WHEATON, Ill. – The highly adaptable coyote continues to flourish in the western suburbs within populated areas, mostly because of the interesting menu available in the form of dog and cat food, or easy-to-open garbage cans.
Coyotes can survive on whatever food is available, from rodents to rubbish, from insects to fruit to carrion. They can be a threat to family pets. Although no attacks have been reported within the City of Wheaton, in isolated but tragic cases elsewhere, coyotes have attacked small children.
Essentially unimpeded by control measures, abundant food has encouraged coyotes to become accustomed to the sight and sounds of humans. Consequently, coyote populations and range have expanded in recent years in the western suburbs.
While coyotes are valuable in decreasing the rodent population, their presence in populated areas can be minimized.
DO feed pets indoors or promptly remove dishes when pets complete their meal outside. Store bags of pet food indoors.
DO clear brush and dense weeds from around property. This deprives rodents of shelter and reduces protective cover for coyotes.
DO use trash barrels equipped with tight clamping devices on the lids, which will prevent spills should they be tipped over by large animals.
DO try to educate your friends and neighbors about the problems associated with feeding coyotes. If you belong to a homeowner’s association or neighborhood watch, bring up the subject during one of the meetings.
DON’T feed or provide water for coyotes or other wildlife. This practice abnormally attracts coyotes and promotes increased numbers of rodents, birds, snakes, and other creatures that can provide major portions of the coyote’s natural diet.
TO PROTECT PETS
Keep small pets (cats, rabbits, small dogs) indoors. Don’t allow them to run free at any time. They are easy, favored prey. Some coyotes hunt cats in residential areas.
Large dogs should be brought inside after dark and never allowed to run loose.
DON’T leave domestic pet food outside. Wildlife will soon depend upon it.