Armadillo in Spanish translates to “little armored one”, which is an excellent depiction of the animal. The armadillo is most commonly native to central America, however it has recently migrated into the more southern region of the United States. The only species of armadillo that has moved into America so far is the nine-banded armadillo. Armadillos seek warm climates, as they do not produce any fatty tissue. They also enjoy the looser dirt found in the south, as they root through the dirt for their food. Armadillo’s also dig their burrows deep in the ground, they use these to sleep and to have their babies. They are equipped with sharp claws and strong limbs, which makes them able to dig such burrows. While armadillos do not have very good eyesight, they have an extremely good sense of smell and often move slowly as they attempt to sniff out their next meal. They walk with their nose close to the ground and then root for insects that they want to eat, which is how they leave tiny holes all over your yard.
Armadillos are nomadic, and will often leave their burrows abandoned when they move on, this provides shelter for other wildlife animals. However, while the armadillo is living in the burrow it is used well since armadillos sleep up to 16 hours out of the day. They often sleep during the day and hunt for food at night. They often will use the burrows to sleep during the cooler winter months as well. You can easily find the burrows since armadillos will occasionally dig them to be about 15 ft wide. While the armadillo’s main food source is insects and larvae, they will also eat veggies and fruits as well as meats.
Armadillos are loners, and you will likely not see them traveling together. They are typically only together for mating purposes and then for taking care of the babies. The babies will be independent at 6 months, and then all parties will part ways and continue on their own paths. Unfortunately, the side of the road is fast becoming one of the most common places to find armadillos. Their hard shells protect them from many of their natural predators, however they are not very effective against our cars.