How to Keep Coyotes Away from your Property

Reader Contribution by Elizabeth Gatto
article image

Coyotes are incredibly smart animals. Most homeowners don’t give these scavengers enough credit, but they are well known for their cunning and wily ways. Their senses of sight, hearing, and smell are excellent, much like a dog. There’s a reason for that; coyotes belong to the same family as creatures like foxes, dogs, jackals, and wolves. This is the Canidae family, typically recognized by thick fur with bushy, thick tails, long and slender bodies, and longer snouts.

Coyotes, just like others belonging to the same family of animals, can be rather large. Many of them are about the same size as your average, medium-sized pooch, although still smaller than wolves. This means that they can weigh as much as 50 pounds.

Once upon a time, coyotes would have lived far away from humans. They’d have hidden themselves in the mountains, or roamed the wide, open plains. Some would have spread out into other countries from North America, such as Canada, and, being so adaptable, would even survive rather well in the desert. For a thick-coated animal, they don’t seem to have too much of a problem with warmer temperatures. Some species have learned to thrive in even tropical climates.

Their wild environments are starting to dwindle, sadly, and this has meant a need for the animal to adapt even further. They have been forced to get closer and closer to humans, just like many other wild animals. It is now not uncommon to find these large scavengers right alongside humans. Although once relatively unheard of, coyotes are fast becoming another species of nuisance wildlife found in places like Los Angeles.  If you are experiencing a problem with coyotes, and need professional help removing them, please contact Los Angeles wildlife operators to help you.

There are ways that you can keep these creatures off your land, of course, but you will find that many of the methods require modifying your property in some way. These modifications work in more ways than just keeping a couple of pest coyotes out of the way, however, and could go a long way to protecting your land full stop, from a wide range of nuisance wildlife.  They include fencing, underground mesh wiring, electric fencing, and identifying what is attracting the coyotes in the first place, such as food and making sure it is removed.  Again, a lot of these methods are not easy, so hiring a professional may be your best option to save time and frustration.

If you are determined to do it yourself, fencing is a very good place to start. In fact, preventative methods to stop the animal from encroaching on your land are the only kind of techniques you should try. Trapping and releasing the creature very rarely works and is illegal in some states. You would need to travel quite some distance just to make sure the animal doesn’t come back, and in the case of the coyote, this means over a hundred miles. Scientists have discovered that a coyote will travel as far as one hundred miles to find food if they can’t find a closer source. This seems to be so the case when there are loads of coyote in one area, so if you hear a lot of howling and calling in the middle of the night, there’s a good chance this trapping and releasing approach will just prove pointless. The animal, just like the problem, will come back in a few days.

Fencing isn’t foolproof either, but still highly recommended over alternative options. You will need to take into account that these animals can both dig and jump, so alongside making sure the land is protected on top, with a fence that is at least four or five foot high, you will also need to make sure you have a layer of protection underground. This physical barrier can easily come in the form of hardware cloth or mesh wiring, but must be affixed to the fence properly and thoroughly, and must go down as far as one to two feet.  A big project!

Electric fencing is one more approach you could take, but this can be costly, both in terms of buying and installing the fencing, but also in running costs and maintenance/upkeep. You must remember that these animals have quite thick and fluffy coats, so the kind of fence that you buy is important.  We recommend a low impedance fence charger that can maintain 4,000 volts.  You shouldn’t need to go much higher than around 55 inches, the electric wiring keeping the majority of the large, carnivorous scavengers out.

The best method when trying to get rid of coyotes and then keep them away is to use a variety of methods. You should always give your property a once-over, making sure you’re not leaving food remnants lying around. You can make sure you don’t have multiple animal issues at the same time. A coyote invasion can be indicative of a rodent invasion also, for example. There is always something that attracted the nuisance animal to your land in the first place. Working out what that is and then protecting it will give you a great head start when it comes to keeping these scavengers at bay.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.