Gallery-ArmadilloContrary to what their immense population would have you believe, armadillos are not native to Florida. From 1920 to about 1970, there were several introductions of armadillos from Texas into the panhandle of Florida.

Armadillos got their name in direct relation to their appearance. The word armadillo means “little armored one” in Spanish. Armadillos are born with soft, leathery, skin which hardens within a few week. This armor is a shield like shell formed by plates of dermal bone covered in relatively small, overlapping epidermal scales called scutes, composed of bone with a covering of horn. Joints in the shell are flexible, which enable them to bend and twist. Only the ears and belly of the armadillo are without bony armor. Armadillos have short legs, but can move quite quickly, and have the ability to remain under water for as long as six minutes.

Armadillos, like all warm blooded animals can carry rabies, parasites (tapeworm), and diseases (salmonella). Also it has been proven that besides humans, Armadillos are the only other animals that can carry & transmit leprosy.

But the biggest concern with armadillos seems to lie with the havoc that they can wreak on your yard. These animals feed primarily on insects and their larvae. They also eat earthworms, scorpions, spiders, snails, and small vertebrates and their eggs. Armadillos have poor eye sight, but very keen hearing. Because of their diet, they have to dig into the ground to find their food. They will dig numerous holes in your lawn, soil, flowerbeds and gardens. These holes are typically 1-3 inches deep and 3-5 inches wide. During the day, armadillos will rest in burrow that they have dug up during the night., which are located underbrush piles, stumps, rock piles, dense brush, or concrete patios, and are about 7-8 inches in diameter and can be up to 15 feet long.