Over the past years, attacks on small dogs, cats and people have been uncommon. However, as they become accustomed to humans, they are settling in populated areas.
Coyotes, in general, try to avoid humans. So, should we be concerned for our family and pets when we see coyotes on our property?
Facts About Coyotes
Coyotes (Canis latrans) are members of the canine (Canidae) family of 34 species, including dogs and wolves. Canidae is a biological family of dog-like carnivorans, familiarly referred to as dogs. All three, domestic dogs, wolves and coyotes are closely-related species. They can interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring called coydogs, coywolves and wolfdogs.
Virtually non-existent several hundred years ago, as cleaning of landscapes and eliminating their predators with hunting and habitat loss, they started moving eastward across the country and now are embracing the opportunities presented to them by US states in the east.
When To Watch Our For Coyotes
Coyotes are typically thought to be loners that live on their own except during the breeding season. However, recent research shows that coyotes will live in social groups when not hunted by man. The pack includes the mated pair, their young and juveniles from the previous year’s litter.
They hunt together and will defend their territory. They can be extremely vocal, with their sounds heard when most active between dusk and dawn.
Coyotes can be heard and seen year-round in Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and all across the US. The only US state they have yet to move into is Hawaii.
The coyote’s mating season goes from January to March. Wildlife officials warn people to keep their pets out of harm’s way as male coyotes become bold and aggressive during these months. They will roam freely from their den and up to approximately four square miles.
They are not likely to attack unless provoked or while protecting their den. Also, during a cold winter, they may prey on small pets if their normal diet and the natural resources of rodents are scarce. In addition, they like pet food and will trash your garbage to find food.
As coyotes give birth in the spring and begin to raise their young, their sightings can increase as they venture out during the daylight hours to find food for their pups. The potential for a coyote attack increases during April and May as the adult coyotes will protect their young litter. It is also vital to stay out of their way during these spring months.
Not native to Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, coyotes are rapidly expanding to areas such as Sussex County, Delaware, where they thrive. Therefore, as they are in all parts of US states and growing in population, there is always a need for concern. Their intelligence and ability to adapt easily has enabled them to survive in our backyards.
To Do If You Encounter a Coyote
As mentioned earlier, they are afraid of you just as you are of them, and they will take measures to avoid human contact. However, you must always take the necessary steps to prevent an unnecessary encounter.
- If you encounter one, leave the area, do not run and make loud noises.
- Ensure your dog is safe on a leash; if not, do not leave them unsupervised, especially when coyotes are most active at night.
- Never attempt to touch or feed.
How To Deter Coyotes
- Remove all food sources, garbage, and pet food and clean up around the grill after usage.
- Install motion sensor lights to deter them.
- Pick up fruits and berries that have fallen to the ground.
- Fence in bird feeders and vegetable gardens.
- Keep dogs fenced in when unsupervised outside.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed and clear bushes and dense weeds so they have less cover.
Contact for Coyote Wildlife Removal Services
Do not put yourself or your pet in harm’s way. Contact the Wilkins Wildlife Animal Removal company immediately if you see a coyote or a pack on your property.