Armadillos, those icons of Texas roadways, have extended their range into the Midwest and Southeast. What is good news for these armored varmints is bad news for gardeners, as armadillos dig in search of the worms and grubs they eat, leaving shallow holes in the yard or uprooted flowers and vegetables in their wake. They are single-minded in this quest for food, to the point of ignoring nearby humans. Keeping them out of your yard will require concerted effort and probably a combination of methods.
Examine your lawn damage to ensure that armadillos are the culprits. A distinctive sign of armadillos' rooting in your yard is a series of shallow holes, between 1 and 3 inches deep and 3 to 5 inches wide.
Apply insecticide to your lawn, following the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Reducing the population of grubs and other invertebrates living in your turf grass will reduce the armadillos' food source, thus discouraging them from foraging in your yard.
Trim brush and thick undergrowth from around your yard with a weed cutter for herbaceous plants and shears for tough or woody ones. This reduces the armadillos' preferred habitat, leaving them little cover from which to venture into your yard proper.
Cut a length of chicken wire large enough to cover flower beds, new vegetable gardens, driveway borders and other areas where armadillos are digging. If necessary, connect two pieces of wire by twisting the cut ends of one piece over the loops of a second piece. Wear gloves when working with wire to protect your hands.
Place the chicken wire flat on the ground on the affected area; the small hole size will keep armadillos from digging and encourage them to find an easier place to forage.
Weight the edges of the chicken wire with stones, or insert wire staples at intervals around the edges to hold it in place.
Measure the area you need to protect from armadillos, and cut a length of electric fence wire that is 1 foot longer than the measurement.
Place short stakes at intervals of 4 to 5 feet around the perimeter of the area, and place a plastic insulator on each stake, 3 or 4 inches from the ground.
String the electric fence wire through the insulators around the entire perimeter, and install your charger, following the manufacturers' directions.
Activate the electric fence each night at dusk; armadillos are primarily nocturnal.