Herding Armadillos

by Donna Lewis

Early this morning (July 21), I was putting out my bird feeders when I heard rustling going on in my pollinator garden. For about a week I have seen evidence of an armadillo doing their thing in the garden. Some of the little critters’ actions are very beneficial to the garden. The soil is aerated, and the grub worms are eaten and removed.

But the other action is not so good. The armadillo is also pulling up some of the remaining plants I have left that the drought has not killed off. So that is not so good.

Anyway, I had not been able to find the perpetrator just yet.  So, I looked and there inside the fence was a young armadillo. We will call her Amy. I rush around the fence and open the gate to my garden.  I thought I might be able to herd her out the gate to my pasture.

This is not Amy, but it IS a running armadillo! This is by Brandon Adams on iNaturalist, just his second observation!

Also, I might add that our little 13-pound Papillon Mix dog was also outside for his morning constitutional. I kinda forgot about him.

Well, herding an armadillo is not easy. They are fast and do not cooperate with the program.  After 20 minutes, I finally got Amy to the gate opening where lo and behold…Cujo was waiting!   

The excitement was about to begin. Our little pup decided to chase the armadillo back into the garden and around and around everywhere. The dog is barking, the little Armadillo is hollering and I am shouting to the dog. What a crazy sight it must have been. I wish I had a video of it.

I had to catch our little dog, take him back inside the house and start to herd Amy back towards the garden gate again.

All this took about an hour.  What a way to get some exercise. It was not too good for my bad back. BUT, no animal or human was hurt doing the event.

Now, that’s how a Master Naturalist wrangles and saves a cute little Armadillo.

Have fun in your garden.

Here are some more photos and more information on nine-banded armadillos on iNaturalist.

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