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Armadillos expanding into northern Missouri

Nine-banded armadillo
Nine-banded armadillo

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The number of Armadillos in Missouri is increasing. Armadillos are native to Central America, but have steadily migrated northward and are now showing up north of the Missouri River.

To get a sense of just how many armadillos are in Missouri Professor Lynn Robbins suggests just taking a drive west on Interstate 44.

"If you travel between Springfield and St. Louis you'd probably see over 100 of them dead on the road."

Robbins is a biology professor at Missouri State University. He says the Armadillo population is expanding rapidly in Missouri primarily because they have no natural predators and humans have created the kind of woodlands and thickets they require for cover.

"At this point we don't see any negative except for the damage they do to people's property digging in their gardens, digging in cemeteries and golf courses because bugs are available."

Robbins says he's received multiple reports of armadillos in St. Louis County.
At the current rate of expansion he says he wouldn't be surprised if they also turned up in southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.