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.
11 Ways to Keep Coyotes Away From Your Yard
- Remove Food Sources: Coyotes are attracted to food sources, so it’s essential to eliminate anything that might entice them. Securely store trash in wildlife-resistant containers, avoid leaving pet food outdoors, and regularly clean up fallen fruits from trees.
- Install Fencing: Installing a sturdy fence can help deter coyotes from entering your property. Opt for a fence that is at least six feet tall and extends below ground to prevent them from digging under it.
- Secure Compost and Garden: Coyotes may be attracted to gardens and compost piles. Use covered compost bins and consider fencing off your garden to reduce these attractions.
- Supervise Pets: Never leave pets unattended in the yard, especially during dusk and dawn when coyotes are most active. Coyotes can quickly kill pets when hungry. Always keep them on a leash when walking, and be cautious when letting them out at night.
- Motion-Activated Sprinklers: Install motion-activated sprinklers that can spray water when triggered by movement, creating an unpleasant surprise for any approaching coyotes.
- Motion-Activated Lights and Noises: Coyotes are typically wary of well-lit areas and unexpected loud noises. Install motion-activated lights and/or use devices that produce sudden, startling sounds to scare them away.
- Don’t Feed Wildlife: Avoid feeding other wildlife species, as this may inadvertently attract coyotes looking for an easy meal.
- Guard Dogs: A guard dog can scare coyotes and keep pets and livestock safe.
- Coyote Deterrents: Commercial coyote deterrents, like chemical repellents or predator urine, can be effective in discouraging coyotes from entering your yard.
- Secure Livestock Enclosures: If you have outdoor livestock enclosures or runs, ensure they are adequately enclosed and fortified to prevent coyote intrusion. Most livestock are vulnerable to coyotes.
- Scare Tactics: Periodically change scare tactics to avoid acclimation. Use combinations of noise-making devices, shiny objects, and other scare tools to make your yard less appealing to coyotes.
- Work with Neighbors: Coordinate with your neighbors to implement similar coyote deterrent strategies. A cohesive effort can make your entire neighborhood less attractive to these animals.
- Educate Yourself: Learn about local coyote behavior and habits. Understanding their patterns can help you adapt your strategies accordingly.
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. Fencing: 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. Secure Your Garden and Compost From Coyotes
Keeping your compost and garden secure is super important to avoid attracting pesky coyotes and other wildlife to your yard.
Make sure you’re using covered compost bins with tight-fitting lids. Those not only keep coyotes away and help with proper decomposition and keep the smell in check. When adding to the compost, stick to vegetable and fruit scraps, and avoid meat, dairy, or oily foods that might lure in the critters. Remember to turn the compost regularly too!
The garden is a buffet for coyotes, so let’s make it less appealing to them. Put up a strong fence around the garden, at least six feet tall, and extend it below ground to stop those sneaky diggers. When your fruits and veggies are ripe, harvest them quickly to prevent fallen produce from attracting unwelcome guests. Raised beds can help because it’s harder for coyotes to reach the plants.
And clear away any brush piles or dense vegetation around the garden, as these can give coyotes hiding spots as they scout for snacks. Keep an eye on wildlife activity in your yard and be prepared to adjust your strategies if needed.
4. Secure Pets So They Aren’t Coyote Food
There are many steps you can take to keep your pets safe from coyotes. I’ll cover a couple of them. First, keep your pets safe from coyotes by supervising them when they are outdoors. This is especially important during the evening, when coyotes are more active.
Always use a leash when walking your dog to avoid unexpected encounters. Create a secure play area in your yard with a tall fence. Be cautious during evenings and nights.
Remove dog and cat food after they eat as this can attract coyotes. Work with neighbors to address concerns and create a safer environment.
Stay proactive and informed to reduce the chances of encounters and promote coexistence with wildlife. Keep those furry buddies safe!
5. Use Motion-Activated 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.
6. 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.
7. Don’t Feed The Wildlife
Not feeding wildlife, especially in your yard, is crucial in keeping coyotes away. Feeding wildlife, such as birds, squirrels, or raccoons, attracts them to our property.
This creates a food source for coyotes. They are opportunistic animals, and will eat the scraps meant for other animals.
By not offering handouts, we encourage wildlife to rely on their natural food sources, which are less likely to be found in residential areas and help keep coyotes at a distance.
If more small animals are around due to feeding, it creates a hunting ground for coyotes, increasing their presence in the area.
8. 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.
9. Use Coyote Deterants and 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.
10. Secure Livestock Away From Coyotes
Securing your livestock is essential to keep coyotes out of your yard. Coyotes often target livestock, which is why its crucial to implement effective measures to protect your animals.
The three most important points for securing your livestock are sturdy fencing, the use of livestock guardian animals, and providing secure shelters. Tall fences prevent coyotes from jumping over.
Thirdly, ensure your livestock has secure shelters like barns or sturdy coops where they can rest safely during the night and vulnerable times.
11. Scare Tactics Against Coyotes
Scare tactics for coyotes involve using various methods to create an unwelcoming environment and deter them from your property. These tactics may include making loud noises, using motion-activated devices that emit startling sounds, setting up bright lights, or even employing visual deterrents like scarecrows or shiny objects.
The goal is to surprise and intimidate coyotes, making them feel unsafe and prompting them to avoid the area.
By consistently employing scare tactics, coyotes can be discouraged from lingering in your yard, reducing the chances of potential conflicts and promoting coexistence with these wild animals.
12. Working With Your Neighbors To Keep Coyotes Away
A few years back, I had a neighbor who loved coyotes. Unbeknown to me, he was purposefully feeding them to bring them into his yard. This created a major problem. It’s critical that neighbors work together to tackle a coyote problem.
Fostering open communication and sharing information about coyote sightings or encounters keeps everyone aware. Collective efforts can be made to secure trash cans, remove potential attractants, and enforce pet safety measures. This will create a less appealing environment for coyotes.
Additionally, coordinating neighborhood initiatives can help reinforce the message and promote a unified front against coyote-related challenges.
By working together, neighbors can create a safer and more harmonious living environment for both humans and wildlife, ensuring a balanced coexistence with coyotes in the area.
13. Educate Yourself About Coyotes
Educating yourself about coyotes and their behavior is valuable in keeping them away. You are prepared when you understand their natural habits, activity patterns, and reasons for approaching residential areas.
Additionally, it’s important that you know how to respond to coyote encounters safely. It’s possible to coexist peacefully and reduce potential conflicts.
What To Do If You See A Coyote In Your Yard
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.
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.