Do Armadillos bite?

So I was puttering around in the yard this afternoon there was an armadillo about nine or ten inches long near the woods. I was able to walk right up to it. I reached down to touch it and the thought occured to me: If I were to catch it , would it bite. I decided not to tempt fate and follwed it around for a while until it ran into the bushes and had an escape. Now I want to know, when I find another one in my yard and I will, will it bite me if I catch it?

We were tent camping in the woods of southern Ms. when my son and I came scross one. We tried to catch it, just to check it out. It found itself cornered against a fallen log and I moved in to pick it up. The armadillo reared up on it’s hind legs, bared it’s teeth and hissed at me. At that point decided I’d had a close enough look. My son has chided me about that several times over the years. I’d say yes, they can bite, although I stopped before I could confirm the fact.

I also think they can carry something on their skin/shells (I want to say Salmonella).

Wash hands well.

Leprosy I think actually. :eek:

Yeah it’s leprosy from armadillos. Lizards carry salmonella.
They don’t run very fast, I could sprint one down as a 20 year old soldier in Texas. I caught it by the tail and pulled for all I was worth but it held fast with its front claws. Being very drunk (I probably wouldn’t have chased it were I sober) I gave up quickly and let the damn thing go.

Their claws are fearsome long. And the one I had by the tail was crawling with fleas.

IIRC, armadillos, along with humans, can contract leprosy, but it cannot be transferred between species by contact.

SSG Schwartz

According to the various FAQ pages out there, armadillo-to-human leprosy cases have only happened from people eating undercooked armadillo meat. The biggest danger would be that it scratches the hell out of you. As observed, they are a burrowing animal and have sharp, powerful claws. Their teeth are all molars, lack enamel, and they aren’t inclined to bite.

Oh, and, yeah, some people eat armadillos. An old college roommate of mine from Texas used to go on about how good they were. Haven’t tried it, personally.

I have caught two of the critters with my bare hands. Just grabbed them by the tail. They didn’t try to bite, but I’d say watch out for the claws. I didn’t get scratched, but those claws could do some damage if the beastie caught you just right with them.

If they dig up enough of your yard enough times, you begin to operate on the theory that all dillo’s on your property are subject to dillocide with extreme prejudice. They also stink, have bugs as noted above, and in general are the bane of the flowers and ankles in our yard. They are hard to kill, but I am getting better at it.

Mmmmmm. Possum on the half-shell!

About the fleas. This factoid seems to be floating about out there:

Somehow, I never see mention of this in “hedgehogs as pets” discussions.

I have caught quite a few of them. In my experience if you are just touching them or picking them up (by the tail or otherwise) they make no attempt to bite. I would steer clear of the claws however.