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More armadillos in East Texas yards this summer


POSTED: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 4:47pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 5:45pm

They're short, ugly and love to tear up your yard.

Armadillos seem to be creeping up on people more than ever this summer.

Residents are having trouble keeping them away, and are calling on the city for help.

Officials say they are getting swarmed with calls about the unwelcome visitors this summer.  

"The heat is driving them out and looking for moisture," said Brenda Elrod of Northeast Texas Public Health District. "It seems to be the yards that are nice and green in some spots but have grubs underneath them."

Carol and Larry Wiertz, who live in Holly Tree, are avid gardeners. The couple has lived there for eight years, and they say the problem has never been this bad.

"They're not only in the yard, they're tearing it up, destroying plants and costing us quite a bit in replacing plants," Carol Wiertz said.

The armadillos have even pulled up entire plants in search of their favorite food.

The Wiertz's called Tyler Animal Control for a trap, which caught three armadillos last month alone.

 They say they have already caught 62 of the leathery, shelled creatures this year, and it's only August.

They caught 10 more than that in all of 2010.

"What people need to do is treat their yards for grub worms," Elrod said. "It'll serve two purposes, it will keep their grass from being destroyed but it will also keep armadillos out of their yard."

The Wiertz's say they treat their yard for grub worms already, and it hasn't seemed to help. All they can do is keep the traps out and pray for rain, so the armadillos will go in search of some grub elsewhere.

If you would like a trap of your own, call Tyler Animal Control and they will bring one out to your home for you at no charge.

They take the captured wildlife to Klein Animal Shelter, which releases them back into remote areas.

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