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What noise scares a coyote?

Coyotes are wild animals that can often be found living in close proximity to human neighborhoods. While coyotes tend to avoid confrontations with humans, they can pose a risk to small pets that are left unattended. Understanding what noises and deterrents work best to scare away coyotes can help homeowners keep their families and pets safe.

Using Loud Noises to Scare Coyotes

Coyotes have extremely sensitive hearing, so loud noises are often effective in scaring them away. Here are some of the top noise deterrents that homeowners can use against coyotes:

  • Firecrackers – The loud popping of firecrackers is an alarming sound that will frighten coyotes away. Firecrackers can be set off near areas where coyotes have been spotted.
  • Whistles – High-pitched whistles mimicking the sound of prey animals in distress create an upsetting noise for coyotes. coyote whistles can be purchased or made at home.
  • Sirens – Recording the sound of a police siren or ambulance siren and playing it loudly whenever coyotes are in the area trains them to associate the noise with danger.
  • Pots and pans – Banging pots and pans together creates a sudden clanging noise that scares coyotes when they wander onto a property.
  • Air horns – Blaring an air horn loudly in the direction of a coyote creates a burst of alarming noise that will quickly send it running.
  • Motion-activated alarms – Strategically placing motion-activated alarms that trigger loud noises can effectively startle coyotes away whenever they enter a yard.

The key with using noises to deter coyotes is to vary the sounds so the coyotes don’t get used to them. Switching up which deterrents are used and their location works best to continually startle coyotes and reiterate that yards and properties are unsafe areas for them.

Using Visual Deterrents

Along with loud noises, visual deterrents can also scare away coyotes by creating alarming sights and vibrations:

  • Sprinklers – Motion-activated sprinklers that suddenly spray water when coyotes come near create an unpleasant surprise.
  • LED lights – Flashing LED lights installed along fences or in yards create disturbing effects.
  • Reflective tape – Reflective tape placed on fences becaome disorienting when coyotes enter a yard.
  • Scarecrows – Life-sized scarecrows placed strategically in yards look ominous and frightening.
  • Flags – Brightly colored flags hanging down can wave and flap ominously in the wind.

Using a combination of visual deterrents along with noisemakers can enhance the scary effect. Strategically placing them near known coyote entry points helps reinforce the perimeter.

Using Smells to Repel Coyotes

Coyotes have an excellent sense of smell, so strong odors can be effective repellents. Here are some potential smells that may scare away coyotes when applied around a yard:

  • Ammonia – The strong odor of ammonia is unpleasant for coyotes.
  • Mothballs – The chemical smell of mothballs makes an effective coyote repellent.
  • Citrus smells – Coyotes dislike citrus scents like oranges, lemons, and limes.
  • Peppermint oil – The potent minty smell of peppermint oil deters coyotes.
  • Vinegar – The acidic scent of vinegar can irritate coyote sniffers.
  • Cayenne pepper – Dusting ground cayenne pepper near dens and entry points produces a spicy scent.

Test different odors in problem areas to determine which scent seems most effective against local coyotes. Reapply the smells frequently, especially after rain or irrigation.

Sounds That Deter Coyotes

Certain sounds can also frighten and repel coyotes when played through speakers or noise-making devices:

  • Predator calls – Recordings of wolf howls and other coyote predators create an impression of danger.
  • Ultrasonic devices – High-frequency ultrasonic sounds are uncomfortable for coyotes to hear.
  • Coyote distress calls – Mimicking injured coyote pup sounds signals danger is nearby.
  • Loud music – Playing loud or annoying music whenever coyotes are active can train them to avoid the area.

Making device choices based on sound options that allow switching between different noises makes it easier to find and use sounds that work best for deterring local coyotes.

