Losing fight with armadillo

Published 9:29 pm Friday, July 17, 2009

I am in a battle with an armadillo at my home and I am losing. Yep. The four-legged, armor coated creature has won the last two confrontations we’ve had. Being outsmarted by an animal many times smaller than I am has been a blow to my ego. But like the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote I have another plan ready to go.

My first contact with an armadillo was more than 50 years ago when a Tallapoosa County resident brought a picture of one he found on his farm into our newsroom. We didn’t have a clue what it was and had to go to the local library to identify it.

I remember writing a news story about the armadillo must have had tired feet because we understood from library sources armadillos at that time were mainly found in South Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

During the past 50 years, an adequate supply of armadillos has moved north and can be found all over Chilton County. I don’t think they are as numerous as rabbits, but their population is catching up.

But you already know armadillos are here if you drive at night just about anywhere so let me get back to my new plan.

I’m going to use a fish net to capture the critter when he comes up to a water pan used by my wife’s two dogs when they are outside. I tried this plan earlier this week but my fishing dip net was old and he ran through the netting with very little difficulty. I believe a new net with a longer handle and much stronger netting is just what I need.

Emmet Huff loaned me a large cage-trap that will spring shut and capture the armadillo inside. He suggested I use a banana for bait. I remember thinking “Emmet I am not trying to catch a monkey…just a dumb armadillo.”

Well the armadillo made a monkey out of me by walking into the trap and right back out again.

If the trap doesn’t work before I can put my new net plan in the works, I can still use the cage part of the trap to house the armadillo after I net him. At least, that is part of the plan.

By now my friends who are hunters must be asking why I just don’t shoot the beast. In fact, Kirk Stokes said the best advice he could give me was to use a shotgun. He said that always works.

But I don’t like killing things and want to solve my problem with out bloodshed.

My wife, Peggy, however, took one look at the destruction the four-legged bulldozer has done to her flower gardens and gave me my marching orders. She agrees with Kirk.

I have full confidence in my plan, but if you have had a similar experience with an armadillo and would like to share the plan you used to trap it, drop me an email at mike.kelley@clantonadvertiser.com. Your advice will be my next plan.