January 22nd
Coyotes in the City

In recent years coyote sightings have increased throughout the urban areas in South Western Ontario. Here at Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we've received our fair share of coyote related calls in our 31 years in business.  Coyotes are often misunderstood and their presence can cause residents considerable distress and concern. That’s why we’ve compiled these answers to common coyote questions in an effort to boost understanding and help us better coexist.

What do I do If I Encounter A Coyote?

Coyotes are everywhere - from urban developments to rural farmland, coyotes exist all across North America in numbers far greater than you may have imagined. The average city of 500,000 can have anywhere from 30-40 coyotes wandering around. With that being said, there are some things you can do to keep yourself safe during a close encounter with a coyote. 

First, remain calm and avoid the urge to run. Coyotes may interpret your flee as playing, or see you as prey. Make yourself appear as large and threatening as possible by raising your arms, making noise, and maintaining eye contact. Smaller pets and children should be picked up, and larger pets should be kept close. When it is safe to do so, slowly move to an area with more activity. As with most wildlife, coyotes are typically more afraid of you than you are of them, so remember to keep your distance and remain calm.

Are Coyotes Dangerous?

Coyotes are one of the top predators in the urban wildlife food chain, but that does not mean they are an immediate threat to human beings. Coyotes are extremely adaptable creatures, and have spent centuries learning how to coexist with humans to keep themselves safe. Fearing humans and avoiding human interaction is a major part of a coyote’s survival technique, however if they feel threatened there is always a chance they will attack to defend themselves.

 It’s important to be diligent around any wild animal, especially larger ones like coyotes, but if you keep a safe distance and remain calm, they are not a danger to you or your family. 

How Can I Keep Coyotes Out Of My Yard?

Coyotes are much larger than most urban wildlife, but will still find a way into your yard if the opportunity presents itself. Fencing your yard will deter coyotes from wandering seamlessly onto your property. Fallen fruit, bird seed, food waste and compost will attract all types of wildlife, so be sure to keep your yard clean throughout the year. 

When searching for a new den site, coyotes will scope out areas at ground level that provide shelter, warmth, and security. Keeping your property maintained and tidy is essential - ensure decks, porches and sheds are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Being members of the wolf family, coyotes will dig their way beneath these structures to find shelter.

Coyotes are predators, and will feed on small rodents as part of their regular diet. If your home is susceptible to mice and rats, there is a chance coyotes will be more attracted to your property. Proper rodent control is necessary to keep your home safe, and to avoid other wildlife from wandering around your property.

A major reason to keep your property coyote free is to protect all members of your family, including your pets. Homeowners will often allow their pets to roam the backyard at night unattended. Pets do not have the same response to wild animals as human beings do, and they may attack or attempt to play with a wild coyote, putting themselves in harm's way. By following proper yard maintenance, you can easily avoid this type of encounter.

How Can I Coexist With Coyotes?

Sharing our environment with coyotes is as easy as any other wild animal. Urban coyotes are mostly nocturnal, and the average person will never encounter a coyote in the span of their life. It is crucial to never feed coyotes, because over time they will begin to associate humans with food and lose their natural fear which can lead to attacks.

Some cities have attempted to eradicate coyotes in the past, however this method has proved unsuccessful at controlling coyote populations in the long-term. As with all wildlife, when you remove the animal, their habitat remains open for other animals in the vicinity to move in and re-occupy the space. Coyotes can actually be beneficial to a neighbourhood as well, since they will actively control the rodent population by preying on mice and rats as part of their diet.


Coexisting with wildlife is the best option for humans and wildlife alike. Similar to skunks, raccoons and squirrels, coyotes are simply looking to survive, avoid threats, and care for their young as safely as they can. For more information on what to do if you encounter a coyote that appears to be ill or overly aggressive, click here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/preventing-and-managing-conflicts-coyotes.

By: Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control