Dealing with coyotes in the suburbs

Posted on: April 15, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Blog--Urban coyotesCoyotes live in every county across Pennsylvania, from Allegheny to Philadelphia and all points in between, and their numbers have grown exponentially in the last 30 years.

Wildlife, though beautiful, can present challenges.

Ask anyone who’s ever tried to grow a garden in an area thick with white-tailed deer. Talk to someone whose bird feeder has become a magnet for hungry black bears.

They’ll have stories to share.

What are you supposed to do, though, if the newest neighbor happens to be a coyote?

More and more people living in the suburbs and even cities are having to deal with them. Coyotes are proving more adaptable than anyone might have imagined.

They’re not going away, that’s for sure.

Of course, the best thing to do is leave wildlife alone, especially if it’s leaving you alone. The mere sight of a critter doesn’t necessarily portend trouble.

But if it becomes, let’s say, nosy?

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources offers a handful of tips for living amongst coyotes.

Here they are:

  • If you spot a coyote on your property, make sure to remove all “attractants” to deter the coyote from returning. This includes properly securing garbage and removing outside pet food primarily before nightfall. Remember to clean up around the grill as well. Do not feed coyotes directly.
  • Coyotes prey primarily on small mammals such as rabbits and rodents. However, interactions with domestic pets do occur sometimes. Keep small dogs and cats inside (especially between sunset and sunrise) or leashed when outside. Motion-sensitive lighting tends to be helpful, too, at keeping wildlife away from your home.
  • Occasionally, an inquisitive coyote will stay put and watch you curiously. Make noise. Clap your hands and shout; the coyote will likely move on at this point. If it doesn’t, bang pots or pans together for louder noises. A coyote that loses its fear of humans could potentially become a threat.
  • If the coyote visiting your yard does not respond to harassment techniques such as loud noises or it is presenting a conflict even after attractants are removed, contact a nuisance trapper. Nuisance trappers use highly regulated techniques to target individual animals and to reduce urban wildlife conflicts.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.