By Kat Yares, Garden Guides Contributor
Coyotes, once primarily a problem in rural areas, have begun to be challenge in urban areas also. While not considered a true pest of the garden, their chase of rabbits, rodents and other small game can cause damage to growing vegetables, flowers or young fruit trees.
The coyote, also known as the prairie wolf, is a mammal of the Canivora family and ranges all across North America. Many coyotes have lost their fear of humans and, as they are opportunists, will seek out garbage or small pets if their hunger is great enough. During the late autumn and early winter, they will feed on any fruit or vegetables not harvested from the garden.
Prevention and Control
Fencing is the best control for keeping coyotes out of the garden area. Rabbit or chicken wire attached to the bottom of woven wire will keep the rodents and other small mammals out of the garden. Coyotes rarely disturb areas where there the possibility of food isn't evident.
The primary damage coyote's cause to the garden is the breakage of plants and young trees.
Other Methods of Control
Large guard dogs are useful for keeping coyotes away from gardens and other outside pets. If the coyote problem is severe, contact the state's local game and fish division to discover options for dealing with the coyote.