Coyotes look like big, cute, fluffy dogs but don’t be fooled! They are fierce hunters who are not picky eaters. This makes them a source of constant annoyance and fear for families with small children and pets living near or near the forest.
Thankfully, there are simple ways to repel coyotes. But why do coyotes approach you in the first place, and what are the concrete dangers of having coyotes near you? Floofmania tackles all these questions and more!
Are Coyotes Pests?
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Pests are any animal that is a nuisance or harmful to humans or human concerns.
Though they typically do not harm people, coyotes are considered pests because of their indiscriminate hunting – they will eat almost anything they can get their paws on, whether wild animals or your pet cat.
Despite being hunted as pests for more than a century, scientists note that coyotes are nowhere near endangered and have given them a conservation status of species of “least concern.”
Why Are There Coyotes On My Property?
Coyotes are highly adaptable animals. They are just as comfortable prowling around urban areas as in forests and mountains. Their population numbers have also reportedly been increasing due to the decrease of their natural predators, such as wolves and bears.
Because of these factors, more homeowners regularly report coyotes in their yards.
Primarily, coyotes come for food. They’ll eat from garbage, bird feeders, and vegetable gardens. If desperate enough, they may even attack small pets.
Does Coyote Urine Attract Other Coyotes?
If a coyote pees in your yard, does its smell attract more coyotes to the area? No – coyote urine does not attract other coyotes for two reasons.
First, coyotes are territorial animals who mark their territory with pee and poop. They naturally stay away from an area already marked as taken to avoid the risk of being rebuked or attacked.
Second, coyotes know that the smell of their urine scares away their prey. Therefore, it would be useless to follow the scent in pursuing food.
Is It Dangerous To Have A Coyote In Your Yard?
Coyotes are not known to attack humans unprovoked. Usually, they are scared of humans and do not come close.
Some, however, are used to people, especially those regularly fed by humans or who rely on a food source near people. This is why you should never feed coyotes – unless you don’t mind them becoming regular visitors.
Still, there are other dangers of having coyotes around.
Coyotes Can Carry Diseases
You should never approach a wild coyote because you don’t know what diseases it could be carrying. Sometimes, these diseases can be transmitted through touch!
Coyotes are known to carry rabies, parvo, mange, distemper, heartworm, and more.
Be wary, in particular, of a coyote out during the day that is not shying away from people – there is a high chance this coyote is rabid.
Coyotes Can Be Dangerous To Pets And Livestock
Coyotes regularly eat small mammals, including mice and rabbits. They will gladly eat other mammals, including sheep, goats, poultry, and even small cats if given the opportunity.
Coyotes tend to attack small dogs less often but will not hesitate if there are no other food options available.
Coyotes Can Damage Property
The species typically only damages property in their attempt to reach food or in their panicked attempts to escape when confronted by homeowners.
Coyotes CANNOT open doors to enter your house, but they can ease open an entry left ajar. Some particularly wily coyotes have also figured out how to enter through doggie doors.
However, they are known for making quick work of chicken wire and hardware cloth to reach your poultry. A strong fence made of wood or metal around the coop will do much more to protect your chickens than chicken wire or hardware cloth, although both are a good idea.
How Can I Get Rid Of A Coyote On My Property?
When you first see a coyote on your property, the best thing to do is nothing. Most sightings are simply of a coyote on their way to hunting grounds or other areas and need no response.
The worst thing you can do is to run or turn away, as they could perceive you as prey.
If a coyote lingers or comes by every night, here are some short-term and long-term solutions you can try for your problem.
Make Loud Noises To Scare The Coyote
Coyotes tend to hate any sound that is too loud or resembles what they would perceive to be a predator. This can be anything from loud music, banging metal, shouting, air horns, or any other high-volume noise you can make.
Almost any sudden, loud noise should be enough to scare off the vast majority of coyotes.
This practice of being big and loud is known as “hazing.”
Throw Things At The Coyote
You could throw small items such as pebbles and tennis balls to let the coyote know it’s not welcome, but make sure not to hit the animal! It may get angry and attack you. Only aim for areas right next to it.
Install sprinklers To Startle Coyotes
Coyotes aren’t scared of water, per se. The trick here is to startle them.
