This article is a continuation of a pest profile on coyotes. Read the first part here.
Do They Carry Disease?
Rabies is a real threat among coyote populations as they are large enough to survive a rabid animal’s attack or may hunt an infected animal. Coyotes with rabies do not show any of the species’ normal shyness: they can seem fearless and even aggressive. This doesn’t mean that fearless or aggressive coyotes all have rabies; in fact, most of these more dangerous coyotes are either desperate or have become accustomed to contact with humans. (If your neighbors are feeding coyotes on purpose or accidentally by feeding their pets outdoors, be sure to let them know that they are removing the coyotes’ fear.)
If a coyote acts fearlessly or aggressively towards you or your pets, your best bet is to try to frighten it away. Make yourself as large as possible, yell loudly, throw things, and look the coyote in the eye. All of these are seen as threatening, and can help you and your pet escape unscathed. Never run away or turn your back to a coyote as these can be seen as invitations for attack. Watch the coyote carefully as you walk backwards, away from it. If, despite these tips, you or your pet end up being bitten, seek medical help immediately to avoid a potential deadly reaction to rabies.
Outside of removing food sources (including your pets!) from easy access, there is only so much that can be done about coyotes remaining in an area. If they’re still finding prey nearby without your help, the only real option is to hire a professional wildlife removal team. These experts have dealt with coyote problems before, and they understand where to set traps and how to handle any coyotes they catch. DO NOT try to deal with the coyote problem yourself as any trapped coyote will try to bite you! Please leave this one to the professionals. In addition to the hazards of trapping, most states require that captured coyotes be euthanized to prevent them from causing harm when relocated. Your professional wildlife removal team will be able to handle this requirement efficiently and humanely.
Just remember that even the professionals can’t stop new coyotes from coming in to your area; after they’ve trapped the existing coyotes, all they can do is give your neighborhood further suggestions for making the area less appealing to coyotes in the future. If your neighborhood can’t manage to stay unappealing to coyotes, they will more than likely return.