The terror of sheep and chicken farmers across the country, coyotes are less of a household nuisance and more of a livestock pest. Many of the negative behaviors seen in predatory animals are a direct result of humanity encroaching on what were once acres and acres of unpopulated wild. Coyotes have lived for decades feeding off of small game and infantile herbivores. When mankind outgrew its boundaries, the livestock suddenly thrust into coyote territory became a logical food source. Of course, the mass consumption of chickens and lambs used for profit is generally frowned on.
Coyotes move in groups, but are known to hunt in pairs. If fresh meat is not readily accessible, coyotes will eat carrion. Oddly enough, these household canine cousins are also known to eat berries and other vegetation in large quantities. Packs living in more densely populated human areas resort to diets consisting of cats and small dogs. Persistent coyotes will break into yards to retrieve small pets. Even enclosed porches are not always suitable protection for furry, family loved ones.
To learn how to get rid of coyotes, some non-professionals can turn to the addition of a llama to livestock herds. Llamas are known to be aggressive and fearless when a predator enters the pasture. A llama, however, is not practical for the suburban homeowner worried about family pets. Beyond llamas, there are no proven synthetic or natural repellants for coyotes.
The most acceptable way to get rid of coyotes is through trap and removal. Many states allow farmers to shoot problem coyotes if livestock is being harassed, but this is often unncessary. Trapping coyotes is not for amateurs and should be left to someone well versed in wildlife removal.
Trapping any predator alive with the intent to relocate them takes skill and precision, as well as a working knowledge of that animal’s behavior. Live-catch traps are set along routes frequented by coyotes. Tracks are often not enough to go on for selecting trap placement. An area in the woods or field that forces the coyote to bottle-neck through, like fence openings and bridges or trails through thick bruch, are ideal places to set up a trap. Coyotes are very intelligent and are able to use reason, so a trap must be carefully located before they are even tempted to enter the enclosure. Human scent is an important deterrent to coyotes. Professionals placing a trap are careful to disguise their naturally occurring scent with hunting-quality coverage products.
Cage traps for coyotes are usually baited to lure the animal into the structure. The cage is open on both ends because most animals, wild and domestic, will not willingly enter a strange area unless a visible escape route is apparent. Once inside the trap, a pressure sensitive lever in the floor triggers both ends of the cage to shut, sealing the coyote inside. Cage traps are often expensive because they need to be extremely sturdy to withstand a panicking coyote’s attempts to regain freedom.
Relocation for coyotes is not easy, and some states prohibit the trapping and relocation by anyone other than a wildlife remover or rehabilitator. Relocated coyotes must be taken to state property or conservation areas miles from their original location. A coyote can travel tens of miles in a day, so distant relocation is very important.
If you are having a coyote issue, call wildlife professionals instead of taking matters into your own hands. Urban coyotes are especially difficult to handle and are notoriously vicious due to their adaptive lifestyles. With little fear of humans, it can be dangerous to attempt private removal of urban coyotes. Coyotes, like many wild mammals, are known carriers of rabies, mange, and a host of external parasites. Use your best judgment and call a professional.
I wrote this website to provide coyote information in the case that you have
a coyote problem and need to make an informed decision about what to do. If you
have any additional questions you may email me, but I do know from experience
that coyote removal is not simple. If you need professional help solving your
wildlife conflict, I recommend that you talk to a professional coyote
control expert in your town by clicking on my National Wildlife Control
directory, which lists experts who I recommend in every USA city and town who can
help you with your coyote issue.