Suddenly turning on your sprinkler system or spraying coyotes with a hose can scare them and make them run away.
Build Fences To Keep Out Coyotes
Fences can be a fantastic way to keep coyotes out of your yard. Purchasing or building a solid fence can make it difficult for coyotes to enter it.
Note, however, that coyotes can jump up to three feet in the air, so your fence should be higher than that.
Use Smells That Repel Coyotes.
Like most canine creatures, coyotes have a powerful sense of smell. Therefore, they can be repelled by very strong-smelling herbs or other fragrant materials and the smell of their potential predators.
Vinegar is an excellent natural repellent for coyotes. The smell is powerful and irritates their nostrils.
Put some in a spray bottle and spray down areas you consider high risks, such as bird feeders, chicken coops, garbage cans, and other potential food sources.
Ammonia similarly has a strong, irritating scent to coyotes. Try soaking some rags in ammonia and laying them in your yard.
Wolf Urine Scent
Coyotes are scared of potential predators and will leave at the scent of their urine. Wolf urine is the most effective smell and can easily be purchased online. (link to Amazon)
Will Human Scent Work Against Coyotes?
Generally, whether or not a coyote is scared of humans and their scent depends on the specific coyote.
Coyotes that have been around humans know that they can get away safely and are likelier to not react to a human scent. However, coyotes that have had negative experiences with humans will most likely avoid human odors that come from things like hair, clothing, or even urine.
Get Guard Animals To Scare Off Coyotes
Any animal willing to guard your (and its) territory and is easy to domesticate and train is an excellent choice to ward off coyotes.
Big dogs are an obvious candidate, but other animals can also help scare off coyotes, such as donkeys.
Unfortunately, coyotes’ natural predators are not very domesticatable animals. These include wolves, bears, cougars, and alligators (depending on where you live). These animals are as dangerous, if not more so than coyotes.
To give the illusion of owning these animals, you can purchase urine scents online, as previously suggested.
Install Bright Lights To Make Coyotes Uneasy
Being mostly nocturnal animals that roam in the dark, coyotes don’t like bright lights. A set of motion-detecting lights should do wonders for keeping coyotes away from your home.
Use Fire And Smoke Against Coyotes
Coyotes aren’t necessarily afraid of fire itself. A campfire can repel coyotes only because they don’t like the smoke.
Be very careful when leaving a bonfire burning in your yard!
Coyote Traps Can Work As A Last Resort
You can set up traps to catch your coyote visitors, but these are not recommended since you may end up hurting the animal.
Before setting your own traps, we recommend trying everything else on this list first or simply contacting pest control experts to deal with your coyote.
Stop Inviting Coyotes To Your Yard.
Finally, but perhaps most simply, make sure to stop “inviting” coyotes to your yard.
Don’t leave your small pets unattended outside, and don’t leave their food bowls outside, too. Try to minimize the food you throw out in the garbage that they can scavenge. Trim your plants and shrubs and keep a clean yard that screams “no food here.”
Why Shouldn’t I Harm Coyotes?
Coyotes may be a nuisance and danger to you and your family, but they’re an essential part of our ecosystem.
Mainly, coyotes help the environment by keeping rodent and rabbit populations in check. Without them, our yards would be swarming with hares! This comes with the added benefit of helping control the transmission of diseases that rodents are known to carry, such as plague and hantavirus.
Coyotes also clean the environment. They occasionally scavenge and eat carrion (half-eaten carcasses left behind by other predators), which keeps our communities safe from bacteria that can grow on them.
What Other Animals Could Be On My Property?
If you haven’t actually seen the coyote, note that several other animals could be visiting your yard. These include raccoons, wild cats, jackals, and other wild dogs. A few of these might even visit it at different times!
Whatever it is, the tips in this article can generally apply to almost all wild creatures, particularly the suggestions about keeping your yard free of food and installing fences.
Also, whatever the visitor, remember that all animals play a role in the greater ecological scheme of things, and you should always take care not to hurt them in your attempts to repel them from your property.
Author: Bernice Go
Bernice Go is a violinist and orchestra manager by profession but a writer by hobby. She enjoys writing about various topics, from music to animals to self-development. When she isn’t playing the violin or writing, she loves reading, traveling, playing video games, and savoring a good cup of coffee.