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  • Writer's pictureCity of Wildwood

How To Keep Coyotes Away: All Effective Deterrents

There are a number of deterrents that you can use to scare off coyotes. But some of the methods are far more effective than others. This guide will teach you how to keep coyotes away and ensure that your property stays safe.

1. Keep Pets & Animals Inside

Coyotes are natural-born predators. They hunt down small animals, presenting an ever-growing threat for small pets and livestock.

While coyote deterrents are great ways to keep these animals away, there’s no need to entice them unnecessarily. Bring all of your pets inside at night. We’re not talking about your guard dog here. They can stay outside to protect your property, but those smaller cats and dogs need to stay indoors after the sun goes down.

Like we mentioned earlier, make sure to bring their food dishes inside as well. It’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye on small pets during the day as well. Coyotes like to observe prey before they hunt them down. While you might not see them, there could be watchful coyotes near your property.

2. Clean Up Your Property

One of the worst things you can do if you want to deter coyotes is let your yard become messy and unkempt. Overgrown vegetation and tons of yard debris are an open invitation for coyotes to move on in.These canines love hiding out in tall grass and heavy vegetation. They’re always looking for new places to lay unseen as they scavenge for food. As a result, a poorly maintained property is like a coyote magnet!

Tall grass and dense shrubbery are particularly troublesome. You see, coyotes often travel in packs. It’s when they feel most confident and safe to brave unknown territory.When they’re alone, coyotes rely on ground cover to remain unseen. Most coyotes are too weak to take on large predatory animals on their own. So, they adopt a stealthier approach when exploring new areas like your yard.

A messy yard provides the coverage they need. Keep your property clean and remove as many potential hiding spots as possible. Trim back overgrown bushes, prune trees, and keep the lawn mowed.

Quick Tip: It’s a good idea to pay attention to everyday yard debris as well. Leaves and dry plants can accumulate pretty quickly. Eventually, you’ll have huge piles that block your view and provide adequate coverage for coyotes.Stick to routine yard maintenance, and your property will become less enticing to these wild canines.

3. Minimize Attractants

In addition to keeping your yard nice and tidy, pay attention to all potential attractants! Many items can draw coyotes to your domain. These creatures are on the constant hunt for food and shelter.

While you might not think that a bag of trash sitting on your back porch will be a huge issue, a roving coyote will quickly jump at the opportunity to wreak havoc!

Let’s start with the most obvious attractants. Your outdoor trash bin is teeming with smells that coyotes can’t resist. To keep coyotes away, invest in secured bins that offer a tight seal.

The goal here is to prevent the smell from wafting around and catching the attention of a hungry coyote. Don’t stop there!

These scavengers are more than capable of destroying basic plastic bins. Take your trash security up a notch by investing in metal lock boxes or cages. There’s no shortage of coyote-proof solutions out there, so don’t hesitate to try some out!

The same security measures should apply to compost piles, too. Many homeowners forget to think about that steaming pile of decaying organic matter they have in their backyard. Coyotes getting into your compost isn’t a huge deal as far as messes are concerned. But giving them free rein of that pile of food scraps will only train them to come back. Lock it up to ensure that they can’t gain access.

Next, think about smaller attractants you might have lying around your property. Some overlooked examples include food for outdoor pets, livestock food dishes. Store as many of those items away before the sun sets if possible. Lock up bags of dry kibble and take in empty food dishes that might have some lingering smells. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference getting rid of those attractants can make.

4. Put Up A Good Fence

A solid fence is one of the best coyote deterrents out there. However, standard barriers won’t do since coyotes can jump fences.

Coyotes are fully capable of leaping several feet into the air. On top of that, they can use their agile legs to scale tall fences without missing a beat! As a result, standard six-foot fences are no match for these canines.

There are many factors you have to consider when installing a fence as a coyote deterrent. You want it to be tall enough to prevent coyotes from jumping over, but you also have to address their innate climbing abilities.

