What to Do If Coyotes Are Near Your House

Coyote standing in gravel near someone's yard

One afternoon, Mary looked out her window and noticed coyotes coming close to her house. She became afraid because her young children and smaller dogs (three Westies) could often be found playing in her home’s sunny yard.

Since Mary first saw the coyotes, she has been nervous about letting her children and dogs play alone in the yard. Now, everyone stays cooped up inside the house while Mary figures out what to do about the coyotes.

Have you ever been in a situation like Mary’s? Have you ever noticed coyotes near your house and wondered what to do? How did Mary take control?

Why Are Coyotes Near the House?

It’s possible (especially during the day) that the coyotes are simply taking a shortcut to their evening hunting grounds. If this seems to be the case, there’s generally nothing you need to do, other than making sure any children and pets are secure, and that there aren’t any tempting open food sources nearby.

If there are open (and easily accessible) food sources — like half-empty dog food dishes, compost bins, or overflowing garbage cans — you could be encouraging repeat visitors. If you’ve seen coyotes coming up to your house, it’s a good idea to supervise your children and pets when they’re outside, and have noise makers handy for coyote hazing, if necessary.

Be Ready to Haze

Mary reviewed coyote hazing tactics from the Humane Society. She learned that you never run away from a coyote, and you should get as loud as possible if you see one near your house.

So now, Mary is prepared. Next to her backyard screen door, she keeps a bucket filled with large sticks, rocks, empty cans, tennis balls, whistles, pepper spray, a squirt gun, and noisemakers (like soda cans filled with coins) to throw and shake at coyotes on her property.

Hazing goes a long way in teaching coyotes to be afraid of humans. Often, coyotes get too comfortable around humans, but throwing a large stick in their direction, yelling, waving your arms, or blowing a whistle — as long as you keep going until they leave completely — all teach coyotes to be on their guard around humans.

A Coyote-Proof Fence

Before winter sets in, Mary also decided to build a taller fence for her yard. Since coyotes are relatively small, it’s just as important for the fence to be low as it is for the fence to be high. Coyote-proof chain link fences should be at least six-feet tall and the links should continue to a depth of 18 inches under the ground, to prevent the coyotes from simply digging their way under

And she’s planning to install a coyote roller, too. That’s a 4-foot, aluminum ribbed roller to prevent persistent coyotes from being able to get a foothold and climb over the fence.

Add Warning Lights

To keep coyotes away at night (which is when coyotes are most active and likely to be prowling near your house), you can also install Nite Guard solar lights on each side of your home. The flashing red lights simulate the eyes of a threatening presence, and coyotes are more eager for a quick meal than a taxing scuffle. Warn them away, and sleep peacefully.

All of these small steps combined do set you on the path to protecting your family and home from the threat of roaming coyotes.

Categories: Coyote