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As residential development expands, suburban areas become more urban and new suburban areas take over wildlife habitat. More and more of us are living in wildlife areas and encountering wild animals. And many of those wild animals have adapted their lifestyles to ours.

Often people live with coyotes nearby and never see them, knowing they are near only when they hear the animal's occasional night choruses.

Don’t provide food.

Feeding coyotes (or other wild animals) teaches them to come to the humans for food, which is a bad idea. Don't attract wild animals by leaving pet food or water outside. If you compost, use enclosed bins and never include meat or fish scraps. Regularly rake areas around bird feeders and keep trash in high-quality containers with tight-fitting lids. For good measure, don't place the cans outside until the morning of collection.

Keep pets inside.

Although small rodents comprise a large portion of their diet, coyotes may prey upon cats and small dogs. You can protect your pets by not letting them outdoors unattended, especially at night. Cats in particular should be kept indoors for protection against a whole host of threats including cars, dogs, diseases and other sources of harm which may also include coyotes.

Fence livestock areas.

Poultry or hobby livestock can be protected from coyotes with fencing (both structural and electric) and by housing the animals in indoor enclosures each evening. Fences should be at least six feet high with “apron” of at least 18” at ground level, since coyotes are good diggers.

To deter coyotes, you can teach them to stay away by using “hazing”techniques such as running at them yelling and waving your arms, or spraying them with a hose. They are smart animals who quickly learn where they’re unwelcome.

Urban coyotes may become bolder, appearing in daylight and sometimes standing their ground when threatened. Under these circumstances, animal control officers should be called. Make yourself look big, and shout. And remember that coyotes are wild animals and should be respected. Don’t try to feed them or pet them.

Learn more about coyotes: identify their tracks.

Coyotes Close-up

Coyotes will eat almost anything. They hunt rabbits, rodents, fish, frogs, and even deer. They also happily dine on insects, snakes, fruit, grass, and carrion.

 

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