Prevent Coyotes from Digging Under Fences: A Comprehensive Guide for Property Owners

Ever wondered if your backyard’s sturdy fence is enough to keep coyotes at bay? You’re not alone. Many homeowners are asking, “Do coyotes dig under fences?”

It’s a question that’s sparked much debate, especially as coyote sightings become more common in urban areas. Coyotes are known for their adaptability and cunning, but do they really have the ability to burrow under your fence? We’re here to give you the lowdown on this pressing issue.

Understanding coyote behavior is key to keeping your property and pets safe. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of these wily creatures and see if your fence is truly coyote-proof.

Key Takeaways

  • Coyotes are highly adaptive creatures and are capable of both digging and climbing in diverse environments.
  • Their presence poses significant risks to properties, including damage to fences, threat to pets or livestock, and potential transmission of zoonotic diseases.
  • Signs of coyote intrusion include fresh mounds of dirt near fences, distinct footprints, noticeable wear and tear on fences, and presence of small animal carcasses.
  • Coyote-proofing fences encompasses choosing solid fence materials, implementing high fences with overhangs, regular fence checks, installing ‘coyote rollers’, and burying parts of the fence underground.
  • Understanding coyote behavior and taking preventive measures are key to effectively limit their intrusion in your properties.

To prevent coyotes from digging under fences and entering your property, specific measures can be taken to fortify fences. Colorado Parks & Wildlife suggests installing a predator apron around the fence base as a physical barrier. For additional deterrent methods, Nite Guard offers tips on making properties less inviting to coyotes, including proper fencing. The Iowa State University Extension also provides guidance on constructing effective barriers to protect against wildlife, emphasizing the utility of fences in managing coyote intrusions.

Coyote Behavior and Adaptability

Understanding Coyote Behavior and Adaptability is crucial when exploring their digging capabilities. The more you know about their habits, the better you can fortify your property.

Renowned for their adaptability, coyotes have successfully made their homes not only in rural environments but also in suburbs and even city parks. To survive in these different settings, they’ve perfected various skills – one being their ability to dig.

Coyotes are excellent diggers. They utilize this trait primarily to hunt small burrowing animals and construct dens for their offspring. Consequently, if your property houses potential food sources, such as small pets or unsecured trash cans, it may attract these cunning creatures.

Exploring the adaptability of these animals further, it’s essential to note that while coyotes are primarily nocturnal, they can adjust their behavior based on their environment and human activity. What does this mean for your fence safety? The answer lies not only in understanding their digging habits but also their climbing capabilities.

Indeed, aside from digging, coyotes are also proficient climbers. If they can’t get under a fence, they’re known to find ways over it, especially if they’re motivated by hunger or if they feel threatened.

To summarize:

  • Coyotes possess excellent adaptability skills.
  • They are adept diggers and climbers.
  • They adjust their behavior according to environmental changes.

Protecting your property, therefore, requires a comprehensive approach that considers all aspects of coyote behavior. Stay tuned as we provide more insights into making your space less appealing to coyotes and fortifying your fences to counteract their digging and climbing abilities.

Potential Risks of Coyotes Digging Under Fences

Coyotes’ adaptability and digging prowess can pose significant challenges for property owners. Understanding the risks is your first line of defense.

For starters, the physical integrity of your fences is at risk. Constant digging and scratching by coyotes can lead to weakening of the fence structure. It’s not just about visible damage – the safety of your property is also potentially compromised. Coyotes may come in, destroying your garden or, in some instances, even attacking domestic pets. It’s important to comprehend that coyotes are opportunists. They seize any chance to invade areas that offer food and shelter.

Another alarming reality is the threat to livestock. If you live on a farm or keep animals as pets, coyotes can be a nightmare. They might prey on smaller animals, causing significant losses. As a protective measure, it’s advisable to keep your animals in an enclosed area, particularly at night when coyotes are most active.

The third risk concerns disease transmission. Coyotes can carry rabies and other zoonotic diseases which are a health risk not only to your pets but also to the human population on your property. It’s advisable to maintain regular vaccination schedules for your pets as a precautionary measure.

Multiple risks are associated with coyotes digging under fences. It’s essential to always stay alert and take proactive steps to protect your property and the living beings within it. Stay tuned for more guidance on crafting robust strategies that can help to safeguard your property from the crafty maneuvers of these adaptable creatures.

