Armadillos aren’t as common in the Hilton Head area as other types of wildlife, but they can be found in parts of SC. These mammals tend to live in areas that offer plenty of shady cover for them, since they don’t tolerate hot temperatures very well. Where do they go when the weather turns cold? Learn more about armadillos and their behavior.
Armadillos in Winter
If you don’t see any armadillos wandering around during the winter months, it’s not due to hibernation. Unlike bears and some other mammals, armadillos don’t hibernate when it’s cold outside. They’re able to tolerate cooler temperatures, but not extreme cold, just as they’re sensitive to extreme heat in summer.
They typically stay active when temperatures are warmer or more tolerable for them in winter, especially since they’re slow-moving creatures. Armadillos spend their active time looking for insects and fruit to eat, although their diet also includes lizards, snakes, bird eggs and frogs. They can’t store a large amount of fat during winter, so they have to come out at times in order to feed.
Armadillos are easy to identify thanks to their distinctive appearance. The nine-banded armadillo, which is the species found in SC, is a brown or yellowish-brown color and has protective bony coverings on its body, tail and head. These armadillos grow to be roughly the size of an opossum and can weigh up to 20 pounds as adults. They have small heads with a narrow snout, which they use to uproot insects.
Concerns About Armadillos
Are armadillos good or bad to have around? In some cases, they can be beneficial, since they eat fire ants and other insect pests. However, they can also become pests when they’re around residential areas. Armadillos can cause significant damage to lawns and gardens as they forage for food in the soil. They might also build burrows under foundations and other structures, leading to extensive damage.
They’re also known to carry infectious diseases that can be spread to humans, although this is rare. Armadillos can carry parasites that cause Chagas disease, and they can have active leprosy infections. Keep in mind that there have only been two cases of leprosy spread to humans from contact with armadillos, which occurred in Texas.
Signs of Armadillos
If you don’t see any armadillos in your area, you might notice other signs that they’re around. Look for burrows that have an entrance that’s about 8 to 10 inches across. These entrances might be hidden behind vegetation or fallen logs, although you can also find them near buildings.
In some cases, armadillos build dry grass nests instead of digging burrows. If you don’t see burrows or nests, look for signs that these mammals have been in your yard. You might see patches of dirt from when they dig for food, or you might have flowers uprooted from your garden.
Dealing with Armadillos
Armadillos aren’t usually aggressive, so they’re not much of a threat to humans in terms of attacking or biting. However, any wild animal can become dangerous when they’re cornered or trapped. If you have armadillos digging up your yard, it’s best to let professional pest control experts in SC handle them.
At Island Pest Control, our technicians have the right equipment and knowledge for safely trapping and removing armadillos from SC properties. We can help you protect your property from further damage by eliminating armadillo infestations and reducing the risk of having them come back.
If you have an armadillo problem on your property, please contact Island Pest Control. Our technicians can perform a thorough inspection and set traps as needed for capturing and removing these mammals. Give us a call to learn more about our pest control services in the Hilton Head area or to schedule your inspection.