JOPLIN, MO.- Armadillos are becoming a staple in Missouri as populations migrate to northern habitats.
Experts theorize that climate change is the reason why. “There’s a couple of theories about why they’re moving north,” said Francis Skalicky, Missouri Department of Conservation media specialist. “One is maybe it’s connected with climate change with another one. Two is just that fields got tilled, as gardens got tilled, it gave them a lot more habitat because what they eat is grubs that are in the soil.”
Armadillos dig in farmland, yards, and pastures searching for insects to eat. Although their digging is a headache for homeowners, farmers, and others; their digging could be beneficial.
“While they’re digging, it can be problematic if it’s around a building or in your garden,” said Skalicky, “In other instances, digging can actually be beneficial because it’s helping to get rid of some grubs that could be garden pests.”
Most of the armadillos in Missouri are the Nine-banded armadillo. The Nine-banded armadillo population is growing due to their adjustment to Missouri’s creeks and wooded areas.
The Wildlife Code of Missouri does allow Missourians to trap or kill nuisance armadillos on their property.