Coyote sightings are common in communities throughout Southern California - including La Palma. During spring time, these sightings may become more frequent as this is the breeding season for many wild animals. While some residents understand that wildlife is being pushed from their natural habitat and take pleasure in these visits, many consider them a nuisance.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), during the warm summer months, particularly from March through August, coyotes are very active. They are raising their young and searching for food. The CDFW indicates that coyotes are highly adaptable and often live in close proximity to populated areas where food and water sources are abundant. They usually fear humans and avoid interactions, however, if they associate humans with food, they lose their natural fear and can become bold.
What You Can Do
According to SEAACA, here are some steps you can take to make your property unattractive to coyotes and other wild animals:
- Keep small pets inside particularly at dawn and dusk when coyotes are most active.
- Do not feed any wildlife including squirrels and songbirds.
- Do not leave food and water for domestic pets outside.
- Install motion sensitive lighting around the house especially in areas where you might have fruit trees or animals residing outside.
- Trim ground level shrubbery to reduce hiding or nesting places.
- Put trash in tightly closed containers that cannot tip over.
- Double check fencing to insure it is secure.
Taking these preventive measures should help in deterring wildlife from visiting your property. Without the lure of food, water, and shelter their visits will be brief and rare.
SEACCA - Coyotes
California Department of Fish and Wildlife: Keep Me Wild: Coyote; Coyote Brochure; Coyote Poster
Human Society - Preventing Coyote Conflicts