Coyote Situations & Solutions

coyote in the forest © Christopher Bruno, wikicommons
coyote in the forest © Christopher Bruno, wikicommons

Coyotes are wary animals who will avoid people at all costs. The increased coyote sightings in suburbia have created concerns about peoples' safety in their backyards. Coyote attacks on humans are rare in Massachusetts. During the last 60 years, there have been less than 10.

Keeping Coyotes Out of Yards

The prospect of an easy meal can bring coyotes into yards. Coyotes are also drawn to an area by the availability of small mammals, which are attracted to the same food sources. If a coyote does appear in your yard, don’t try to approach it or its pups.

To make your property less attractive to coyotes, follow these steps:

  • Don't leave pet food outdoors. If you must feed pets outdoors, provide only the amount your pet will consume in one feeding.
  • Secure your garbage. Coyotes are capable of knocking over trashcans and tearing open trash bags left in the open.
  • Pick up fallen fruit. Fruit that has fallen to the ground and left to rot can be appealing to wildlife, including coyotes.
  • Don't feed coyotes. Feeding ultimately alters the animals' behavior. They become dependent upon and less wary of humans.
  • Keep pets indoors. A roaming cat or small dog can be perceived as prey by coyotes. There have been rare cases of an unattended small dog being taken by a coyote.

Found or Injured Coyotes

Sick or injured animals can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially those susceptible to the rabies virus (including coyotes). If you find a coyote in either condition stay away from it and do not attempt to handle it or move it. Learn more about rabies and what actions you can take.