Coyotes are extremely adaptive species from the dog family. They possess a thick fur coat that regulates the body temperature according to the environment. So, be it Alaska or Mexico, you can find them throughout the North American lands.
They also have a keen sense of smell, vision, and hearing. All of these enable a coyote to thrive in any situation. They are efficient hunters, swift runners, and the most vocal communicators of their specie.
But there is a con to their adaptability – coyotes have learned to co-exist with humans!
This is a huge problem for locals because coyotes are known to be aggressive too. If they start to associate humans with food, they will enter homes, destroy furniture, and even attack. Pets and children are the most likely victims of coyotes.
So, if a coyote has started roaming around your neighborhood, it’s best to know what smell do coyotes hate. Let’s get started!
Does Smell Deterence Work?
Coyotes have a powerful sense of smell. They rely on their nose to detect different types of predators from great distances. If the predator appears to be dangerous, the coyote will leave the area.
Another reason why a coyote will leave is the scent of other coyotes. Since they are territorial animals, coyotes respect each other’s territory and won’t venture without consent. Their sensitive smelling sense helps them maintain these boundaries.
When searching for food, the coyote will again use its nose to sniff the surroundings and identify small prey. It is said that they can even locate their prey under the thick snow blankets. This explains their accurate hunting skills.
So, by now, it must be quite evident that smell is one of the best senses of coyotes. And what can be the most effective way to get rid of coyotes? Smell deterrence!
This is because while there are smells that coyotes are attracted to, there are also smells that they hate. If you use to spread these scents in an area, coyotes will instantly detect them and feel disgusted.
The scents will also mess up their ability to detect things, and so they will run away from your property or even neighborhood. This is called playing smart and not hard!
However, please note that smell deterrence won’t work if you don’t remove the smells coyotes love. If motivated by a smell they like, coyotes will fight the hateful scents and put extra pressure on their senses to continue forward.
What Smells Attract Coyotes?
Coyotes are instinctively drawn to the scent of carrion (dead animals) and blood. If you’ve barbecued and left the uncleaned equipment outdoors, the meat smell will allure coyotes to your property.
Similarly, if you threw away animal carcasses and inedible parts in the garbage bin but didn’t close the lid properly, the coyotes will attack the bin. However, they don’t like going near fresh blood because of large predators.
Coyotes are also attracted to the scent of livestock, pet food, and human food sources like fruits. So, it’s important to always guard your livestock outdoors and clean up any leftover pet/human food.
What Smells Keep Coyotes Away?
Studies show that the brain associates emotions with smells. If we have a bad experience in which a smell is prominent, our brain will link that particular smell with the feelings we experienced at the moment (odor-associated emotional memory).
Canines are no different than this, and so coyotes hate the smell of wolves.
Wolves are natural predators of coyotes in wildlife. When in a one-to-one fight, the wolf will not hesitate to kill and eat a coyote. It’s why coyotes keep track of wolf territories (by smelling) and stay away from these ruthless predators.
So, the best strategy to get rid of coyotes is to spread the smell of wolf urine. You can purchase it in either liquid or pellet form. Most people prefer pellets because they are easy to scatter around the property and last way longer than liquid.
Apart from wolf urine, you can also try the following smells to scare coyotes away:
1. White Vinegar
White vinegar is a clear solution made from water and acetic acid. Although the acid makes up only 4 to 7% of the liquid, it gives off a strong pungent smell that coyotes dislike. So, you can spray white vinegar around your property as a smell deterrent.
But, please note that you will have to spray white vinegar repetitively. If you can’t do that, fill up small buckets with white vinegar and place them in different spots. This can be a little pricey method, especially if it rains frequently at your location.
2. Strong Perfumes
The scent of perfumes is both potent and artificial. This makes them a huge no-no for coyotes, especially when there is a lot of perfume sprayed in the area. Even we don’t like too much perfume!
However, using perfumes to keep coyotes away is an expensive choice. Most perfumes cost between $9 to $50. It can be even higher depending on the formulation and brand.
So, our recommendation would be to use strong perfumes as deterrents in-house only. Grab the cheapest perfume and spray it generously on doors, windows, and trash cans. You can also spray it on a small fence.
Ammonia is a corrosive gas or liquid with many useful industrial applications. It is commonly used in agricultural fertilizers, water purification, and manufacturing of plastics.
Since it’s colorless, most people recognize it with the sharp pungent scent. It smells somewhat like sweat and urine. This makes it very unlikely for coyotes.
If possible, soak medium-sized pieces of cloth in ammonia and put them around the parameter of your house. You can also wrap ammonia-soaked rags on a wooden stick and tie it against the top of the fence.
4. Chili and Peppers
Both chili and peppers have a powerful spicy smell. You can’t sniff a cayenne pepper without gagging at the sharp smell that hits your throat. If it’s powdered form, you will probably die because the spicy powder will go into your nose and eyes!
Luckily, coyotes don’t like these spicy smells either. They react to them the same way we do, and will often run away at a single sniff. Plus, it’s cheaper to buy chillis and peppers in bulk than use white vinegar or perfume.
Here are some ways to use them:
- Spread the powder along the fence or tree line.
- Put the most potent chilis in a pot and brew a spicy broth. If you haven’t done this before, boil 2 quarts of water in a pot. Add chopped jalapeno, chopped onion, and 1 tbsp cayenne pepper. Boil it all for 20 to 25 minutes. Strain the mixture, fill it all in a spray bottle, and use it outdoors.
- Combine distilled water with some Tabasco sauce. Spray it on the fence, corners, or any other entry point used by coyotes.
Please note, spices should not be used inside the house. It can risk the safety of children, pets, and anyone else who doesn’t know that you have sprayed the chili solution.
5. Bear Repellents
Bear repellents are the strongest version of pepper sprays. They contain the chemical compound found in chili peppers – capsaicin. So, when you spray the repellent on the eyes, capsaicin reacts with the eye membrane to irritate.
It can also cause swelling, redness, and a burning sensation. Some may experience sensitivity to light too. But there is no permanent damage.
If there are a lot of coyotes in your area, you can use bear repellents. It’s not important to spray it in the eyes. You can also spray it generously on garbage cans and other outdoor items. Any animal that sniffs/breathes the air around it would experience the same level of irritation.
Other Ways to Deter Coyotes From Your Property
Although smell deterrence is the best method, it will only prevent the entry of coyotes. There’s no guarantee it will get rid of them permanently. So, if you want to strengthen coyote deterrence around your property, take the following measures too:
1. Sound Deterrents
Coyotes are afraid of loud noises. It’s always recommended to whistle, yell, scream, and bang pans when you encounter a coyote (also called hazing).
If you leave the radio on or make some other ambient noise, the coyotes will automatically stay away from your house.
2. Light Deterrents
As nocturnal animals, coyotes don’t like bright lights. It’s why you will find them sneaking into human neighborhoods at night. So, a good way to deter them is to install bright outdoor lights on your property.
3. Water Deterrents
Nobody likes being sprayed with water, and coyotes don’t like it too. If packs of coyotes frequently visit your property, the best thing is to invest in motion-activated water sprinklers.
If you live in North America, knowing what smell coyotes hate can make your life easy and safe. You won’t have to stress about leaving your pets at home or walking alone outside.
To recap, coyotes hate smells that are pungent, sharp, and artificial. This includes wolf urine, perfumes, white vinegar, ammonia, chilis, and bear repellents.
Are there any other smells that you have tried before? Let us know in the comments below!