If you’ve always thought of coyotes as a problem relegated only to Wild West fantasies, you’re dead wrong. These wild canines, relatives of domestic dogs, are found in a variety of climates and habitats ranging from the hot and arid southwest to prairie grasslands, the forested hillsides of Appalachia to your favorite suburban hangout. As dangerous as they are beautiful, coyotes pose a hazard to people, pets and property.
Coyote causing problems?
Are you having coyote problems? Call Critter Control today at (574) 825-1079 in South Bend and Elkhart,
or (260) 632-5106 in the Fort Wayne area and our trained staff will be there to help with your coyote removal.
All About Coyotes
The average coyote is about two feet tall, four to five feet long and weighs between 20 and 60 pounds — about the same as a medium sized dog. Coyotes range in color between tawny, tan or reddish hues and gray or brown shades, though pure black and white coloration is not out of the question.
Coyotes and their domestic dog cousins may look similar at a glance, though coyotes have a longer, more slender snout and slinkier profile. Their tails are generally bushier and ears are typically larger. Differentiating them from their other wild cousins, wolves, is size: wolves are usually twice the size of the average coyote.
Problems Posed by Coyotes
Coyotes are opportunists — there’s good reason they were the basis for the cartoonish caricature of Wile E. Coyote. They’ll seize any opportunity to get their next meal. These omnivores will seek out fruit from your garden as readily as they’ll snatch pet food from your porch or livestock from your field.
Because they are sometimes found in close proximity to humans, they’re not typically afraid of being around people or pets and they may act aggressively when encountered. Small dogs and cats may seem like easy prey, so they may fall victim to a hungry coyote that sees your yard as part of its territory.
Coyotes use scent marking to delineate their territory, which can cause damage to property and lead other coyotes to the area in a territorial dispute. Their droppings pose additional hazards, including the spread of diseases such as parvo virus or distemper. A bite from a coyote can expose the victim to the potentially fatal rabies virus. Their droppings and mere presence expose residents to parasitic worms, fleas, ticks and other parasites.
Identifying a Coyote Problem
Despite being opportunists, most coyotes prefer to avoid people. Some coyotes or coyote-domestic dog mixes become accustomed to human activity and may be unafraid to approach people, which is even more of a danger than those that are afraid and flee. Some homeowners even have the misfortune of finding a confused coyote in their home after leaving a door or window open. Occasionally an emboldened and hungry coyote will make use of a pet door to try to get its next meal.
Since you won’t usually observe a problem coyote itself, urine-marking or fecal matter found on your property is usually the first sign you have an issue. Finding these signs usually means a pack or small group has claimed your home, business or property as part of its territory and they aren’t too far away. You may also notice coyote tracks in snow or mud on your property.
Dealing with a Coyote Problem
Coyotes are intelligent and crafty problem solvers. They can burrow or jump fences, remove obstacles and generally find a way onto your property or into your buildings. Since exclusionary methods don’t work, you’ll have to make your home, business or property less hospitable to their presence. Sealing up potential entrances to buildings, locking lids on garbage cans and not feeding pets outdoors can dissuade coyotes from seeing your space as a welcoming environment.
Still, it may be necessary to trap and remove nuisance coyotes from your property, especially if you have concerns for the safety of your children or pets. Because of the possibility of aggression, it’s best to let a trained wildlife control professional, like those from Critter Control, deal with your coyote problem.
Critter Control’s seasoned experts can safely and humanely remove coyotes from your property and help you identify ways to entice these unwanted canine visitors to move on to easier hunting grounds. Give Critter Control a call today at (574) 825-1079 to speak to a professional.