We have just learned to live with them.
    • See 2 previous
    • Barbara Sawyer Barbara Sawyer on Apr 30, 2019

      Since this reply, I have found a way to deal with these critters. A friend brought over a trap, made to catch these guys. He placed it in an area that was in a path the armadillo took. Important - don’t put any food in it. It was left there for a month before catching him. Then he took him to a wooded area and released him. It works!

  • Julie B Julie B on Sep 09, 2013
    I agree on the grub treatment. I am in Alabama and we also HAD a problem with armadillos. We took 3 steps to get rid of them. First did the ground treatment, then we did live animal traps, and lastly, we put a fence. Fence is 2X3 welded wire agriculture fence. No more armadillos, no possums, no fox, and no raccoons. Worked great for all those!
    • Alisa W Alisa W on Sep 09, 2013
      @Julie B They do make some big holes...I am trying the grub treatment now...we'll see if it helps.
  • Gaild Gaild on Sep 09, 2013
    My deer do hop my fence and enjoy the food I provide-my flowers!!!! My dogs have made friends with them!!!!
    • See 2 previous
    • what are grubs ? sorry did not realize 2013

  • Gaild Gaild on Sep 09, 2013
    either luck or G-d!
  • GrandmaCarol Speight GrandmaCarol Speight on Sep 09, 2013
    ground cayenne might help, sprinkle it around the plant on the ground. After a rainfall OR watering, you may have to re-apply. BUT first I would be investigating their reason for finding your garden so attractively addictive! Here are a couple of links that may OR may not assist you.... The second link has many suggestions.....
  • Lynn Lynn on Sep 09, 2013
    They made using our riding mower very dangerous on our hills: do not go crosswise on a hill with armadillo damage! We used moth balls with good success. Problem was it kept me away too! ha I didn't like the smell but it was better than the damage. You have to pick your wars! Good luck
  • Dori Urban Dori Urban on Sep 09, 2013
    I had this problem when I lived in Bunnell, Fl.I used Dried Blood, and sprinkled it around the yard and no more armidillos.They smell the dried blood and alsogood for reose
    • See 1 previous
    • Jac22666355 Jac22666355 on May 17, 2017

      Dori, where do you get dried blood?


  • Patricia Purdy Patricia Purdy on Sep 09, 2013
    I think my friend told me that imitation vanilla is a good deterrent. For some pests, maybe bad bugs and insects, you can boil red hot peppers, cool and strain, and spray that juice.
  • Gaild Gaild on Sep 09, 2013
    I have 2 rescued puppymill Chihuahuas and two rescued white maltese/poodle,terrier mixes. I am allergic so I can only have certain dogs...NEVER cats! All 4 of my girls are wonderful, a little too wonderful. But they do keep people aways with their constant yap yapping...
  • Becky Lambert Becky Lambert on Sep 09, 2013
    mothballs work on most unwanted critters!
    • Amy Amy on Jun 11, 2020

      "People often use mothballs in inappropriate sites and against incorrect pests," Stock said. "The only recommendation that counts is the product label, which is a legal document whose instructions must be followed – particularly on where mothballs may be used and which pests they will control."

      Mothballs should not be used inside attics, crawl spaces, gardens, trash cans or vehicles. "Often, mothballs are used in these locations to control pests other than clothes moths," Stone said.

      They include squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, dogs, cats, raccoons, moles, snakes, pigeons and a variety of other animals. Any such use is illegal.