Using Physical Scare Tactics

Physical scare tactics can also be employed to frighten coyotes away by making them wary of entering yards:

  • Shooting bb guns – Safe target practice with bb guns when coyotes are in sight helps reinforce danger.
  • Throwing objects – Lobbing rocks, sticks, balls, and other projectiles toward coyotes scares them away.
  • Water hoses – A strong spray from a hose or sprinkler shows coyotes they are unwanted.
  • Making yourself look big – Raising arms overhead, standing tall, and yelling firmly often intimidates coyotes.
  • Noisemaker cans – Putting coins or pebbles in empty cans tied to fences create noise when coyotes pass by them.

The more ways homeowners demonstrate that their yard is an unpleasant and frightening place for coyotes, the less likely the coyotes are to feel comfortable there. Varying physical scare tactics helps keep coyotes guessing.

When Coyotes May Be More Aggressive

While making yards seem threatening is usually effective, there are certain situations when coyotes may be more resistant to deterrents and noise:

  • Breeding season – Coyotes seek mates more boldly from January to March.
  • Pups to provide for – Hungry coyote parents will take more risks from April to August.
  • Habituated coyotes – Those accustomed to humans may not flee noise.
  • Daytime vs nighttime – Nocturnal coyotes are generally more wary at night.
  • Pack mentality – Groups of coyotes may be emboldened to not retreat.

Extra scare tactics and vigilance may be required during these times when coyotes are more motivated to ignore harassment and enter properties. Persistence is key until they move on.

Types of Noises Coyotes Dislike

Understanding the types of sounds that coyotes find upsetting can help homeowners choose effective noise deterrents. Here are the main categories of noises that trigger fear and avoidance in coyotes:

  • Sudden, jarring sounds – Banging pots, fireworks, sirens, and whistles create alarming auditory bursts.
  • High-pitched sounds – Squeals, whistles, ultrasonic devices, and distressed prey sounds contain uncomfortable high frequencies.
  • Variable sounds – Changing sequences of sounds from motion-activated noisemakers are harder to habituate to.
  • Predator sounds – Howls, growls, and calls from coyote predators like wolves and cougars signal peril.

Testing out which specific disruptive noises seem most effective and frightening against local coyotes can help customize an optimal deterrent plan.

Noises That Don’t Work on Coyotes

While many sounds frighten coyotes, there are certain sounds that are ineffective deterrents:

  • Soothing sounds – Music, chimes, running water, and wind bells can attract coyotes instead of repelling them.
  • Constant noise – Habituated coyotes tune out regular sounds like traffic, machinery, or conversations.
  • Recorded howls – Coyote howls are primarily used for communication, not scaring each other away.
  • Ultrasonic repellents – Many devices sold are weak, so true ultrasonic tones don’t emit.
  • Dog barking – Familiar neighborhood dog barks are ignored by coyotes as non-threatening.

It’s important not to rely solely on noises that are ineffective at frightening coyotes. Using a diversity of deterrent sounds that are jolting, alarming, and stressful for coyotes is key.

Scary Noises Summary

In summary, a wide range of noises can be employed to successfully scare coyotes away from human residences. Sudden bangs, high-pitched whistles, distress calls from other coyotes, and loud music are examples of sounds that create an upsetting environment for coyotes. Homeowners should experiment with different noise-making deterrents to find a variety that works optimally for discouraging local coyotes.

Persistence is necessary, as coyotes may test limits and occasionally revisit areas. But maintaining consistent harassment with scary sounds and sights trains these intelligent animals to avoid yards and populated spaces. With proper diligence, coyotes can be frightened away for good through noise and deterrents tailored to their dislike and fear.


Coyotes are wary animals that will generally retreat from human habitats if given sufficient motivation to do so. Loud noises are an effective way to startle coyotes and create an impression that a yard or property is an unpleasant and dangerous place for them. Homeowners can successfully repel coyotes by using a variety of deterrent sounds and mixing up their choices to prevent habituation. Persistence with scare tactics tailored to coyote sensitivities will convince them to avoid the area and reduce risk for families and pets.