Armadillo In Illinois: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Armadillo In Illinois

Many might be surprised to know that Illinois is home to substantial wildlife with backward-flowing rivers, a variety of wild organisms, and other animals. But did you know that the state has been home to armadillos? 

Yes, there are armadillos in Illinois. And, below I’ve explained everything you need to know about the armadillos living in Illinois, their eating habit, and if you can own one in the state of Illinois.

Do Armadillos Live In Illinois?

Yes, armadillos are present in Illinois. The species is not normally native to northern states, but recently they have been found migrating in huge quantities to the southern region of the state and moving upward. They are discovered in gardens near sheds, and anywhere there is soil.  

Armadillos might not seem like your standard Illinois wildlife, but the state’s Department of Natural Resources states that these creatures are commonly associated with the southwest states of the country and have started moving north due to global warming. 

From the 1990s, only a few hundred armadillo sightings were confirmed in Illinois, especially in the southern parts of the state. The breeding area is located in Carbondale. 

The sightings of armadillos are very rare in the northern regions of Illinois, the state’s DNR officers are requesting that if residents see the creatures, they must warn the agent. Counties incorporated in this level include DuPage, Cook, DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, McHenry, Lake, and Will.

Armadillo Population In Illinois?

Armadillos have become a common sight in the southern states of the U.S. Residents of Illinois have seen a few of them in their backyards during the winter. 

In February 2022, the Illinois DNR requested the public to report any spottings of the animals in the state. Within 24 hours, more than 400 reports were recorded mostly from the southern area part of the state. 

But armadillos are being spotted in northern and central Illinois. In 2021, an armadillo was seen dead in Springfield, in central Illinois. Two reports were recorded in Cook County, in northern Illinois. 

Though there has been continuous spotting of armadillos in the state, the DNR state that three is no estimate on the population of armadillos present in the state. 

What Kind Of Armadillo Lives In Illinois?

Armadillo In Illinois

The only species of armadillo found in the state among the other 20 species of armadillo is the nine-banded armadillo. This species takes up occupancy in the southern region of the state and extends to the size of a huge cat, and its body form is identical to that of an opossum. 

They are closely connected to an anteater or sloth, armadillos have bodies constructed of leathery tough skin that is yellowish-white to brown. They can weigh about 8 to 17 pounds.

Despite their name, they might have 7 to 11 bands covering their body. Also, many might think that the nine-banded armadillos can roll into a ball. But, only two species can fully roll up and the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll into a ball. 

These nine armadillos survive in regions that have constant water and an annual temperature of 28 degrees and above. 

Also Check Out Our Guide On Armadillo in US

What Do Illinois Armadillos Eat?

Armadillos are omnivores, and their diet is made up of both plants and meat. However, insects and larvae are the major elements of their diet, according to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management. Sometimes you can even see them munching on other small invertebrates, fungi, fruits, and dead animals. 

A lesser amount of the diet is composed of small amphibians, reptiles, and eggs of reptiles, mammals, and birds. With their extended, sticky tongue, they can easily catch beetles, ants, termites, and insects after they dig them out from the ground. A few times they can be seen scavenging on dead animals for food.

Can You Own An Armadillo In Illinois?

In most cases, it is prohibited to own wildlife animals as a pet in the state. This is because wildlife in the state is protected under the Wildlife Code, and they must not be kept in detention without a proper permit. 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources advises owning an armadillo as a pet, for safety reasons. This is because they might be a risk to the local ecosystem and can transmit leprosy to humans when in contact. 

Also Check Our Guide On Armadillo In Georgia

Can You Hunt An Armadillo In Illinois?

Armadillos in Illinois are not protected by any Wildlife Law in the state. This means that there are no regulations on the taking of these animals. They can be hunted by you if they are causing damage to your property or disturbing your livestock. 


And that was everything you need to know about the Armadillo In Illinois. I hope this article answered all your queries.

Thank You For Reading!

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