  • Pajunka Pajunka on Sep 09, 2013
    You mean a "fez" of armadillo? (That's it. That's all I got today....) !!!
  • GrandmaCarol Speight GrandmaCarol Speight on Sep 10, 2013
    Awwwww "blood meal"! Works to help eliminate many garden-meddling troublesome critters. I never found it any use tho in stopping the darn squirrels from digging up my tulip bulbs and storing them for their winter banquets!....lolol
  • Georgia Garrett Georgia Garrett on Sep 10, 2013
    I have running battle with armadillos and deer as I live right on the marsh. First I have put short fences around all my flower beds. That helps. Then I bought an armadillo deterent and sprinkled it in all my flower beds. Then I bought grub killer and put it my yard and my neighbor's yard (armadillos are look for grubs when they tear your lawn up). For the deer I got a product with cyaotti urine in it. Then I place bells next to the bushes where they chomp on my hibiscus. It's constant battle but right now I'm winning.
  • Pat Pat on Sep 10, 2013
    Red Pepper. I live in Georgia so they are everywhere. It's not a matter of IF but WHEN will they find your garden. This spring they liked my gardens way too much, so I sprinkled crushed red pepper and ground red pepper(I bought my spices at Dollar Tree and Big Lots for $1 each) in the garden after every rain for about three weeks. No More armadillos.
    • Alisa W Alisa W on Sep 11, 2013
      @Pat I think I will try that...we have Dollar Tree here so I'll visit there today. Bad thing is we're getting short rain showers every other day right now since it's hurricane season. We need the rain but it brings out the grubs which brings out the critters.
  • Lois Payette Lois Payette on Sep 11, 2013
    Crushed egg shell for the grubs. Cuts and scratches their skins.. mix it in the dirt.
  • Alisa W Alisa W on Sep 11, 2013
    Hmmm, that makes me wonder....I have diatomaceous earth left over from our pool ...I wonder if that would help with the grubs??
    • Lois Payette Lois Payette on Sep 28, 2013
      @Alisa W Yes, diatomaceous earth will work... anything that will cling to their skins.
  • Dori Urban Dori Urban on Sep 24, 2013
    Not sure about Racoons, but I'm sure it's worth try.
  • Alisa W Alisa W on Sep 24, 2013
    I put out some grub killer and I don't know if it's helping or not but I notice almost no new disturbed soil and plants. It got worse at first but now I think they are bothering some other area. OF course we have had some rain so maybe they are feeding else where and don't need to dig up the areas where we water. At any rate, I am happy not to see any evidence of new digging. Thanks for all the comments!
  • Suzi Suzi on Apr 29, 2019

    My landscape people told me to try Blood Meal. They hate it. I bought this morning. Putting it out this evening. She had a customer that had armadillos dug up flower beds. She put out the Blood Meal. Problem solved.

  • Barb Barb on Apr 30, 2019

    Live in NW Florida and my yard (front/back) is full of worms. Armadillos keep coming back to munch them. Some kids were playing with some worms and left them out in a plastic pail. Awful odor despite just worms. So I shook the worm remains all over my bed and lawn. No more holes suddenly. Now the fella gave us a second chance to chew our yard. Feel guilty killing worms (little dead worms really have a huge odor) and going to try blood meal. HOA prevents small fences and other deterrents, but when the yard or grass dies they have fits. No win except the smelly way. Here’s hoping it works!!

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 22, 2023

    1. Get a fence. Install a short, strong fence deep into the ground surrounding your yard. The fence does not need to be tall as armadillos cannot jump high; however, if it is deep, it will stop the critter from burrowing through to your yard.
    2. Make your yard inhospitable. Place wood chips in your yard, especially around your flower bed. This makes it difficult for the creature to burrow through.
    3. Get rid of small insects in your soil. Armadillos generally burrow through loose soil and under shrubbery looking for grubs and insects. If you treat your lawn with certain bug sprays or insect-killing pesticides, you take away their nourishment and therefore their attraction to your soil.
    4. Add scented deterrents – Armadillos are not big fans of spicy scents. Adding a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper around your yard will serve as a good armadillo deterrent.
    5. Traps – You can set armadillo traps either on top of their burrows or at strategic points around your yard. Traps will allow you to catch and relocate the armadillo to a more appropriate location. However, handling the pests without proper tools and equipment can be dangerous.