Coyotes are predatory creatures who can be a deadly hazard to pets and livestock. Coyote-proofing your property involves installing barriers, utilizing protective fencing and removing food sources.
Fencing and Containment
Install fencing around your property that’s at least 6 feet high and extends underground at least 6 inches. A “coyote roller” fence-topper can help stop coyotes from scaling walls. Chicken wire across the top of fences can help as well. If you have livestock, put them in a barn or shed before dusk to protect them from predation.
Remove Food Sources
Feed pets inside or take up uneaten food before dusk. Eliminate bird feeders, as they attract songbirds and rodents, which are both coyote prey. While taking up food can be more challenging and time-consuming with farm animals, limiting or removing coyote attractants and keeping food stored in secure containers can help reduce the potential for predator attraction.
Make Your Property Unattractive
Place motion-activated lighting around your property or install motion-activated sprinklers. This will deter coyotes attempting to sneak onto your property. Human scents, such as cologne or perfume, can ward away coyotes, as can ammonia. Apply either around the borders of your property and reapply after rain.
Be Smart About Pet Safety
Pets such as cats and small dogs are at risk for coyote attacks, and should never be left outside and unattended in coyote territory. Some bold coyotes have been known to snatch small pets off leashes when given the chance. Protect your animals by walking them on short leashes before dusk. Choose high-traffic walking paths or go out in groups to reduce the potential for an attack. Carry a walking stick, citronella spray or a penny can to toss at any coyote who approaches you or attempts to attack.
If coyotes are becoming a nuisance, seek the assistance of your county cooperative extension office or contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While programs and regulations vary from one state to another, many coyote-dense areas of the country have measures in place to address predator infiltration and damage.