The Q&A Archives: Armadillo's and cats

Question: How do you keep armadillos from digging holes in the flower beds and property? And how do you keep the cats from doing there business in the flowers beds?

Answer: Armadillos can damage plants by their digging and rooting activities as they search for earthworms and soil insects like grubs. They are especially troublesome in the dry summer when our moist lawns and landscapes offer soft digging and a good source of food. In order to prevent armadillo damage to your yard, your options are basically to fence the bumbling invaders out or to trap and relocate them elsewhere. They can be captured in a standard "live trap". Place two boards in a "V" shape leading them into the entrance to the trap. Bait the trap with elbow macaroni cooked in beef bouillon. Set it alongside a fence, house or other structure where the armadillo tends to wander across the property, orienting it in the direction of their suspected path.

Cats are creatures of habit so if you can break their habit of using your flower beds for toilets, they probably won't return. You can either lay chicken wire on the surface of the soil to keep cats from digging, or lay thorny rose bush canes there, or string nylon fishing line between stakes that you pound into the ground, criss-crossing from one stake to another. Keep the fishing line about 6" above the soil surface. Cats won't venture into a bed protected in this way because they're afraid they will get their legs caught. Once they figure out they can't dig in the bed, they'll go elsewhere to do their business.

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