The cockroach of predators? Coyotes now live in every state but Hawaii and thrive around human civilization, eating our garbage and sometimes, even our pets. Here’s what you can do about the pesky critters.
As Gareth highlighted a couple weeks ago, coyote populations have spread down the eastern seaboard where a new, larger species has taken over. These Eastern Coyotes are big enough to take down a deer, much less a toy poodle. Coyotes also live in cities, you’ll even occasionally see them in Manhattan.
At the risk of sounding like a fear monger, coyotes can also attack humans. While, like most other animal attacks, this is a very rare occurrence, 160 coyote-on-human attacks were documented nationally in the 30 years preceding 2006. To put that in perspective, the CDC says 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. So, while the possibility is there, worry more about your cats, dogs and other animals.
Here in Hollywood, lost pet signs are a common sight. Hate to break it to you, but Poochie the Pomeranian isn’t missing, he was lunch.
Coyote tracks are more oval in shape and have more pronounced claws than their domestic cousins.
Basic Coyote Prevention: Most local governments ask residents to harass coyotes whenever and wherever they’re seen. The idea is to keep them scared of people and away from places where we live. So, if you see a coyote, do everyone a favor and peg it with a rock. Never feed a coyote, it encourages them to see humans and our surroundings as a food source.
You should also prevent coyotes from gaining a residence on your property or any you manage. Close up gaps under porches, sheds and similar with strong wire and bury that wire at least 18 inches underground too, to prevent them from digging under it. If there’s open storm drains or similar in your neighborhood, you can also ask local authorities to close those up. Basically, the idea is to deny them a likely den area.