Protecting your Vegetable Garden from Coyotes: A Comprehensive Guide for Neighborhoods
Coyotes have been spotted in the suburbs, prompting many people to consider how best to protect their gardens. While coyotes are known for eating small mammals like rodents and baby animals such as deer, they can also be attracted to vegetable gardens. To prevent them from accessing a garden, it is important to understand what they may be drawn to and how to create an effective barrier.
There is no need to worry about vegetables being at risk if humans and pets are not outside after dark. Coyotes typically avoid people but due to population pressure, environmental damage, and more people moving into remote areas, some of these dynamics are changing. To mark territory with human scent, outdoor stores sell scent-based deterrents or fencing, including electric fencing, can help keep them away. However, it might be beneficial to find a solution as a neighborhood rather than individuals since keeping them out of one yard won't do much good if they're still comfortable in yards adjacent to yours.
Watermelons are particularly attractive to coyotes and they can gnaw holes big enough to get liquid from them within a few hours if left undisturbed. They may also take bites out of green tomatoes. Composting any kind of meat food scraps or leaving bones in the yard will attract coyotes too. Cats or small dogs that stay outside should be monitored carefully as they are most at risk.
It is possible to see coyotes even in urban settings as they adapt well to different environments. In some parts of the country where they are native there are probably more coyotes than in other places where they are considered invaders. If you live in an area with few trees and plenty of coyotes, squirrels will likely be rare while raccoons may leave nothing behind when eating something from your garden. To deter coyote activity, things with human scent can be used and fences can be installed around the property. Ultimately, it is important for neighborhoods to work together on solutions so that all gardens remain safe from predators such as coyotes.
What is the concern for Lisa's garden?
Coyotes, and their inter-hybrids with wolves, seem to be increasingly common in many areas and a serious concern for livestock and outdoor pets. If Lisa and her animals are not out after dark, the vegetables should be fine.
Do coyotes bother gardens?
Coyotes will tote off watermelons but if you're not growing any, don't worry about it. They may do a number on rodents in the area, but it won't be long before someone's pet gets snatched if they are indeed moving in to the area. Composting any kind of meat food scraps or leaving bones in the yard can attract coyotes.
What is a barrier that makes sense in the suburbs?
Things with human scent can help mark your territory. Or you can buy scent-based deterrents at outdoor stores. Fencing might help, especially electric fencing. It does little good to keep them out of your yard if they're still going to be comfortable in yards adjacent to yours.
Do coyotes go after watermelon for the liquid?
Coyotes seem to really enjoy watermelon. The can gnaw holes in all of them big enough to have liquid in them in a few hours if undisturbed. My personal belief is that they do it just to make me angry. But I may just get really self-centered when I'm mad. :-)