14 Dec Did You Know Armadillos Can Transmit Leprosy to Humans? How About Other Diseases?
If you’ve spotted an armadillo walking through your backyard at night or seen one crossing the highway, you were probably caught off-guard. Usually associated with Texas, Mexico, and Central America, these hard-shelled mammals have made their way across the southern states in recent decades. Lately, more people have been calling their Hilton Head exterminator after realizing that armadillos wreak havoc on a yard and garden.
Relatives of the anteater, the armadillo will also burrow underground looking for bugs to eat. Not something you appreciate if you’re proud of your flower bed.
More dangerously, scientists have proven that armadillos spread leprosy to humans. Don’t try to take a selfie with the armadillo you found in the backyard! If you find one, keep your distance to be safe.
Armadillos and Leprosy
Humans have only figured out fairly recently that armadillos can transmit leprosy. It’s a rare disease these days, thankfully, and when people do contract leprosy it’s usually after traveling to foreign countries and being exposed to it by other means.
Armadillos in South Carolina might actually be the most likely cause other than foreign travel.
The bacteria that cause leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae) thrive inside of cool bodies. The armadillo’s body temperature runs just 89 degrees. So, while not all armadillos have the germ, they do make a good candidate for it.
In case you’re tempted to pick up a baby armadillo you’ve found, or even catch one for taxidermy or some other reason, think again!
Diseases Spread by Armadillos
Leprosy may sound like the scariest disease of these, but armadillos pose additional health risks. Illnesses spread by armadillos include:
- Rabies — The rabies virus can be passed through just about any mammal. Despite their strange appearance, armadillos are indeed mammals like sloths and anteaters.
- Chagas disease — Armadillos can play host to the parasitic protist that causes this illness. Symptoms include stomach pain, fever, and skin rash.
- Salmonella — They can leave salmonella bacteria in their waste, so be careful around bodies of water where armadillos have been drinking and wash up well after tending to a yard that’s been affected by one.
- Tapeworms — This is another parasite that can be contracted through contact with armadillo waste.
Animal Control for Armadillos in South Carolina
The best ways to get armadillos off your property are preventive measures before the fact or professional wildlife removal if you have already seen them.
Armadillos come near people’s homes in search of food and water. As a Hilton Head exterminator, we’ve responded to calls about armadillos digging and burrowing in people’s yards and even uprooting plants and bushes. While mostly nocturnal, they will become active during daytime when the weather is cooler.
The best ways to deter armadillos would be adding fencing or using repellants labeled for gophers. Some people say mothballs work, but this is a very weak deterrent.
Island Pest Control can help as your knowledgeable experts in animal control and the Hilton Head exterminator you can call for safe, humane, and effective armadillo removal.
Armadillos rarely take bait as easily as other wildlife. We need to locate their active burrowing holes, trap them as they exit, and identify humane ways to deter them from coming back.
Get Rid of Armadillos in Hilton Head, SC
Do you need outdoor vermin control? Island Pest Control has you covered for Hilton Head, Bluffton and Okatie wildlife removal.
We use Havahart traps and an arsenal of proven methods to trap and get rid of armadillos and other unwanted animals. We offer a free inspection, during which your licensed, certified Hilton Head exterminator will search for burrows and entry points so we can isolate the problem.
Armadillos may be cute, but they destroy landscaping and may even bring leprosy and other diseases onto your property.
Contact Island Pest Control today for wildlife removal in the Hilton Head, SC area!