Nobody particularly wants to see coyotes in their neighborhood, but they’re especially scary for pet owners. Coyotes are omnivorous scavengers, but they will prey on smaller pets if given the opportunity. The predator often preys on house cats that go out at night, and they’ll infrequently attack smaller dogs, too.Don’t assume your dog or cat is safe just because you don’t think wildlife lives nearby. Coyotes are highly adaptable and have learned to live and thrive in even the busiest of urban environments. If you have a pet that goes outside, you need to know how to keep it safe. Here are four ways you can make your yard inhospitable to coyotes.
Clean up food sources
Coyotes don’t come to neighborhood yards because they’re looking to prey on pets. Usually, they sniff out some source of food and follow it into a yard. Coyotes are opportunistic scavengers, so they’re not picky eaters. Fallen fruit, birdseed, garbage, and compost will attract them if they can smell it. They’re especially attracted, unsurprisingly, to the smell of meat and bones. Like most other wildlife, coyotes are also attracted to sources of water they can drink. Make any sources of food inaccessible. Tie garbage cans closed with bungee cords. Keep all your garbage in sealable plastic garbage bags. Make sure your bird feeders aren’t dropping birdseed onto the ground. Clean up fallen fruit regularly to keep it from rotting. Clean your grill thoroughly immediately after you cook on it. Find and fix sources of excess water, such as plumbing leaks, puddles, or runoff. If coyotes don’t have a reason to come onto your property, they’re much less likely to bother your pet.
Don’t let pets out during hunting hours
Coyotes are diurnal, which means they’re most active during the dawn and dusk hours. They scavenge for food and hunt for prey during the early morning and around sunset. During these times of day, coyotes tend to be less shy and more aggressive about eating. It’s still very unlikely that they’d approach you, but they might attack a defenseless pet. Coyotes also tend to remain more active at night, when they can roam around unseen more easily.Even if you have an outdoor pet, it’s a good idea to keep them inside starting at dusk. Don’t let dogs or cats out at night without a human chaperone. In general, don’t leave pets outside unsupervised for long periods of time, especially if they’re leashed. Only let your pets outside in enclosed spaces, like a fenced-off yard. Finally, never feed your pet outside. If it’s time for your pet to eat, bring them in. Outside, coyotes are liable to steal your pet’s food--and they might not stop there!
Clear Out Hiding Places
Coyotes are very shy animals by nature. They don’t want to run into your any more than you want to run into them. Coyotes spend most of their days hiding or resting in hidden, shaded areas. When they have to move, they tend to skulk around in bushes, undergrowth, and other forms of natural cover. In general, the more hidden a coyote can make itself, the more comfortable it will feel. You don’t want coyotes to feel comfortable on your property. To prevent that, you have to deprive them of hiding places and sources of cover. They use tall grass, lines of shrubbery and bushes, and shade to move around unseen. Keep your grass and plants trimmed short to take away their preferred avenues of accessing your yard. Make sure they can’t squeeze under your porches, decks, or sheds, too. You don’t even want a coyote passing through, much less hanging around for a day or more.
Scare Them Off
As we’ve mentioned, coyotes are shy and opportunistic. They’re looking for food and dens they don’t have to work for; not a fight. If you see a coyote wandering around your neighborhood, scare it off. Make noise by shouting, clapping, and stomping, throw things near it, maintain eye contact, and draw yourself up. Never run away; either walk toward them confidently or back away while maintaining eye contact.If you’re not around, you could also install coyote-scaring measure around your home. Floodlights or sprinkler systems triggered by movement will scare away coyotes skulking around your home at night. You could also invest in some kind of sound-producing equipment. Remember: if a coyote seems aggressive or isn’t frightened of you, report it to animal control immediately. Aggressive coyotes may bark, growl, stalk pets, or wander into yards during the day. Do not approach coyotes that seem aggressive. Coyote attacks on humans are very rare, but they do happen.If you need help dealing with a coyote problem in your neighborhood, give Varment Guard a call any time. Our experts live-trap and relocate coyotes humanely and effectively. We can also help exclude them from your property, so you don’t have to deal with them again.When it comes to coyotes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We’re ready to help keep your pets safe with a permanent solution, so call today!