How to Keep Coyotes and Foxes from Living in Your Yard: part I
Wildlife of nearly every species under the rainbow have an uncanny ability to not just survive, but to thrive in cities of nearly every size across the country. Coyotes, foxes, and even wolves in some northern states, can become a serious problem if not dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.
Studies conducted by several wildlife and conservation agencies reveal that the number of coyotes and foxes in America total many million more than when the East Coast was first being settled by the Colonists. Why? With people come livestock…cattle, sheep, hogs, horses and mules are all fair game for predators, especially newborns. In addition, family pets in the city are also prime targets for coyotes and foxes. And while other critters, such as rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, moles and others animals can be a problem, how to deal with them requires different measures, which we will address in Part II.
Of all the city-dwelling predators, coyotes pose the biggest problem, primarily because they often hunt in packs and they are big enough to harm children and even adults. Foxes are usually timid, but they still need to be removed where children are present. And there is always the danger of rabies in wildlife, so better safe than sorry.
Coyotes and foxes give birth in March and April, so take action before they have their spring litters. City predators have also become very used to their human neighbors…even brazen in their daily routines. But keeping predators away can be simple and nonlethal.
Keeping a guard dog such as a German Shepard or other large breed, will prevent predators from sitting up shop in or near your yard. You can also build a privacy fence as your HOA allows to prevent predators from entering your yard. It’s important that you NEVER feed wildlife. Predators will consider you a primary source for food and they will become even more fearless.
If a fox or coyote builds a den under your deck or patio, it’s best to contact your law enforcement’s animal control department. They will trap and relocate the critters. There are also a variety of noise-makers, such as air horns and bells that will discourage predators, in addition to scents, such as white vinegar soaked rags or others that can be sprayed here and there to deter wildlife from entering your yard. It is also important that you repair the den once any wildlife has been removed, using methods that will prevent future critters from returning, such as chicken wire that prevents digging out the old den or building a new one.
Never run away from a predator. Always keep eye contact and maintain confidence. Never interact with an animal that appears sick or injured. Call your local authorities to handle it. And if you have a resident predator, never let children play outside without an adult present until the critters have been removed.