If you know anything about coyotes, you know that this animal can be quite the pain when it comes to having them around your neighborhood. If you are looking for ways to sleep through the night without having to hear howling, worry about your pets, or think about what these canines might get into, you are likely in search of some effective repellents.
As a general rule, predator urine, bright moving lights, sudden noises, and a combination of lights and noises can all be used to repel coyotes. These repellents work by affecting the coyote’s sense of fear, making them less likely to return to your property once scared off.
Before we get into the how of deterring coyotes, let’s first discuss the why. Why is it important to keep coyotes away? Are they even that much of a threat? What could different reactions on your part result in? All the good, juicy questions that we know you’ve got somewhere in the back of your mind.
Why You Need to Get Rid of Coyotes
This is a commonly asked question, though one that does not have as simple of an answer. The real question we should be asking is this- why should we work to deter coyotes?
Why is it worth it to take measures to deter these creatures? Aside from the fact that doing nothing actually encourages them to come closer, there are a few simple methods of deterrence that are worth the bit of effort that they take.
Coyotes are amazing animals, but not ones that you would like in your personal space.
If you see a coyote in your area, you might first be excited to see such a beautiful animal.
… Or you may be totally annoyed that there are coyotes in your neighborhood to deal with. Either is cool, we get it. Everyone has different reactions.
Whatever way you feel about these animals, you should have all the information you need about what makes them tick and how you should respond for the best shot at peaceful coexistence.
Here are some of the common dilemmas that you’ll face if you find that there are coyotes on or near your property:
Coyotes Sometimes Snack On Pets
Unfortunately for you and your pets, sometimes coyotes hunt and eat small to mid-sized animals like your cats and dogs when they are left out overnight, or even just for too long in a large backyard.
As coyotes’ natural habitats shrink and resources change, pets prove to be as good of prey as any other small creature that they might find in nature. It is not only livestock that they are interested in these days.
The point is, you need to not only worry about your sheep and cows roaming in the pasture, or your chickens in the coop, but also about your cats and dogs in your suburban yard.
While we don’t want to think about this happening to our beloved furry (or feathered) family members, there is still something worse that could happen.
Coyotes Have Been Known To Go After People
Aside from snacking on pets and howling away in their free time, the cases of coyotes attacking people have increased in the past few decades.
Again, as resources lessen when habitats shrink and there is less natural space for them to roam, the peaceful coexistence is more apt to be threatened. According to an article in the Journal of Human-Wildlife Interactions, this began back in the 1970s in California and people took notice.
Since then, coyote management policy has been pushed harder and hazing techniques (coyote repellent methods) have been taught and spread around areas that are common subjects of coyote takeovers.
Basically, this is not a situation you’ll want to be any part of and following the methods below will significantly decrease your chances of getting caught up in a tough situation.
If you feel unsafe, are unsure of how to handle a situation on your own, or just don’t want to be the one to deal with it, contact a trained professional near you.
What Is A Good Coyote Repellent? Use These 4 Recommended Methods
Alright, the moment you’ve been waiting for is here. The methods you can use to actually repel these canines.
Here are a few tried and true methods that have been proven through experience to deter coyotes from entering people’s properties. Prevention is always better than dealing with an issue that has gotten way out of hand, so most of what we recommend deals with keeping them out, but we will touch on getting them out.
Please note, again, that if you ever feel overwhelmed by a situation revolving around any pests or other critters, you can find a trained exterminator or wildlife control professional in your area.
Wolf Urine Deters Coyotes
Our first recommended repellent is animal urine, specifically that of a wolf.
This is a tried and true method that everyone from hunters to gardeners has used for a looong time. Before then, in the animal kingdom, it has always been a signal to animals to avoid a certain area for fear of being a wolf’s next meal.
Use what can be found in nature.
No, we are not telling you to go track down another animal and collect their urine. The internet is a glorious place and there are much easier ways to get your hands on some wolf pee, like PredatorPee Original Wolf Urine.
