Coyotes & Other Wildlife
As Southern California grows, encounters with coyotes are becoming increasingly common. In the past, coyotes would typically be found only in more mountainous or rural areas of the region, but their ability to adapt to new environments and the plentiful food found in urban and suburban Southern California has led to coyote sightings all across the region, including in Artesia.
Coyotes are a valuable member of local ecosystems, helping to control rodent populations. While coyotes naturally are afraid of humans, they can quickly become used to us, leading them to stay in our communities more often. Easy sources of food and water make it easier for them to live in cities like Artesia, and this can lead to problems in our community.
If coyotes become comfortable in urban areas, their behavior changes.
Coyotes may harass or harm pets and livestock, and may cause property damage. While attacks on humans are very rare, especially adapted coyotes may pose risks to small children. For these reasons, it is important for Artesians to be vigilant, and to take steps to deter coyotes and keep them from staying in the community.
Here are some ways you can help keep coyotes wild and deter them from your community:
- Never feed coyotes or provide them with water.
- Don’t leave out food or water dishes for feral cats or other animals, as this may attract coyotes.
- Keep trash inside or out of sight as much as possible, and for containers kept outdoors, put lids on tightly. Periodically clean trash bins to clear out smells that could attract coyotes. Keep compost bins tightly closed, and avoid composting meat, dairy, or egg products.
- Clean areas around bird feeders and pick up fallen fruit from fruit trees, as these will attract both coyotes and their prey.
- Trim around bushes and shrubs and use traps and pesticides to keep rodents away.
- As much as possible, keep pets, especially small animals, inside. Maintain fences that are at least 6 feet high, reaches at least 1-foot underground, and has PVC pipe, barbed wire, or a similar deterrent on top to discourage coyotes from jumping over.
- Consider adding motion-sensing light outside your home.
- Always walk dogs on a leash, and walk dogs when other people are present, especially at night.
- Never leave small children unattended outside, especially between dusk and dawn when coyotes are most active.
If you encounter a coyote, do not turn your back or ignore the coyote. Remain vigilant, and use techniques like these to scare the coyote away. These methods will also help teach coyotes that they are not welcome in the community:
- Make loud noises to scare the coyote. Stomp your feet and wave your arms, and if you can safely do so, throw small rocks or other objects at the coyote to let it know it’s not welcome. Spray the coyote with a hose if available. Escalate these tactics if the coyote follows you or is not scared away.
- If you encounter a coyote while walking your dog, take control of your dog by picking it up and keep your eyes on the coyote. Use hazing tactics as much as possible.
- If a person is attacked, notify the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the state agency that regulates wildlife in California. Notify the Sheriff’s Department if necessary, and if serious injuries are sustained, call 911 immediately.
While the City has no role in handling, regulating, or removing coyotes or any other animals, the City is tracking coyote sightings and encounters and asks residents to report any coyote sighting, encounter, or incident to the City via the online Service Request system (click here). Tracking this information will enable the City to better direct resources from outside agencies and to better educate and serve the community. Sightings and incidents should also be reported to the State Department of Fish and Wildlife at apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir, or by phone at 562-596-3885. Problem animals and incidents should also be reported to Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control at 562-940-6898. In case of emergency, always call 911.
Tell your family, friends, and neighbors about these tips to help keep coyotes out of Artesia. If you want to learn more, below are some further resources:
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife: DFW is responsible for managing wildlife regulations in California. There is more information about dealing with coyotes on their website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/keep-me-wild/coyote. You may report sightings of coyotes or other wildlife to DFW at apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir. To report a coyote attack or if you have any questions, call DFW at 562-342-7100 during business hours, or 888-334-2258 after hours.
- Los Angeles County: The Los Angeles County Departments of Animal Care & Control and Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures offer advice on dealing with coyotes in your neighborhood. View their resources at animalcare.lacounty.gov/living-with-wild-animals and acwm.lacounty.gov/animal-and-plant-pests-resources.
- US Humane Society: The Humane Society offers more detailed information about hazing techniques and managing coyotes. View their information here: www.humanesociety.org/resources/coyotes-people-encounters.
Remember to always call 911 in case of emergency. Thank you for doing your part to keep coyotes wild and to keep Artesia safe!