The Black Cats came into tonight's match on the back of two consecutive wins but were swept aside by Villa, who scored four second-half goals to move level on points with Sunderland in the Premier League table.
Di Canio described the result as "humiliating" and was quick to warn his players that their back-to-back victories have not made them safe from relegation.
"It is a very bad performance, it's not acceptable. But it's happened and we have to make sure this humiliation makes us understand that the job is not done. Two wins in a row is not enough to stay up," said the Italian.
"There was a difference between us and Aston Villa in terms of commitment, desire and dedication. We will work harder in the next couple of weeks to get the points in order to stay up.
"Aston Villa looked tonight like Sunderland did in the last two games, there was a fire, ferocity in their intention. There was a big difference between us and them in terms of desire."
Both Sunderland and Villa now sit five points clear of the relegation zone with three games left.