How to protect your property from coyotes

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How to protect your property from coyotes
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Urban coyote

The average coyote is not a threat to an adult person. Weighing in at about 30 pounds, these animals nevertheless endanger children, pets, backyard livestock, and desirable wildlife. There are some steps the homeowner can take to make a property less attractive to roaming coyotes in search of a quick meal or den site. Do you know what they are?

Mark your property with wolf urine

Purdue University experts remind you that the wolf is the natural enemy of the coyote (canis latrans). You can purchase wolf urine and spread it around your property. This will lead coyotes to believe that a wolf has been marking your property as its territory and the coyotes will stay away. For the ruse to work, you have to reapply the wolf urine frequently.

Fence in the compost pile and bird feeder

The tasty morsels you hope to turn into soil amendments attract rodents. Coyotes prey on rodents. Even if you manage to keep your compost pile rodent free, coyotes may still be attracted to the smell of rotting fruit and the promise of grubs and worms. Fence in the compost pile to keep it inaccessible as a food source to the predators. Cornell University applies this same philosophy to the presence of bird feeders. Birdseed attracts rodents as well as birds, both of which attract the coyotes that prey on them. Unless you plan to clean up any spilled seeds daily, get rid of the feeders or fence them in.

Do not feed wildlife

A study cited by the University of Florida notes that there were 89 reported coyote bites between 1988 and 2003. The biting animals "were believed to have been regularly fed by people." Do not feed coyotes or leave scraps and food out for other wildlife. Keep pet food inside. Make sure that the trash cans are tightly closed and do not yield a tasty meal to an opportunistic animal. If you have fruit trees on your property, clean up fallen fruits and seeds quickly. They are another food source for a scavenging coyote.

Manage overgrown areas of the property

Common sense fire prevention techniques dictate a removal of flammable brush from around the house and any other structures on your property. This step also removes some hiding spots coyotes favor. Keep your shrubs pruned off the ground to further cut down on hiding spaces. Coyotes are known to ambush prey from these hiding spots. Remove them, and the coyotes may move on to another property. The University of California warns to also block off access to crawl spaces underneath porches, decks, and mobile homes, which coyotes may use as dens to rear their young.

Carry protection

An air horn, a large walking stick, and rocks for throwing are generally sufficient to scare off any coyote that approaches you on your property. Prepare yourself to aggressively defend a pet you may be walking, particularly if you encounter a group of coyotes.

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