Damage and Damage Identification
The armadillo is active primarily from twilight through early morning hours in the summer. In winter, it may be active only during the day. The armadillo usually digs a burrow 7 or 8 inches (18 or 20 cm) in diameter and up to 15 feet (4.5 m) in length for shelter and raising young. Burrows are located in rock piles, around stumps, brush piles, or terraces around brush or dense woodlands. Armadillos often have several dens in an area to use for escape.
The young are born in a nest within the burrow. The female produces only one litter each year in March or April after a 150-day gestation period. The litter always consists of quadruples of the same sex. The young are identical since they are derived from a single egg.
The armadillo has poor eyesight, but a keen sense of smell. In spite of its cumbersome appearance, the agile armadillo can run well when in danger. It is a good swimmer and is also able to walk across the bottom of small streams
General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior
Most armadillo damage occurs as a result of their rooting in lawns, golf courses, vegetable gardens, and flower beds. Characteristic signs of armadillo activity are shallow holes, 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm) deep and 3 to 5 (7.6 to 12.7 cm) wide, which are dug in search of food. They also uproot flowers and other ornamental plants. Some damage has been caused by their burrowing under foundations, driveways, and other structures. Some people complain that armadillos keep them awake at night by rubbing their shells against their houses or other structures.
There is evidence that armadillos may be responsible for the loss of domestic poultry eggs. This loss can be prevented through proper housing or fencing of nesting birds.
Disease is a factor associated with this species. Armadillos can be infected by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy. The role that armadillos have in human infection, however, has not yet been determined. They may pose a potential risk for humans, particularly in the Gulf Coast region.