Preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes
How you can avoid conflicts with coyotes and what to do if you encounter them.
What we do
The ministry does not provide direct wildlife control, including coyote control.
Municipalities are responsible for taking appropriate actions when human-wildlife encounters create ongoing conflict situations on municipal property. Municipalities can also take action on private property with the permission of the landowner. No approval or authorization is required from the ministry in these cases.
Learn more about wild animal control for municipalities.
The ministry provides support to landowners and municipalities dealing with problem coyotes by providing advice and information on:
- how to prevent conflicts with coyotes by making your property uninviting
- what to do if you encounter a coyote
- actions landowners can take to protect their property
- how to find a licensed trapper
- actions municipalities can take to address conflict situations on municipal property
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) provides direction to landowners (or agents acting on their behalf) on removing animals that are damaging or about to damage their property.
Download and print coyote resources:
Coyote-proofing your property
Encounters with coyotes
Protecting your property
Best practices guide: Coyote-human interactions
Prevent encounters with coyotes
How to make your property uninviting
Landowners are responsible for preventing problems with coyotes by limiting attractants and discouraging them from damaging their property.
You may not use poisons or adhesives to kill, capture or injure coyotes, including to protect your property.
How to limit attractants
- Properly store and maintain garbage containers to help prevent coyotes from becoming a problem.
- Keep pet food indoors.
- Put garbage out the morning of a scheduled pickup.
- Use enclosed composting bins rather than exposed piles.
- Pick ripe fruit and seed from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.
- Protect vegetable gardens with heavy-duty garden fences or place vegetable plants in a greenhouse.
Discourage coyotes from entering your property
- Use motion-sensitive lighting and/or motion-activated sprinkler systems to make your property less attractive to coyotes and other nocturnal wildlife.
- Put up a two-metre high fence that extends at least 20 centimetres underground as coyotes may dig under a barrier.
- Install a roller system to the top of your fence so animals can’t gain a foothold.
- Clear away bushes and dense weeds near your home where coyotes may find cover and small animals.
- Close off spaces under porches, decks and sheds. Coyotes use these areas for denning and raising young.
How to prevent conflicts with dogs
While coyotes, by nature, are wary of humans, they are opportunistic feeders and have been known to kill small dogs that have been left unattended.
Small dogs may be seen as prey by coyotes, while larger dogs may be injured in a confrontation.
Coyote diseases and parasites can be a risk to domestic dogs.
Protecting your dog on your property
- Keep dogs inside at night.
- Clean up after your dog — coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
- Spay and neuter your dogs — coyotes are attracted to, and can mate with, domestic dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.
- Keep pet food indoors.
- Do not let your dogs roam from your property.
- Fence your property with a two-metre-high fence that extends at least 20 centimetres underground as coyotes may dig under a barrier.
Protecting your dog off your property
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Carry a flashlight at night to scare off coyotes.
- Do not let your dog chase a coyote as it could result in injury to your dog.
How to protect livestock
- where possible, bring your livestock into barns or sheds at night
- use guard animals, such as donkeys, llamas and dogs
- if livestock has been killed by predators, you may be eligible for compensation through the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program
If you encounter a coyote
If you see a coyote, keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you.
If you encounter an aggressive animal:
- do not turn your back or run
- remain calm - stand tall, wave your hands, and make lots of noise while slowly backing away
If a wild animal poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety — call 911
What you can do if a wild animal is causing damage to personal property
As a landowner, you can prevent or address problem wildlife on your property.
Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and regulations set out the legal actions property owners can take to deal with wildlife that are causing damage to property.
How to find a trapper
To locate a licensed trapper, contact:
Hired hunters or trappers must:
- comply with the conditions of their small game hunting or trapping licence and follow any applicable rules (for example, use of pelts)
- follow any local by-laws (for example, when and where firearms can be used)
If a conflict with a coyote persists
You may wish to contact your municipality to help with the issue. Municipalities can take action to address human-wildlife conflicts on private property with the permission of the landowner.
Read more about wild animal control for municipalities.
You do not need to report sightings of coyotes unless they present an immediate threat to public safety. If a wild animal poses an immediate threat to public safety — call 911.
If you live in Central and Northern Ontario, you must report wolves and coyotes killed in protection of property to your local ministry work centre.
Preventing conflict with related species
Much of the information on this webpage can also be applied to conflicts with other wildlife, especially with foxes and wolves.
Learn more about how you can avoid conflicts with wild animals, from birds to wolves.