LBL Naturalist: Armadillos Becoming ‘Commonplace’ in Kentucky

Jun 7, 2017

Credit via Land Between the Lakes Flickr

Armadillos are becoming commonplace in Kentucky with sightings in west Kentucky and as far east as Lexington.

The animal is typically native to western states like Texas and Oklahoma. Land Between the Lakes lead naturalist John Pollpeter said there is little science behind why the armadillo is migrating northeast, but says there are two likely theories: One is that the armadillo is adapting to the human expansion of subdivisions and cities and the other reason is due to climate change.


“The more mild the winters are, the more likely they are to survive and spread. So climate change is the potential reason why they are moving more north.” Pollpeter said.


Pollpeter said not to worry if one of these eastward travelers is found digging in your yard. He said while their holes might be a nuisance, they will not go after vegetable gardens. Armadillos are typically harmless, but could bite and scratch like other animals. He also said some armadillos can carry leprosy.