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If you see a group of armadillos in North Texas, it’s a special moment. Armadillos comprise one of the most unique wildlife habitats in North Texas. What makes the armadillo in North Texas so unique? According to the National Wildlife Federation, the nine-banded armadillo found in Texas is the only species of armadillo that lives in North America. As a result, the armadillo was named the official small mammal of Texas in 1995. Longhorns, recognized for their titular feature, is the state’s official large mammal.

Nine-banded armadillos in North Texas came from South America, where they thrived in dense rainforests and scrublands that covered the continent for centuries. The first sightings of nine-banded armadillos in the United States occurred in the early 1900s after the small mammal crossed through Central America around the turn of the century. Here is what you need to know if you come across a nine-banded armadillo in North Texas.

Nine-Banded Armadillos Jump When Startled

Easy to sneak up on, but fast if they spot you, the nine-banded armadillo is not typically interested in fighting. Armadillos tend to be easier to sneak up on because they make noise while foraging. When threatened, nine-banded armadillos leap up quickly to surprise the perceived attacker and rush away to their safe den or some kind of cover.

Armadillos Are Excellent Swimmers

Armadillos are not intimidated by expansive bodies of water. On the contrary, they can hold their breath and increase their buoyancy in ways human beings can’t. When facing narrow streams, rivers, or water-filled ditches, nine-banded armadillos simply crawl across the bottom, underwater! Their shell acts as a weight that allows them to reach the surface. In order to cross wider bodies of water, nine-banded armadillos swallow air to inflate their stomachs to twice its normal size, increasing buoyancy and allowing them to swim across. 

What Should I do if I Cross Paths with an Armadillo in North Texas?

Nine-banded armadillos living in North Texas and North America have been found to contract and carry leprosy. Leprosy affects the skin, peripheral nerves, respiratory tract, and the eyes. Consequently, it is highly recommended to leave an armadillo alone if you come across one.

If you are worried that an armadillo or family of armadillos dwell within or in close proximity of your property, it can give peace of mind to contact Dallas Fort-Worth Wildlife Control. Our experts can help identify traces of as well as safely and humanely remove wildlife. 

How do I Know if Armadillos Are Living on my Property?

Armadillos live mostly quiet lives. They use their claws to dig for food – usually insects, larvae, and grubs – and to build burrows in the ground to live in. Armadillos love soft ground. If your yard or garden contains soft soil, it may be susceptible to nine-banded armadillos. 

Here are signs they could be in your yard or garden:

  • Holes that 1-3 inches deep and 3-5 inches wide containing or near uprooted vegetation.
  • Piles of dirt next to a wall, which can be a sign of an armadillo nest.
  • Torn up grass.
  • Long snout prints in soil. An armadillo’s snout ranges in length from 24 – 32 inches long. 
  • Broken or cracked paths, walkways, driveways, or pools.

Are you in need of armadillo removal? Our friendly operators at Dallas Fort Worth Wildlife Control are available now at (817) 606-7607. Find out more about our wildlife removal in Arlington and Fort Worth, TX.