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Actual Size: Approximately 2.5′; weighs 12-15 lbs.

Characteristics: About the size of an opossum or large house cat.

Habitat: Constructs burrows and may utilize abandoned burrows of other animals. Will sometimes burrow under the foundation of homes.


  • The only armadillo found in the United States.
  • Can jump 4 or 5 feet into the air when startled.
  • Known carriers of bacteria that cause leprosy, tapeworms, and salmonella.

Armadillos in Salina

In Salina, there is only one species of armadillo — it’s called the nine-banded armadillo. In Spanish, “armadillo” means “little armored one;” it refers to the presence of bony, armor-like plates covering their body. When startled or scared,  armadillos can jump 4 to 5 feet high in the air. Found in many parts of the United States, these digging and burrowing mammals are a nuisance to homeowners as they ruin landscaping in their pursuit of food and shelter.

Armadillo Habitat

Armadillos are omnivores and prefer to construct their underground burrows in wooded areas with access to forest litter where they can forage for plants and small invertebrates. Armadillos construct burrows or “borrow” burrows of other armadillos or tortoises, or other naturally occurring holes. They do not hibernate and don’t fare well in extreme temperatures.

Armadillo Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

In their quest for shelter and insects, armadillos destroy lawns and gardens in the process and are considered destructive animals. Armadillos are powerful diggers and will burrow under plants in landscapes, foundations, and driveways. They are capable of destabilizing tree root systems and building foundations with their tunnels. Additionally, armadillos have been known to be carriers of mycobacterium leprae, which causes leprosy. They can also carry tapeworms and salmonella in their feces. If you have an issue with armadillos, it is recommended to contact a wildlife control professional.

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