Signs That Coyotes Are Trying to Dig Under Your Fence

Detecting signs of a coyote’s unwanted intrusion is crucial in preventing potential damage to your property. By recognizing these indicators early on, you can act swiftly and effectively. So, what are these signs that can alert you about a coyote’s attempt to dig under your fence? Let’s dive in.

First off, look out for any fresh mounds of dirt around your fence line. Coyotes are industrious diggers. A pile of new dirt near or up against your fence is usually a solid indication that a coyote’s been at work.

Moreover, notice any new, irregular tracks in the vicinity of your fence. Coyotes’ footprints are distinct, so familiarize yourself with their track shape to identify their presence quickly. Typically, their marks are oval-shaped with two front claws and four toe pads that may or may not show up.

In addition to dirt mounds and tracks, pay attention to any damage or signs of ‘wear and tear’ along the bottom of your fences. Scratches, particularly near the base of the fence, could well suggest a coyote’s attempt to burrow its way into your property.

Lastly, consider the presence of dead chickens, rabbits or other small prey animals around your property. Coyotes are opportunistic by nature and will prey on whatever is available. Finding the carcasses of small animals near your fence could mean that coyotes are in the vicinity, hunting, and potentially attempting to break in.

By keeping an ever-watchful eye on these tell-tale signs, you’ll be better equipped to manage, and more importantly, prevent a coyote’s invasion attempt. We will then proceed to discuss the necessary action steps once you notice these signs.

Tips for Coyote-Proofing Your Fence

Now that you’re aware of the coyote’s digging habits, you’re likely wondering how to coyote-proof your fence. Don’t fret, here are some straightforward tips to safeguard your property.

1. Choose a solid material for the fence: Typically, coyotes can squeeze through gaps and holes in fences, thus a solid fence with closely packed boards is a smart choice. Remember, out of sight equals out of mind for coyotes.

2. Opt for high fences and add overhangs: Coyotes are talented jumpers and climbers too. Experts suggest fences should be at least 6 feet tall with a 15-inch outward-facing overhang to prevent their climbing attempts.

3. Conduct regular fence checks: Regular checks should be a part of your routine, particularly after extreme weather when fences are most likely to have been damaged. Hunt for any signs of wear, tear, or digging attempts at the fence base.

4. Consider installing fence rollers: Popularly known as coyote rollers, these are designed to spin when a coyote tries to scramble over the fence. These rollers make it difficult for coyotes to gain the grip they need to hoist themselves over.

5. Bury a portion of the fence underground: Coyotes are expert diggers, hence extending your fence a minimum of 2 feet underground is an efficient way to counteract their digging attempts. In fact, angling the underground extension outward can further deter coyotes as it becomes more difficult for them to dig under.

As a property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your assets, pets, and livestock from potential threats, such as coyotes. Therefore, learning about their behavior and potential preventive measures is a vital step in managing these opportunistic creatures. Using these practical tips, you’d be on your way to making your yard a less attractive option for coyotes.


So, you’ve learned that coyotes can indeed dig under fences, posing a threat to your property, pets, and livestock. But don’t fret, there’s a lot you can do to coyote-proof your yard. By selecting sturdy materials, opting for high fences with overhangs, and burying a portion of the fence, you make it tougher for these crafty creatures to gain access. Regular fence checks and the installation of fence rollers further enhance your defenses. Remember, understanding coyote behavior and taking preventive measures is key. With these practical tips, your yard won’t be a coyote’s preferred hangout spot. It’s your responsibility to ensure your property is safe and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best material to use for a coyote-proof fence?

The article suggests choosing a solid material for your fence. This might include options like wood or metal. The primary goal is to select a material that coyotes cannot easily break through or climb over.

How high should a coyote-proof fence be?

It’s recommended to have a fence that’s at least six feet high. Including an overhang or a roller, a device which spins when a coyote tries to climb, can also deter coyotes from climbing over the fence.

Why is regular fence checking important?

Conducting regular fence checks is emphasised because it helps to spot any signs of damage or attempted breaches. Early detection of these issues allows for swift repair and prevents coyotes from entering your property.

How does burying a part of the fence help?

Burying a portion of the fence underground assists in preventing coyotes from digging under. The fence should ideally extend at least one foot underground to deter digging.

What is the overall aim of these coyote-proofing tips?

The central aim of these tips is to make your yard less attractive to coyotes. By following these measures, property owners can safeguard their assets, pets, and livestock from coyote threats.