Got a Pest Problem? Get an Armadillo

Here's what an armadillo can do.

Armadillos eat termites, fire ants, and other varieties of pest insects, but it's not meant to say "get one as a pet" but more so, don't mind while they're around. The fact is that they've been known to carry leprosy and be bulletproof!

The dasypus novemcinctus is native to the United States and South America and are particularly well known in the state of Texas. They have a keen sense of smell and an ability to jump that has to be seen to be believed, but one thing that they all do well is to vacuum up pests with impunity.

While multiple areas of the southern United States—Florida, Louisiana, and even Oklahoma—have populations of armadillo, and people can be fairly assured of their safety around these creatures, it is still worth noting that it is one of the only species known to carry the mycobacterium leprae or leprosy.

Humans can acquire this dreaded disease simply by handling the animal, or possibly by consuming armadillo meat, since the animals have such a low body temperature that allows for the bacteria to flourish on it.

Even a giant armadillo has its good points. Although these treacherously insidious burrowing creatures can and will cause extensive damage to your lawn or property, they still have some redeeming value.

If you have ever had termites that need exterminating, then seeing the hole that an armadillo has dug will be nothing compared to the damage that these wood-eating vermin can do. For those "lucky" enough to live where the dreaded fire ant exists, an armadillo can be a savior of sorts, as they tend to be one of the few natural predators of the heinous fire ant.

The armadillo has the alternatively interesting scientific trait of having identical offspring. They have a gestation period of around 80-120 days resulting in some species of "Hoover Hogs" giving birth to a litter size consisting of identical quadruplets.

However you look at it, the inimitable armadillo has some very interesting facts surrounding it, and some real benefits. These prolific diggers may have poor eyesight, but what they lack in vision they more than make up for in insect devouring ability.

Something to remember the next time that you see one excavating in your lawn.

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