Coyote prevention & hazing
Everett is home to a variety of wildlife, including coyotes. Coyotes are usually shy animals that avoid people and tend to be more afraid of us than we are of them. They also play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to control rodent populations.
When they have access to human food, trash and compost however, they adapt to urban and suburban environments and can lose their fear of humans. They get braver and more assertive, and may approach people or feel safe visiting our yards. This can create conflicts with the community and their pets and livestock.
By taking some preventative steps and practicing some simple techniques, you can let coyotes know that they are not welcome in your neighborhood and their bold behavior will not be tolerated.
Minimizing conflicts with coyotes begins with prevention. Human behavior is a key factor to coyotes becoming less fearful of people, typically from giving them access to a source of food, such as garbage or pet food left outside. Following these simple steps can help make your yard and neighborhood less attractive to coyotes:
- Never feed coyotes.
- Feed pets indoors. Pet food is one of the biggest reasons coyotes visit backyards. If you do feed your pets outdoors, pick up leftovers and bowls soon after meal time, and store pet food indoors.
- Remove water bowls and other artificial water sources if possible.
- Keep bird feeders out of reach or bring feeders in at night.
- Keep all your trash and compost in bins with a secure lid.
- Trim and clean landscaping near ground level to reduce hiding places for coyotes or prey.
- Keep pets leashed or closely supervised.
- Keep pets inside at night if possible. If kept outside, provide enclosed, secure housing for them. Pet and poultry housing should have a top and the fencing should be buried in the ground.
- Ask your neighbors to follow these tips too.
About coyote hazing
If you start seeing coyotes around your home, let them know that they are not welcome. Hazing uses simple techniques to help keep coyotes fearful of humans and deter them from our yards and neighborhoods. The hazing techniques below can be very effective at correcting unwanted coyote behavior.
Methods of hazing
- Be loud and large: stand tall, wave your arms and yell “go away coyote!” until they run away.
- Use noisemakers: voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of rocks or coins, bang pots or pans together.
- Throw items: throw sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls toward (not at) the coyote.
- Spray them: garden hoses, water guns or spray bottles with vinegar water.
- Switch it up: use a variety of hazing methods so coyotes don’t get used to certain devices, sounds and actions.
When walking your pets
When walking your furry friends, hazing can be very helpful if you come across a coyote. Bring noisemakers like those listed above, squirt guns or an umbrella. Sticks and other objects can be used in a pinch to throw towards (not at) the coyote to scare it away. Remember to keep pets on leash and never let your pet approach or chase a coyote. If you have small pets, pick them up and carry them away if you see a coyote.
Important things to remember
- Never run away from a coyote. Calmly walk away instead.
- The coyote may not leave at first or may run a short distance and then stop. Continue hazing until they leave the area, walking towards the coyote and increasing the intensity of your hazing.
- Coyotes may return after you hazed them. Keep trying; it can take a couple encounters to haze them away for good.
- Contact Everett Animal Shelter Animal Services Officer Deruyter if you have any questions at 425.257.6002 or [email protected].
- Coyote hazing resources - The Human Society of the United States
- What to do about coyotes - The Human Society of the United States
- About coyotes and preventing conflict - Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife