There is no shortage of interesting wildlife throughout Florida. And while most people know that you can find crocodiles, panthers, and bears in the Sunshine State, many wonder: Are there armadillos in Florida? So let’s find out right now.
There are quite a few armadillos in Florida. While they were only introduced in the 1920s, armadillos have now become quite a problem for Florida residents. They are not dangerous to humans, but they are considered an invasive species.
In this article, we are going to dive into everything there is to know about armadillos in Florida, including where you can find them, how they trouble the residents, and even if locals will hunt or eat them!
Where Do Florida Armadillos Live?
Florida is quite a big state, so where can you find armadillos in Florida? While many residents love the cities of Florida, armadillos prefer forested or semi-open spaces.
While they mostly live on the coast all along the east side of the state, you can find some armadillos in every county in the state. And these days, armadillos are moving into people’s backyards and causing some serious problems (which we will learn about in the following section.)
But interestingly, you won’t find any armadillos in the Keys, Big Cypress Swamp, or the Everglades either.
How Did Armadillos Get to Florida?
Armadillos migrated are not native to North America and the United States.
Some reports state that they migrated from South America; however, it is more commonly understood that humans brought them up as a food source during long journeys north.
Either way, armadillos have only been rampant in Florida in the 1920s. And in the past 100 years, they have spread out through the entire state.
What Kinds of Armadillos Live in Florida?
Of the 20 species of armadillos, only the nine-banded armadillo can be found in Florida.
Nine-banded armadillos have 9 breaks in their leathery skin and are about the size of a cat, at 15-17 inches long, and around 8-17 pounds.
Although they’re not big animals, these armadillos can dig up to 5 feet down and 24 foot wide burrows.
Which is only one of the reasons why they have caused so many problems among the southern states. And now we’re going to learn a little more about these annoying animals.
Are Armadillos In Florida Considered Pests?
Now, the next question on many people’s minds when they find out that there are so many armadillos in Florida is if they are a problem.
And the answer is yes, armadillos in Florida are considered problematic pests. The reason why they are so troublesome is that armadillos root and burrow in the ground, which damages lawns, gardens, and even the foundations of homes throughout the state.
Many Florida residents have to work hard to keep armadillos out of their yards. And while it is possible, it can be extremely frustrating.
Are Armadillos in Florida Dangerous?
Luckily, while armadillos can be annoying pests, the good news is that they are typically not dangerous.
However, if an armadillo feels threatened, it may react poorly and scratch you if you get too close. As well, you should be careful that your pets don’t get too close to an armadillo as they may scratch them too.
Also, although they probably won’t bite anyone, armadillos can carry dangerous diseases, such as worms, parasites, leprosy virus, and even rabies.
So Florida residents have to be careful not only to not get too close to the local armadillos, but also to dispose of them properly if they find a dead or injured one.
Do Residents of Florida Hunt & Eat Armadillos?
In many states throughout the country, one of the most common ways to take care of invasive species is by allowing residents to hunt them.
While there is no armadillo hunting season in Florida, anyone is allowed to shoot an armadillo on their own land. And many Florida residents choose to shoot armadillos who have infiltrated their property.
It’s also interesting to note that armadillo meat is completely edible, and some people who live in Florida love to eat armadillos! However, it’s not nearly as common as it used to be.
Although many people think it tastes like pork, people who enjoy eating armadillos need to be careful as some armadillo meat, even after being cooked, can still carry disease.
As promised, you not only know the answer to your original question: Are there armadillos in Florida?
But just in case you forgot, there are absolutely armadillos in Florida. In fact, you can find armadillos in every county in the state.
Nine-banded armadillos are so common in Florida that they are now considered an invasive species and extremely pesky to Florida residents.
Finally, you are now an expert on armadillos in Florida!