Armadillo Behavior & Habits

Armadillo Behavior & Habits

Armadillos are fascinating creatures found most often in the southeastern United States, but sometimes as far north as southern Nebraska. The type of armadillo that occupies this region is known as the nine-banded armadillo for the nine scale-like "bands" between its larger armored plates. Below is a brief guide to the common habits and behaviors of armadillos.

  • Armadillos are typically solitary creatures, and possess scent glands on their eyes, nose, and feet for marking their territory during the breeding season.


  • As nocturnal animals, Armadillos are most active at night. They spend this time foraging for insects and other bugs, as well as burrowing.


  • Armadillos are prodigious burrowers. They can have up to a dozen burrows in their territory, and each of these can be up to 25 feet long and 7 feet deep. These burrows are used for raising young, resting, and hiding from predators. As such, they usually have multiple entrances and exits.


  • In the United States, armadillos mate during July and August. During this time, males may fight over their breeding territory to increase their chances of mating.


  • Armadillos are usually born in mid-spring in litters of four. Because armadillos live up to 12 to 15 years in the wild, a single female armadillo may raise as many as 56 offspring during her life.


  • Baby armadillos will live in their mother's burrow about three months and remain with her for up to a year to learn to forage, after which they will leave and live independently.


  • Despite their thick natural armor, armadillos often fall prey to a number of different predators. These include cougars, coyotes, large birds of prey, blackbears, bobcats, and alligators.


What do Armadillos Eat?

Although Armadillos are primarily insectivores, they do have a wide variety in their diet. Though this variation isn't as extensive as raccoons' or opossums'.

  • beetles
  • grubs
  • arachnids
  • millipedes
  • centipedes
  • worms
  • termites
  • ants
  • grasshoppers
  • carrion
  • eggs
  • maggots
  • fungi
  • seeds
  • fruits