Coyotes are members of the dog family (Canis latrans). They are about the size of a medium dog. They are often described as looking similar to a small German shepherd dog, except with a long snout and a bushy tail with a black tip. The color of their fur is a blend of rust, brown, and gray.
Coyotes are very adaptable and can live in a wide range of habitats:
- Dense forests
- Urban and suburban areas like residential neighborhoods and parks
- Anywhere that has plenty of food, water, and shelter
Coyotes will eat almost any type of food that is available to them.
- Rodents and rabbits
- Deer and large prey
- Plants and fruits
- Pet food
- Domestic mammals like chickens, sheep, goats, and calves
- Pets like cats and small dogs
Why are they important?
Coyotes help control rodent populations and are an important part of our ecosystem but sometimes problems can arise when coyotes live near humans or lose their fear of people. We can sometimes accidentally make our homes attractive to them if food, water, and shelter are easily available on our property.
Coyotes can also carry diseases and parasites that can spread to humans and pets. This can include rabies, echinococcus, and granulosus tapeworms. They can also carry ectoparasites like fleas and ticks which can also spread diseases to people and pets.
You can request a free home inspection and consultation for issues with coyotes. Our trained technicians will inspect the exterior of your property and do the following:
- Look for possible entry points
- Identify what might be attracting wildlife to your property
- Provide consultation and advice on how to
- Do the repairs to keep wildlife out of your property
- Reduce availability of food, water, and shelter
How can I prevent coyotes at home?
Reduce the availability of food, water, and shelter that attract coyotes and rodents, and other small animals that might attract them.
Food and Water
- Harvest fruit and vegetables when ripe and pick up fallen fruit.
- Keep compost in sealed containers and never compost meat or fish scraps.
- Regularly rake areas around bird feeders.
- Do not leave pet food or water outside.
- Secure garbage and recycling bins.
- Clean your grill after you use it to eliminate odors.
- Fix water leaks.
- Maintain your property with adequate "defensible space."
- Clear brush and trim dense vegetation around your house, especially near the ground to reduce shelter for coyotes and rodents that might attract them.
- Install motion detector lights outside to deter them.
- Install 6-foot fencing, secured below ground level, and include a 1.5-foot overhang slanted outward from the yard to prevent them from scaling the fence or digging under.
How can I protect myself, children, and pets?
- Carry a walking stick to intimidate wildlife should you come into contact with one.
- Make loud noises to scare them away. For example, an air horn, a whistle, a can with marbles inside, and yelling aggressively.
- Do note bend down to pick up pets or items off of the ground.
- Place bags or backpacks on top of your head to appear larger.
- Do not turn your back or run away from a coyote, instead back away slowly while facing the coyote.
- Toddlers and small children should not be allowed to play outside unsupervised.
- If you allow pets loose outside (without adequate fencing), doing so only during daylight hours can decrease the risk of it being taken by a coyote, but it does not eliminate it.
- Keep pets on a leash when walking them. Retractable do not offer enough protection.
- Spay or neuter your dog - coyotes have been known to lure male dogs into a trap by getting them to chase after a female coyote.
- Take note if your pet seems nervous and frightened when outside. They may have encountered or smelled a coyote nearby.
- Poultry or hobby livestock can be protected with fencing (both structural and electric). Fences should be at least six feet high and secure below ground level.
- Abandoned animals can ultimately become food for wildlife. Contact your local animal control agency if there are stray dogs or cats in your neighborhood.