Coyotes are here! They were here before Phoenix became a city, and in some areas it seems like they're taking it back.
For example, in Encanto Park, they're running wild, especially on the public Encanto Golf Course.
A 5-year-old girl was bitten by one at a Scottsdale park last week, and they pose a particular risk to small house pets.
So how can you make sure they leave your yard and family alone?
1. Be big, be LOUD
This one's simple -- if you shout at the coyote and make yourself appear bigger, waving your arms. According to the Humane Society of the United States, you should keep going toward the coyote until it totally flees the area. That'll make it less likely to return to your home in the future. Throwing sticks or small rocks at them can also be effective in scaring them off.
2. Don't give them food (even on accident)
You could be giving coyotes a reason to hang around your home without even knowing it. Whether it's produce from your garden or food inside your trash, coyotes will take what they can get. Be sure to bring in your pet's food and water bowls after you feed them outside, too. Don't give the coyotes any reason to come by.
3. All of the lights
Coyotes are often active at night, and bright lights can scare them off. Sure, the lights can be a nuisance, but if you use a motion sensor, you can avoid using so much electricity.
4. Check your fences
Coyotes are resourceful animals -- they'll find a way to get to what they want. If you really want them to stay out, your fence should extend at least a foot below the ground (they're diggers), and be at least 6 feet tall. You'll want to put something on the top of it, too, to keep them from getting on top, whether that's a PVC pipe that'll keep them from getting solid footing or barbed wire.
5. Repel them
You have some options when it comes to coyote repellent. Some companies make specific products, but you can also use a squirt gun or a garden hose to get them to go away. Vinegar water may be more effective than regular tap water.