- Author: Niamh Quinn
[From the August 2016 issue of UC IPM's Retail Nursery & Garden Center IPM News]
It is important to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to addressing any human-wildlife conflicts. Help your customers or clients be prepared to protect themselves, families, and other animals from contact with coyotes by adhering to the following tips:
Never feed coyotes.
- Access to human food has been suggested as a contributor to aggressive behavior by coyotes toward people.
- Cover your trash so coyotes do not have access to leftover food. Unintentionally providing food to wildlife is known as indirect feeding. Although you are not directly providing food for the coyote, uncovered trash provides an unnatural food source for the coyote to consume.
- Harvest ripe and fallen fruit, as this is another source of indirect feeding for coyotes.
- Restrict access to compost. This is also a food source for coyotes.
- Feed pets inside, or leave food outside for limited periods of time only.
- Don't feed feral cats. Food provided for feral cats can also act as another food source for coyotes, as well as the cats themselves falling prey to coyote attacks.
Be vigilant with small children in areas where coyotes are often seen and heard.
- Be aware near dense vegetation where ambush attacks have been known to occur.
- Modify vegetation where coyotes may rest. This includes the reduction of dense shrubs that may provide shade and cover for coyotes to rest.
Keep dogs and cats indoors.
- Dusk to dawn is the period when coyotes are most active. However, it is important to be aware that coyotes are not always nocturnal. They can also be active during the day.
- Supervise pets in yards, particularly in areas where previous pet attacks are known to occur.
- NEVER walk your dog off leash or on a retractable leash. There is no leash law in California state law; however, most municipalities have leash laws that state that dogs must be attached to a leash held by a competent person.
- Be particularly vigilant during pup-rearing season when conflicts are at their highest and pets are in the most danger.
Build a coyote-proof fence where possible.
Coyotes are excellent jumpers and can easily navigate 6-foot walls. Eight-foot fences are recommended where possible to try to exclude coyotes from yards. A roller bar may also be attached to the top of the fence to further deter coyote efforts to gain access to yards.
Enclose backyard poultry, livestock, or other small animals that live outside with secure fencing and a roof.
These act as another food source for coyotes and need to be protected from predation attempts. Remember, coyotes can jump as well as dig, so ensure that desired animals are secured from all angles.
NEVER approach an aggressive, sick or injured coyote.
Coyotes are often unpredictable and defensive. If you feel that there is an immediate threat to your safety, dial 911.
For more information about coyotes, their habitat, appropriate fencing, and other issues, see the UC IPM Pest Note: Coyote http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74135.html./h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>