For height, aim for a fence that’s at least seven feet tall. Choose a solid fencing material to ensure that coyotes can’t scale the wall and overcome that height. Avoid chain link or vertical slats, as they’ll only serve as ladder rungs for perseverant coyotes.

Instead, try a flat and smooth finish. You can use vertical wood slats, large fence panel systems, or even smooth concrete. Designs with few textures and no potential footholds offer the best results.

Don’t forget about the ground below. When coyotes can’t jump over the fence to get food, they might try to dig below it. To prevent that, extend the fence to a foot or two below ground level.

You can also bury some chicken wire or metal grates several feet out from the base to keep coyotes away.

Quick Tip: If you already have a fence, or simply want to make your new one as secure as possible, you can always install some extenders. Fence extenders sit on top of the barrier and protrude about 45 degrees out. If a coyote were able to scale your wall, they’d encounter the extender and be unable to jump over.

5. Use Sound To Your Advantage

We touched on this a little bit when discussing hazing, but there’s so much more you can do to scare off coyotes. Coyotes hate loud noise. It terrifies them to no end, so you can easily use noise to your advantage.

Try banging some pots together, blasting an air horn, or blowing a whistle. Any sudden noise you make will make your property that much more unappealing!

If you’re vigilant about making a racket, you shouldn’t have any trouble about keeping coyotes away from your property. It’s a form of negative training that works wonders against these wild animals.

All that said, noise is only an effective coyote deterrent if you’re lucky enough to catch them when they get close. If they have a chance to get in undetected without the noise, they’ll learn to disassociate it with your yard.

Luckily, there are some ways to keep the racket coming when you’re not around. Sensor-based alarms are pretty cheap and easy to install. Like standard security systems, they rely on motion to trigger the alarm.

Once a coyote gets near, the alarm will ring and deliver a piercing sound that irritates the senses and sends the pest running!

Quick Tip: Low-tech options are available as well. You can hang bells or wind chimes throughout your property to create a constant stream of noise that the vermin hates. Whatever method you choose, taking advantage of sound is surprisingly effective.

6. Try Coyote Repellent

Like most canines, coyotes rely on their sense of smell for just about everything. They sniff around to find food and are usually drawn to yards because of the enticing aroma of garbage nearby. Use their strong senses to your advantage!

Most repellents assault a coyote’s senses to make your property uninhabitable. You have several options here. If you want to go on the offensive, try using repellents that irritate their sense of smell.

Some of the best repellents to keep coyotes away are ammonia, mothballs, vinegar, and pepper.

To use ammonia, soak some old rags or cotton balls. Place the ammonia-soaked item in crucial areas around your property where coyotes might venture. For example, you can place some at the bottom of the trash can or next to the fence line.

You can do the same with mothballs and pepper powder. Mothballs slowly release gas vapors that irritate the senses. Meanwhile, cayenne pepper powder can cause a world of discomfort for coyotes that are unlucky enough to take a sniff!

Vinegar is offensive as well. You can create a spray mixture with white vinegar and water. Once combined, spray your yard to create an invisible barrier to protection.

Commercial repellents are available as well. You can find offensive-smelling sprays that deter all kinds of pests. In addition to coyotes, they might keep raccoons and other household pest animals away.

Some products also utilize urine or pheromones. These sprays mimic the natural smells of coyote predators, such as wolves. When the coyote smells the urine or pheromones, they’ll avoid the area because they think the danger is nearby.

All coyote repellents only provide temporary results. Sprays can evaporate or wash away with heavy rains. If you plan to try a repellent, make sure to reapply regularly if you want to keep them away in the long term.

6. Do NOT Feed Birds, Wildlife, or Leave Cat Food Outside

Feeding any kind of wildlife will attract larger animals. If you have outdoor cats, you MUST TAKE AWAY THE FOOD before 5 PM or better after your cats have eaten . 30 minutes is recommended before taking food away twice a day.


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