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Armadillos in the Garden

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

As soon as we hung up our wildlife habitat sign and committed to co-creating garden spaces with nature, all the critters started showing up with their grandmothers and cousins and uncles and friends. Last year it was frogs. This spring it was barn swallows (well, they’re still around making more batches of babies). And lately the most noticeable presence in our yard has been the armadillos.

When we realized the number of armadillos we had roaming around our little acre, our feelings were a mixed bag. We thought, how can a creature that is so destructive to the garden be so adorable at the same time? Are we going to be overrun if we don’t do something? We considered all our options and decided to keep observing.

We’ve been learning quite a lot about these little dudes, who we jokingly call our “gardeners.” One time we accidentally left the main garden gate open and had to chase big momma out with the water hose. Another time they dug up all our amaranth seedlings and half of the corn (they just couldn’t resist the freshly amended soil). But overall they’ve been well-behaved, and we see them pretty much daily. We startle them if we move too fast, but they generally aren’t afraid when we talk to them. Maybe it’s because they’re used to hearing our voices and they think of us as their roommates.

It’s been so terribly hot this summer and we‘re glad we can offer food, water, and shelter to the animals who live here.


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