Since moving to rural Idaho, I’ve heard of several neighborhood pets getting eaten by coyotes. What’s the best way to keep coyote’s away and out of my yard? Coyotes are encroaching on country yards, like mine, and city neighborhoods. They are getting more bold and brazen. They invade parks and follow children. The list goes on.
How to keep coyotes away from your yard? First, eliminate the attractions into your yard by keeping food and garbage contained. Second, create a barrier fence that is at least 6 feet high. Third use negative conditioning to keep coyotes away. This includes scare tactics, sound, light and smell.
Keeping coyote’s away isn’t as easy as it sounds. It will take time to keep them away and may require a variety of techniques. Let’s dive into what you need to know.
1. Remove All Food Sources From Your Yard
Coyotes are always scrounging for food so try to eliminate as much attraction to your yard as you can. This includes putting your dog and cat food away immediately after feeding times.
This includes keeping garbage cans sealed and may necessitate storing garbage cans in the garage where coyotes can’t reach waste. It includes cleaning up rubble and waste piles.
Don’t keep bird feeders in the areas you want to keep coyotes away from. While the bird food isn’t likely to attract the pests, the actual birds will. Be aware that fish ponds, BBQ grills, chickens, gardens, and fruit trees are also likely to attract coyotes. Pick up fallen fruit. Keep fruit trees, gardens and compost completely enclosed in fencing.
You can also make your yard less appealing to coyotes by trimming away excess branches and bushes that provide cover for both the coyote and their prey.
- Put away pet food after feedings
- Store garbage and waste in bins with lids
- Clean up waste and rubble
- Keep cats indoors
- Put away bird feeders
- Be aware of fish ponds, BBQ grills, and compost piles
2. Build A Barrier To Keep Them Out
Fences are usually effective in keeping coyotes out. However, the fence should be at least 6 feet high. In addition, coyotes are prone to digging so you will want to provide some deterrent to prevent them from digging under the fence.
This can be done by placing wire mesh on the outside of the fence a foot wide. You can also accomplish this by burying the fence between 12-18 inches deep in the ground.
Did you know?
Strong coyotes may be able to breach even a high fence. You can add barbed wire, a hot wire, or chicken wire to prevent coyotes from getting up high.
The State of Colorado recommends an outward extension to the fence. It slants away from your property and makes it very difficult for coyotes to jump over.
- Fences should be 6 feet high
- Bury the fence 12-18 inches or create a dig barrier around the outside of the fence
- Place a deterrent or use an Oscillot attachment on the top of the fence to discourage coyotes from jumping on top of the fence.
Barbed wire and electrical fence probably won’t be a great option if you live in the city. However, you can install a rolling fence. This will have the added benefit of keeping unwanted neighborhood cats out of your yard as well.
In some cases, stronger coyotes will be able to jump on top of the fence. You can prevent this by adding a “rolling” top to the fence with a PVC pipe. The coyote tries to jump and the pipe rolls and prevents them from getting on top.
3. Use Negative Conditioning To Keep Coyotes Away
Coyotes are not terribly aggressive animals against humans. If you see a coyote on your property, you can scare them away by running, yelling and waving your arms at them. Never run away from a coyote!
This will send the wrong message and will encourage the coyote to go after you. If you keep advancing toward a coyote and it does not flee, keep advancing. Increase your yelling and motion. Throw rocks, and wave sticks to make your appearance bigger.
Coyotes may run a little way, but turn to look at you. You should continue to advance against the coyote until they run completely away. This will help to keep the coyote away. You may need to use a variety of noises, projectiles, and motions to get the coyote to leave.
However, you may not always be available or near when a coyote approaches your property. Let’s take a look at other options to keeping coyotes away.
4. Use Water To Keep Coyotes Away
In addition to yelling at the coyote, you can also use water. Use your garden hose to spray the coyote while you yell at it. You can use a spray bottle with vinegar to spray it.
This is easier!
You can also use motion sensor sprinklers around the borders of your property. These sprinklers will activate when any animal crosses the border and will spray the coyote.
5. Scare Coyotes Away Through Sound and Light
This tactic may only work in a country setting or you will have angry neighbors. Use a loud sound such as an air horn to scare coyotes away. You can also use a motion sensor coyote alarm.
Set it around the perimeter of your property and anytime a coyote, or another large animal, gets close, the alarm will sound and scare away the coyote.
Another sound deterred you can use is a phantom deterrent. It makes a cougar hissing sound at intervals during the night.
You can also use motion activated lights to keep coyotes away. However, be aware that most motion lights have limited scope and still allow coyotes to lurk in the dark spots. In addition, you can use lights that flash all night long. Strobe lights can be effective for this. This can startle coyotes and keep them at bay.
6. Use A Guard Animal To Keep Coyotes Away
Although you may think of a guard dog, donkeys and llamas are actually better guard animals to protect your space against coyotes. If you have livestock or other animals, put a single llama or donkey in the space and keep more of your animals safe.
Donkeys will rush at a coyote.
Llamas hate coyotes and will attack when spotted. Do be careful not to keep too many llamas or donkeys together because they will tend to herd and stop caring about protecting the other animals. It’s not 100% as you may lose an occasional animal from a sneaky coyote, but it will help keep your animals safe.
7. Use Coyote Repellants
Coyote repellants are usually made of wolf urine or heavy chemicals that repel coyotes but are harmless to humans. Sprinkling it around the borders of your property can help to deter coyotes.
It sends a message that there is a new alpha dog in town. However, coyote deterrent can become expensive if you have large areas of land to protect.
You can also use ammonia in areas that have coyote visitors. Ammonia-soaked rags can be left in the area or can be sprayed. You will need to reapply after it rains and periodically.
What’s the best way to keep my cat safe? If your cat is an outdoor cat, then its best defense is its ability to climb away from danger. Install a cat post that’s at least 7 feet high and made of a material that your cat can easily scale. Add a flat platform at the top so your feline can hang out until the coyote leaves.
What dangers do Coyotes bring? Coyotes bring many dangers in addition to the actual danger of killing or hurting your animals. They can bring diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, rabies, and others. They can bring fleas, ticks, mites, intestinal worms and other parasites that your pets can catch.
What home remedies can I use to deter coyotes? The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department recommends three recipes that can be applied to areas where you want to keep coyotes away. Those recipes are as follows:
- Wildlife repellent recipe by Carol Martino: 1 whole Spanish onion, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 TBS cayenne pepper. Chop onion and pepper. Boil all ingredients in 2 quarts of water for 20 minutes. Cool. Strain. Spray where you want to keep the coyotes away.
- Magic Formula by Jerry Baker: Combine 8 oz dish soap and 8 oz castor oil until well mixed. Add to 1 gallon of water. Spray the entire area that you want to keep coyotes away.
- Lora’s recipe: Combine distilled vinegar and Tabasco sauce. Spray in the area you want to keep wildlife out of.
Coyotes are very adaptable and intelligent. That’s one of the reasons coyotes can be found living anywhere from city parks and airport parking lots. They thrive in wooded and desert areas.
This means that you will have to employ a combination of tricks to keep coyotes out of your yard and your animals safe. It also means that people are dealing coyotes whether they live in the city or the country.