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Home » Blog » Understanding Armadillo Bite: Do They Bite Humans?

Understanding Armadillo Bite: Do They Bite Humans?

Armadillo bite

Armadillos are fascinating creatures that often intrigue people due to their unique appearance and behavior. However, one common question that arises is whether armadillos bite humans. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the nature of armadillos, their behavior, and the potential risks associated with them biting humans.

What Are Armadillos?

Armadillo eating

Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals known for their distinctive armor-like shell. These creatures are primarily found in the Americas, with the nine-banded armadillo being the most prevalent species in the United States. Armadillos are primarily nocturnal and have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate insects and other small invertebrates, their primary food source.

Do Armadillo Bite?

The simple answer to whether armadillos bite is yes, they can bite. However, it is important to understand the context and likelihood of such behavior. Armadillos are generally non-aggressive creatures and prefer to flee from threats rather than confront them. Their primary defense mechanism is their tough, armored shell, which they use to protect themselves from predators.

armadillo do they bite

When Will An Armadillo Bite You?

While armadillo bites are rare, there are certain situations where a bite might occur:

Self-Defense: If an armadillo feels cornered or threatened, it may resort to biting as a last line of defense. This is more likely if the animal is handled or trapped.

Accidental Encounters: Occasionally, armadillo bite humans because they accidentally provoke them by disturbing their burrows or approaching it too closely. In such cases, the armadillo might bite in an attempt to escape.

Feeding: If an armadillo mistakes a finger for food, it could bite unintentionally. This scenario is rare as armadillos primarily feed on insects and are not known to associate humans with their food sources.

will a armadillo bite

Are Armadillo Bites Dangerous?

Armadillo bites are not typically dangerous, but they can pose certain health risks. The primary concern with an armadillo bite is the potential for infection. Armadillos are known carriers of certain bacteria and pathogens, including the bacterium that causes leprosy in humans.

Leprosy Risk

While the risk of contracting leprosy from an armadillo bite is low, it is not negligible. Studies have shown that some armadillos in the southern United States carry the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, which can cause leprosy. Transmission to humans can occur through direct contact with the armadillo or through a bite. If bitten, it is crucial to seek medical attention to assess the risk and receive appropriate treatment.

Other Infections

Like any animal bite, an armadillo bite can introduce bacteria into the wound, leading to infection. Symptoms of an infected bite include redness, swelling, pain, and pus. Prompt medical treatment with antibiotics can prevent complications.

Preventing Armadillo Bites

To minimize the risk of being bitten by an armadillo, it is important to follow certain precautions:

Avoid Handling Wild Armadillos: Never attempt to pick up or handle a wild armadillo. Even though they may seem docile, they can become defensive if they feel threatened.

Keep a Safe Distance: If you encounter an armadillo in the wild, observe it from a safe distance. Do not attempt to corner or trap the animal.

Secure Your Property: Armadillos are known to dig burrows, which can sometimes be located near human dwellings. Ensure that your property is secure and take measures to discourage armadillos from burrowing close to your home.

Educate Children: Teach children about the importance of not approaching or touching wild animals, including armadillos.

What To Do If Bitten by an Armadillo

What To Do If Bitten by an Armadillo

If you are bitten by an armadillo, follow these steps to ensure proper care:

Clean the Wound: Immediately wash the bite area with soap and water to remove any bacteria. Apply an antiseptic to prevent infection.

Seek Medical Attention: Visit a healthcare professional for a thorough examination of the bite. They can assess the risk of infection or other complications and provide appropriate treatment, such as antibiotics.

Report the Bite: If the bite occurred in an area known for leprosy-carrying armadillos, inform your healthcare provider. They may recommend additional tests or preventive measures.

Understanding Armadillo Behavior

To further understand why armadillo bites are rare, it is helpful to learn about their general behavior:

Nocturnal Lifestyle: Armadillos are most active at night, searching for food and digging burrows. They have poor eyesight but a strong sense of smell, which they rely on to navigate and find insects.

Burrowing: Armadillos are prolific diggers, creating burrows that serve as homes and protection. These burrows can sometimes be a nuisance when located near human structures, but they play a crucial role in the armadillo’s survival.

Diet: Their diet consists mainly of insects, grubs, and other invertebrates. Armadillos use their sharp claws to dig into the ground and unearth their prey.


Armadillos are unique and fascinating creatures that generally pose little threat to humans. While they can bite, such incidents are rare and usually occur in situations where the armadillo feels threatened or is handled inappropriately. Understanding armadillo behavior and taking preventive measures can help minimize the risk of bites. If bitten, proper wound care and medical attention are essential to prevent infection and other complications.

If you are dealing with an Armadillo situation, the best decision is to call Critter Stop. We have provided our armadillo removal services hundreds of times across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Our team is trained to humanely capture the armadillo and then, relocate it away from your property. Contact us at (214) 234-2616 to get rid of Armadillos!

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
Karen Eckholdt
Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
Aaron Echols
Aaron Echols
13:51 03 Aug 22
The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
Jacob Scribner
Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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