Armadillo In Kentucky: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Armadillo In Kentucky
Armadillo In Kentucky: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Kentucky incorporates lakes, mountains, waterways, timberlands, and also caverns. Thus, it is home to many well-evolved animals, birds, and reptiles like the mountain bear, bit earth-colored bat, Kentucky songbird, and an eastern box turtle. 

But did you know that the state is also home to the nine-banded armadillo? Below In this article, I’ve explained everything you need to know about the armadillos in Kentucky, their eating habit, and if you can own one in the state of Kentucky. 

Do Armadillos Live In Kentucky?

Armadillos are generally native to the western states of the United States like Oklahoma and Texas. But recently these animals are becoming ordinary in Kentucky with many sightings of armadillos being made in west Kentucky and even in the east as far as Lexington. 

There are two theories why armadillos have been migrating northeast — one is they are adapting to the human development of subdivisions and municipalities. Another reason is because of the climate change that has been taking place in the past few decades. 

The more calm the winters exist, the more conceivable that they will get to persist and extend. Thus, climate change is an important reason why armadillos are moving toward the north including Kentucky. Reports of armadillo spotting in Kentucky can be outlined back to the mid-1980s.

Armadillo Population In Kentucky?

As the armadillo is mostly associated with the Great American West, these isolated nocturnal animals have been migrating toward the East and are becoming very familiar in the Bluegrass State. 

The Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife Resources has mentioned that they do not have an estimated count of the population of armadillos in Kentucky, but spotting of these species have have become very common in a lot of areas where reports are no longer produced even when a sighting happens. 

Officials have also said the armadillo population in the Jackson Purchase region is “fairly common,” and is seen regularly distant east on the Parkway. However, armadillos in the Green River area are “unusual,” and east of that can be deemed “rare.”

The department has also stated that during the 1980s and 1990s, the division obtained only rare statements of armadillos spotting in the state. But during the early 2000s armadillo spotting in the state has become very common in many counties and even on the east as far as “Land Between the Lakes” in the state of Kentucky.

What Kind Of Armadillo Lives In Kentucky?

Armadillo In Kentucky
Armadillo In Kentucky: Everything You Need To Know About Them

In Kentucky and all over the United States, the only species of armadillo found is the nine-banded armadillo. The nine-banded armadillo is possibly best identified by its dermal bone scales that provide the species the impression of wearing armor. 

Though it is called the “nine-banded armadillo,” the species can have anywhere from 7 to 11 plates from the bigger plates that are covering the upper and lower portions of its body. Their armor-like coat seems to be their primary defense, However, a few armadillos escape predators by running into thorny areas or digging. 

The armor plating consists of actual bones, making them relatively more inflexible. They are really good swimmers and can hold their breath underwater. Armadillos make use of their sturdy claws to dig, find food, and also for building their homes in holes.

Also Check Out Our Guide On Armadillo in US

What Do Kentucky Armadillos Eat?

Armadillos mostly like to live in warm temperatures, including grasslands, rainforests, and semi-deserts. Because of their lower metabolic speed and absence of fat stores, chilliness is their enemy, and a series of cold weather can remove the entire population. 

Armadillos in Kentucky are omnivores and opportunity feeders. They consume both animal and plant matter. With that being said,  small animals and insects make up most of their diet and might even constitute about 90% of what they consume. Additionally, armadillos consume small vertebrates, some fruits, plants, and occasionally carrions.

They dig burrows and begin foraging in the morning and in the evening they look for beetles, termites, ants, and other insects. Since they have poor eyesight, they utilize their sense of smell to look for prey. Their use strong legs and claws for digging, and sticky tongues for catching ants in their tunnels. 

Can You Own An Armadillo In Kentucky?

Yes, you can own an armadillo as a pet in Kentucky. But I would not recommend owning one as it is considered an unwanted exotic animal that is a carrier of leprosy. 

Also, they have several peculiarities and practices that make them undesirable for the pet owner, like digging holes in your backyard, seeping into the garbage, and consuming everything that they find.

Can You Kill An Armadillo In Kentucky?

In Kentucky, armadillos are considered to be an exotic species and might be taken down by licensed hunters anytime within the state boundaries. 

You can eliminate them using firearms, but you should confirm with the division if it is legal to use a firearm. 

However, if you’re not fine with killing one using a firearm then you can consider trapping them. When the animal is trapped, you must discharge it in an area that is very far from the captured region.

Also Check Our Guide On Armadillo In Indiana


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

Thank You For Reading!

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