How to live alongside urban coyotes in Hillsborough County
Did you know coyotes are an important part of the landscape in Florida? According to Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC), they help maintain healthy ecosystems by managing populations of rodents, insects, and other small animals. Did you also know that they are very intelligent and adaptable? Their adaptability is why more are being spotted throughout the United States, including in Hillsborough County, in both rural and urban areas.
Due to increased sightings in the Tampa Bay area, Hillsborough County Pet Resource Centerteamed up with FWC to provide information on how to co-exist with coyotes and curb problems before they become a community issue.
- Keep trash cans secure and put them where coyotes can’t get into them
- Clean up pet food and fallen fruit around your house
- Protect pets by keeping them in a yard with a fence at least 6 feet high
- Walk dogs on a short leash
- Close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds to remove places for them to rest/raise pups
- Haze coyotes continuously if they are near to scare them off. Learn how to haze here
- Share tips with neighbors
- Feed coyotes – it is illegal, and they will lose their fear of humans
- Run if you see a coyote. Instead, stand your ground and haze them
- Allow pets to roam freely
- Walk pets during early morning or evening hours (dusk and dawn) when coyotes are usually the most active
Be aware of unusual coyote behavior. Unusual behavior could include a coyote that has lost its fear of humans and is approaching people, chasing joggers and bikers, or attacking leashed pets. To report unusual coyote activity, call the FWC at (863) 648-3200.