Coyotes are generally reclusive animals that keep their distance from humans and their dwellings, but there is a real risk from coyotes that have lost some of their fear of people and discovered our pets are easy prey.
We must always be vigilant when it comes to our pets and the wild animals that also live in the area, but there are some specific things you can do to make your pet safer from coyotes.
Physical barriers and deterrents
Coyotes can easily jump 6-foot fences, and can scale taller ones that give them toe holds, such as cyclone fences. To protect your yard, fences needs to be at least 8 feet tall and made of smooth materials that won’t allow the coyote traction.
If you already have a fence, install “coyote rollers” on top. These are rolling bars that go on top of a fence. When a coyote, or a dog, tries to jump or climb on the top of the fence, the bars roll and knock them off.
You also can install barbed or concertina wire on the top of your fences, although people may not be keen on making their backyards look like prison yards. The razor-sharp wire can also lead to unintentional injuries.
Flashing lights have proved successful against coyotes and other predators. Devices such as the Night Guard Solar continuously flash a small red light that animals mistake for the eyes of another creature. For coyotes, the lights should be positioned about 30 inches off the ground, which also should prevent the light from flashing into your neighbor’s windows.
Tighten the ship
The main reason a coyote will enter a yard or go to the trouble of scaling or jumping fences is that something in that yard is attractive to them. Those things may include:
â€¢ Open garbage cans
â€¢Â Pet food and water bowls left out
â€¢Â Bird feeders and bird baths
â€¢Â Fruit trees and vegetable beds
â€¢Â Unattended pets
â€¢Â The presence of other small animals, such as rats
That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your fruit trees and gardens, but you should harvest often and keep dropped fruit cleaned up. Don’t let your pets out unattended. Your presence won’t stop all attacks, but it will deter many.
When walking your dog in open spaces, keep your pet on a short leash (6 feet or shorter) and be wary when approaching heavily vegetated areas.
And if you have outdoor cats, now is a good time to bring them indoors.
Confronting a coyote
Experts agree that the best way to drive coyotes from the area is through hazing. Yell at them while waving your arms above your head. If the coyote doesn’t leave, run at it while yelling and waving.
Use air horns or whistles blasted in the coyote’s direction, or bang a pot with a large spoon. Try spraying the coyote with a hose or throw rocks and sticks near the animal.
If a coyote has grabbed your pet, try all of the hazing techniques, but use care in trying to pull your pet away. The coyote sees your beloved pet as food, and it will attempt to protect it.
By hazing coyotes you come in close contact with, you will be helping to keep them wild and fearful of coming too close to humans and pets.