Controlling Number 86

No, this isn’t a post about Maxwell Smart (sorry if that’s disappointing; maybe we’ll get to him later); it’s about this guy (or girl; IDK…no preferred personal pronouns were exchanged):

Photo - Armadillo lying on its back inside a trap

That’s right, Armadillo #86 — I assume you’ve been keeping count — has been safely relocated from our back yard to an undisclosed location.*

The photo might be a little confusing. The critter is inside the wooden trap, lying on its back, presumably snoozing away until I rudely awakened it for transporting to the aforementioned sanctuary (i.e. someplace that’s not in our yard). That circle at the bottom of the photo is part of the trap, not a weird armadillo appendage.

This is the third armadillo I’ve captured in the past ten days, following almost nine months of relative peace and quiet. I actually had to retrieve the trap from a neighbor to whom I had loaned it (he never caught anything) after our back yard lawn was terrorized by the Texas state mammal (Dasypus novemcinctus).

Given that nine-banded armadillos always give birth to identical quadruplets, it stands to reason that there’s still one lurking about, assuming it’s not the black…uh…sheep of the family and is hitchhiking through Europe. However, there’s also the possibility that what I’m trapping are the paroled inmates from other folks’ traps who think our somewhat secluded neighborhood is a great place for catch-and-release. But let’s not go there; it’s too depressing to contemplate.

Anyway, with the latest captures here’s where the total species count now stands (let the record show that I’m no longer even putting out traps for anything but the armadillos; the T-rex trap is still in the conceptual phase):

Critter capture scorecard

*”Undisclosed location” is not a euphemism for “sleeping with the fishes” (can a euphemism be applied to another euphemism?); I really do take the armadillos out into the countryside for release.


  1. You’ve captured a lot of critters! I think you need to take them much farther for release as I bet a good number of them return to your yard for a free meal and a nice trip.

    1. Lee, the armadillo traps aren’t baited; they’re scented. Armadillos are creatures of habit and usually just follow a scent trail of where they’ve been before. Once you figure out (or guess) where they’re coming from, you just set the trap on that route. The scent inside the box leads them in, and the doors drop down to trap them.

      And more power to them if they can find their way back from five miles away! 🤣

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