The nine-banded armadillo, known for its distinctive armor, is venturing into new territories that it has never been seen in before, surprising wildlife experts, homeowners, and pest control services. While the armadillo is native to Central and South America, as well as parts of the Southwestern United States and Texas, it has been expanding its range northward in recent years, reaching states like Illinois and Nebraska. The reasons behind this expansion are not as mysterious as they may seem, but they do have consequences for the environment.
The climate is warming both in the armadillo’s typical habitat and beyond, causing the armadillos to become more active earlier in the year in their usual range and to venture into areas with similar summer temperatures. The armadillo’s migration is reflected in the increased interest in articles on getting rid of armadillos and the rise in requests for pest and wildlife control services in states outside of their usual range. Climate change, leading to warmer temperatures and more food availability, is believed to be the primary cause of this expansion. Additionally, the growing armadillo population is seeking new territory with less competition for mating.
Experts predict that the armadillo may continue to expand its range northward, potentially reaching New England, and that this will have both positive and negative effects on the land. However, the exact consequences of the armadillo’s migration are difficult to predict. Armadillos are known for their digging behavior, which can be destructive to gardens and agricultural areas, making them a nuisance to many. However, their burrows also provide habitat for numerous mammal and bird species, and they may contribute to natural pest control.
As the armadillo continues to move into new areas, it is important for homeowners and communities to be aware of the potential impact and take measures to manage and mitigate any negative effects. Understanding the factors driving the armadillo’s expansion, such as climate change, can help inform conservation efforts and strategies for coexistence with this evolving species.