East Texans complain of armadillo infestation

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - It may be the state mammal, but most East Texans just want them dead.

"We have trapped sometimes three in a night, we've had two in the same trap at the same time," Nacogdoches County resident David Cowee said. "We've had as many as five in a night. We've shot two and three in a night."

Cowee kills about 20 every year.

He's an armadillo hunter, but not by choice.

"Armadillos will just ruin a yard," he said. "We have a live trap that we set out. We'll take and release some of them. Some of them we'll exterminate by use of the .22, but we get rid of them."

Cowee says once the armadillos dig holes in his yard, he usually fills them with sand, but even then it takes about two years for the grass to grow back.

"They're the biggest nuisance," he said. "If they would just come across your yard it would be one thing, but the holes that they dig, again, nothing will grow in that hole."

"We're starting to see a lot of folks come in having armadillo problems, mole problems and it's related to the grubs that we're having this year," said George Woods, manager of Lufkin Farm Supply & Nursery. "They're going to be at the surface right now until we start getting some real cool nights and days."

Woods says if you want armadillos to hit the road, get an insecticide that will take care of the grubs, just not the worms.

"The moles are having a feast, just like the armadillos because that's their main food source," Woods said.

Woods says it's a constant battle.

"I don't know that you can totally eradicate them, you control them," he said. "You can keep the armadillos at bay with a good deterrent."

Or you can do like Cowee and leave a trap in your flowerbed 24 hours a day.

Authorities have a warning: You can not fire a gun within city limits.

You'll have to trap the armadillos instead of shooting them.

Copyright 2010 KTRE. All rights reserved.