City of Round Rock Animal Control officers have been responding to reports of coyotes in the area – not uncommon this time of year – especially near the Round Rock West neighborhood.
We have contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services to assist with the problem, and they have trapped one coyote near the neighborhood. They will continue their efforts.
Coyotes are attracted to areas where they can access food. According to Wildlife Services, coyotes are “true scavengers,” and will “eat just about anything.”
“Identified as a killer of sheep, poultry, and deer, the coyote will also eat snakes and foxes, doughnuts and sandwiches, rodents and rabbits, fruits and vegetables, birds, frogs, grass and grasshoppers, pet cats and cat food, pet dogs and dog food, carrion, and just plain garbage,” according to the USDA.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the chance of human-coyote conflicts:
- Do not feed coyotes!
- Eliminate sources of water, particularly in dry climates.
Bird feeders should be positioned so that coyotes cannot get feed. Coyotes are attracted by bread, table scraps, and even seed. They may also be attracted by the birds and rodents that come to feeders.
- Do not discard edible garbage where coyotes can get to it.
- Secure garbage containers and eliminate garbage odors.
- Feed pets indoors whenever possible. Pick up any leftovers if feeding outdoors. Store pet and livestock feed where it is inaccessible to wildlife.
- Trim and clean, near ground level, any shrubbery that provides hiding cover for coyotes or prey.
- Fencing your yard could deter coyotes. The fence should be at least 6 feet high with the bottom extending at least 6 inches below ground level for best results.
- Don’t leave small children unattended outside if coyotes have been frequenting the area.
- Don’t allow pets to run free. Keep them safely confined and provide secure nighttime housing for them. Walk your dog on a leash and accompany your pet outside, especially at night. Provide secure shelters for poultry, rabbits, and other vulnerable animals.
- Discourage coyotes from frequenting your area. If you start seeing coyotes around your home or property, chase them away by shouting, making loud noises, or throwing rocks.
To learn more, USDA Wildlife Services has created this Factsheet on Coyotes in Towns and Suburbs.