|In the old days coyotes stayed away form humans… for the most part. They liked high hills and open terrain. With municipal boundaries growing and coyote habitats shrinking, humans and this dog like predator were on an inevitable collision course with one another. So what can we do?
Eliminate Their Food Source:
Urban coyotes have adapted to their surroundings and have become scavengers. They are looking for easy food sources. Once they find a readily available food source they will continue to return to the area until the food source is either consumed or removed. While this natural predator previously attacked farm animals like chickens, sheep and goats, the urban coyotes feed off of rotting meat, vegetables, garbage and even small household pets. So let’s cut off their food source. Keep your garbage cans secure and inside of your garage. Do not leave them out at night (this is a virtual buffet for all nuisance animals).
Keep your pet food inside of your home when feeding your own pets. Do not leave pet food outside. This food can either be consumed by the coyote directly, or possibly small animals which could be consumed by the coyotes (i.e. rabbits, mice, squirrels). Coyotes love cats, including feral cats.
Don’t leave bread crumbs out for wild animals – in fact, feeding wild animals is NEVER a good idea. Visit a petting zoo to get your animal feeding fix on in a controlled environment.
If your Association allows you to have a vegetable garden, fence it in. Routinely pick up fallen fruit under trees and keep the area clean.
Don’t make their hunt for food easy!
Properly Maintain Your Home:
Keep your yard maintained. Routinely cut your grass to a length of 2 inches or less. This deters field mice, which of course serve as a food source. Trim your bushes and trees.
Coyotes are nocturnal predators. They hunt at night and sleep during the day. Overgrown bushes and shrub clusters provide them a safe and secure place to lay their head and call home. If you eliminate their shelter, and take away their food source, they will move on and become someone else’s problem.
Maintain your fences to keep unwanted animals outside of your yard. Make sure to fill in areas where it may appear something is attempting to dig under the fence. Also look for broken slats.
Trap and Remove:
Trapping a coyote is difficult due to their cautious nature. They have a keen sense of smell, and can detect human presence on traps. They typically travel in packs, so trapping one might not be enough.
Better yet, leave this to the experts and hire a professional. They have been known to carry rabies, which in itself is reason enough to take yourself out of harm’s way.