Does Cayenne Pepper Really Help Keep Armadillos Out Of The Yard?

As interesting as armadillos are to look at, they're not animals you want in your yard. Why's that? They can be really destructive when they're feeding. This happens at night since armadillos are mainly nocturnal, and homeowners wake up the next morning to large holes in their yard, uprooted landscaping, displaced mulch, and ruined sod. Keeping them at bay is a good idea, especially when you can do it with ingredients you already have around the house. Some sources recommend sprinkling cayenne pepper around a yard to deter them, but does that really work? Yes and no.

Cayenne pepper provides a pungent scent easily detected by the armadillo's sensitive nose, so it can repel them when mixed with water and sprayed on a lawn or garden. If they do happen to eat some of it, a naturally occurring chemical in this spice can also irritate their stomachs, causing them to go elsewhere to feed instinctively. If you live in a rainy area, however, cayenne can easily be washed away with a good downpour. Regular lawn sprinkling in the summertime can also wash away the benefits of this spicy, economical deterrent. That makes it a less-than-ideal long-term solution. There are some other ways to make your yard less attractive to armadillos, though, and several of them reportedly work better in the long haul than cayenne pepper.

How to keep armadillos out of the yard

One of the best ways to keep armadillos out of your yard is to put up fencing — invisible or otherwise — to keep these and other critters off your lawn. This can be a more expensive route to take, but it's extremely effective. Many people, however, prefer to eliminate their food supply instead. Armadillos love to eat grubs, so if you've seen the detrimental result of armadillos digging in your yard, this could be the cause. Treating your yard with granules specifically made to eliminate grubs can be a viable solution. You can use a rolling spreader you have on hand for fertilizing your yard, but buying a hand-held spreader to broadcast granules works for smaller areas, too. Some models are even battery-powered these days (albeit more expensive than the hand-crank variety), making them easier than ever to use.

If you prefer not to broadcast an insecticide on your property, another method of eliminating armadillos is trapping them. Armadillos are known for harboring leprosy (via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), so even though transmission to humans is rare, wearing long pants and gloves makes good sense when handling a trap containing an armadillo. This method is out of the comfort zone for some homeowners, though, so trying cayenne pepper first before moving on to eliminating their food supply or considering fencing can be a good plan of action.