Wolves are apex predators, meaning that other animals, yes even other predators, are quite wary of crossing their path. Not only will this wolf pee keep coyotes away when spread across the edges of your property or fence line, but it will also keep other animals far away.
Listen, we aren’t saying that you are going to adore getting to spread animal pee around your yard. But if it works, it works.
For best results, you will want to use this a few times until the animals in your area associate your property with a dangerous space and stop coming around.
Wolf urine is the best way to utilize another creature when trying to repel coyotes.
The good part of all of this is that you don’t have to spread this liquid in the vicinity of your home, just the outskirts of where they may be approaching from. This means that your pets won’t be bothered and you won’t have to think about the urine you’ve just poured everywhere.
If you don’t want to use wolf urine, your next best option is using vinegar to repel coyotes.
This is probably the most natural and hands-off method you can use, so what are you waiting for? More repellents? Oh, yeah.
Let’s continue, shall we?
Bright and Moving Lights Repel Coyotes
Coyotes are sensitive to light, thanks to their possession of a tapetum, a reflective layer on the eye that allows light to pass through multiple times as opposed to the single time that many non-nocturnal animals (and people) experience.
This can be used to your benefit because coyotes will be more likely to stay away from your property if you do something even as simple as leaving a porch light on at night.
Around the holidays, you’ll be extra lucky because holiday lights are a two-for-one decoration and coyote repellent. They’ll see those blinking lights and get skittish, not wanting anything to do with your festivities, really.
Light isn’t the only thing that gets these furry creatures, though. When it comes to coyotes, mixing your methods is almost always going to be the best practice.
It is for this reason that the next coyote repellent method comes about, and it makes a ton of sense when you think about it.
If you’re interested in using motion sensor lights to repel coyotes, you can read our guide to using lights to deter pests and wildlife here.
Noise And Lights
Have you ever thought about using firecrackers to scare off large animals? If it hasn’t crossed your mind yet, maybe it is time that it does.
Standalone, motion-sensor lights are a fantastic deterrent that works just as well at dusk and dawn as they do in the middle of the night when nobody is around but the coyotes and other critters roaming the area.
Mixing noise AND light, however? A combo that is a true force to be reckoned with when it comes to coyote management. It also keeps any and all other nocturnal creatures faaaar away from your property. None of them are into this combination, so use it!
You can read our article on sounds and noises that’ll scare coyotes here.
One of the most effective preventive measures that we suggest quite highly is to invest in some coyote-proof fencing.
All this really means is that you use a fence that is (at least!) 6-feet tall, but it should also go into the ground several inches. When we say that, we aren’t kidding. We mean at least 16-18 inches.
Coyotes are amazing diggers, so don’t be fooled into thinking that an above-ground fence is going to do the trick all by itself. You’ve got to dig deep for this one to work.
To really ensure that this method works, you can get a coyote roller kit like this Coyote Roller from Ultimation. which prevents them from getting over the fence, as well.
Basically, the way this works is that it keeps animals (domestic pets with a knack for jumping the fence included) from getting the foothold that they need to get over even those more medium-sized fences.
This solution requires no electricity or maintenance and is constructed to last in the sweltering heat of the deserts in which many coyotes reside. It is also guaranteed to be humane and totally safe, since it can be used both to keep wild animals out but also to keep your adventurous pets in.
If you’d like to BUILD a fence yourself, you’ll want to review our guide on how to build the best coyote proof fence here.
How Do You Keep Coyotes Off Your Property?
Those scare tactics are great spur-of-the-moment tricks to use when you need them, but let’s talk about what you can expect in the long term. There is a lot of variability in the reaction you might get from a coyote depending on certain scenarios, individual interactions, and even locations.
A Long Term Coyote Repelling
What you need is a mixture of these aforementioned reactionary tools and the following preventative measures that you will see below.
