How To: Get Rid of Coyotes
If you’re wondering how to get rid of coyotes, these tips and tricks will help you say farewell before the pesky creatures endanger your property or pets.
Due to their dwindling habitats, coyotes are venturing into neighborhoods and yards in search of food and water. For people with livestock or pets who spend time outside, the presence of coyotes can be dangerous. Although some may feel the urge to trap or kill coyotes, they’re still an important part of the ecosystem as they help control the rodent population. Simple tools can scare them off and discourage them from returning, but there are certain situations in which it’s best to call in a professional. If you’re wondering how to get rid of coyotes, keep reading for tips to remove them in a humane way.
Time required: 1 to 2 weeks
Estimated cost: $5 to $100
Before You Begin…
The biggest giveaway that coyotes are visiting is the noise. What are coyote sounds like? They often howl, much like a dog. Some believe that coyotes don’t howl in urban areas, but this is a myth: Coyotes will howl in any area, and urban or suburban coyotes will even howl in response to a siren! Do coyotes bark? Like their canine cousins, coyotes will also bark. Coyote poop often contains hair and bones. Tracks may look like a domestic dog’s, but a coyote’s trail will usually be straight, whereas a domestic dog’s will be winding.
Tips for How to Get Rid of Coyotes
- Install a tall fence to keep them from entering your property.
- Haze coyotes by approaching them with loud noises, lights, and big motions.
- Install outdoor lights with motion sensors to scare them away.
- Call a professional to safely remove coyotes or put measures in place to keep them from returning.
- Proceed with caution if you encounter a coyote during the day.
- If you come across a coyote in daylight, chances are it has become habituated and is no longer scared of human encounters. If this is the case, it may be best to hire a professional in order to ensure you and your family’s safety.
- Keep unsupervised pets inside, especially at night.
- Keep pets on short leashes, and do not leave small children unattended outside.
STEP 1: Eliminate what is attracting coyotes to your yard.
To keep coyotes at bay, remove any potential food sources. Feed pets indoors, and make sure pet food is never left outside. If you have fruit trees, clean up fallen fruits and seeds. It’s also important to seal garbage cans at night or put them in a garage. Proper waste disposal also keeps rodents away, which means coyotes are less likely to visit too. Trim any overgrown landscaping so there’s nowhere for coyotes or rodents to hide.
STEP 2: Consider a guard dog.
Guard dogs can be trained to specifically ward off predators like coyotes, and they can be especially helpful for protecting livestock. But consider that you’ll need to feed and care for the dog for the rest of its life, so this is not a decision to take lightly.
STEP 3: Fence in your property.
To keep coyotes from entering your property, it is advised to install a fence as a preventative measure. The taller the fence, the better, as coyotes can often jump over short fences. Once a fence is installed, you can even add coyote rollers on top, which will stop the coyote from getting a foothold if it tries to climb. Coyotes are also skilled diggers, so if you can install a fence that reaches below ground level or put a layer of concrete around your fence, they are even less likely to come around.
STEP 4: Spray ammonia around the property.
Coyotes have a strong sense of smell and often leave if they detect scents they dislike. With its intense smell, ammonia acts as a coyote repellent. Spray it liberally around the perimeter of your property, and make sure to spray more after it rains, or use a coyote repellent.
STEP 5: Use light or sound to deter coyotes.
For humane, chemical-free deterrents, use lights and sound. Solar LED lights or motion-activated yard lights can be an effective way to scare off coyotes from your property. At night, they may mistake the bright lights for the eyes of another predator, which will likely send them running. Loud noises from whistles, air horns, or noisemakers can also act to deter coyotes.
STEP 6: Haze a coyote if you encounter one.
Hazing methods can help keep coyotes fearful of humans and encourage them to stay away. If you encounter a coyote, yell and wave your arms while approaching it. If the coyote has not been hazed before, it may not run away immediately. In this case, continue to walk toward the animal and increase the volume and intensity of your hazing. Continue to follow the coyote if it stops after running to ensure it doesn’t return.To haze properly, be as big and loud as you can, or enlist the help of a water hose to spray or pots and pans to make even more noise. Don’t get too close to the coyote to maintain your safety.
STEP 7: Call in a professional.
If the coyote is resistant or undertaking this DIY project is more work than you’re ready for, it may be time to call in a professional. Experts in coyote removal have years of experience to lean on when it comes to getting rid of the pesky creatures. They will know how to safely and humanely get rid of coyotes. And in the end, it may even be less expensive than buying supplies to try and remove the coyotes yourself.
Encountering an unexpected animal in your yard can be scary and overwhelming, especially when you’re unsure of the proper way to handle it. The above steps are generally safe for homeowners and humane to coyotes, but the most fail-proof solution is to hire a professional. An expert will be able to use his or her knowledge and tools to not only remove coyotes but keep them from coming back.