You can make all the noises, shine all the lights, and spread all the urine you want, but these actions will have to be taken time and time again to maintain their effectiveness.
That’s why it’s so incredibly important to not only rely on reactionary methods but preventative ones that could save you so much time and effort when it comes down to it. A backup plan is ALWAYS worth keeping up your sleeve.
Still, the best way to keep these coyotes away from your space is by making sure that your property is optimized to deter them. This is also a win-win, as all of these methods will also ensure that other pests and intruders keep away. What is there not to love?!
Here are some practical ways that you can repel coyotes from your yard or the larger property that you are focused on.
As a side note, you can also use certain scents to repel coyotes. You can more about the scents that coyotes hate here.
Keep Your Backyard Clean
Always, always, always do this. Keep insects from your porch, keep raccoons from the backyard, even keep other neighborhood animals from wandering your way.
Make sure that, along with maybe pouring some wolf urine around your fence line, you pick up any garbage, food droppings such as fruit from a tree, and anything else that may attract furry creatures.
If you are having a party and you’re too tired to clean everything up that night, at the very least make sure that you leave a radio on or don’t flip off the porch lights. It is always worth it to do something that works to cancel out a situation that may attract coyotes to your backyard.
After cleaning up your backyard, and the food from that party you will surely throw this summer, let’s move on to the next step.
Keep Garbage Cans Secure (Or Indoors)
Coyotes, again, are always looking for new resources as their habitats shrink and their options become more limited. This means that they, like other scavengers such as raccoons, have been known to dumpster dive in certain cases.
If it is possible in your area, place your garbage bins in a closed area such as a garage or shed. If this is not something that will work for you, try something like the Strong Strap Universal Garbage Can Lid Lock Utility Strap.
If you don’t have the space or the option to store your garbage bin for an extended period (or at all), this locking strap will also work to dissuade other animals, such as raccoons, mice, skunks, and even some bigger insects, from invading your garbage.
Hey, that stuff is private, right? Maybe not so much, but you will be grateful for taking advantage of this option.
This also helps to make sure that you don’t accidentally feed your local coyotes, as that would create a very one-sided relationship that is only bad for you.
On That Note, Scoop Up Poop
This one may or may not surprise you but your dog’s droppings may actually be a part of what is drawing coyotes to your property in the first place.
Now, cleaning up after your dog does their business should be common sense right? Well, you know how often you’ve been walking around and have to see animal waste on the sidewalk or in a park, so we know that not everyone follows this easy step.
If you can help it, please clean up your pet’s droppings promptly. Not only for you and the cleanliness of your backyard, but also for the safety of your pet. It can’t help doing their business but also does not dream of becoming coyote food anytime soon.
Now, Go Repel Those Coyotes!
Well, that’s all we’ve got for now.
Remember that coyotes are skittish creatures that will scare easily, even if you exert a little control over a situation that involves them. Don’t be afraid to let them see that you run this show!
It might be frustrating, and even a little intimidating or stressful, to have coyote-related problems at home. They can be deterred when you use the following methods.
- Animal Urine
- Bright, Moving Lights
- Combined Noise and Lights
- Coyote Proof Fence
Thank you for reading this piece!
We sincerely hope that this article helps you in your endeavors to keep those coyotes away from you, your animals, and your personal space.
Stier, A. C., Samhouri, J. F., Novak, M., Marshall, K. N., Ward, E. J., Holt, R. D., & Levin, P. S. (2016). Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries. Science Advances, 2(5), e1501769.
Gilsdorf, J. M., Hygnstrom, S. E., & VerCauteren, K. C. (2002). Use of frightening devices in wildlife damage management. Integrated Pest Management Reviews, 7(1), 29-45.
Zemlicka, D. E. and Mason, J. R., “Response of Captive Coyotes to Renardine Coyote Repellent” (2000). USDA National Wildlife Research Center – Staff Publications. 805.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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