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Coyotes are plagues of farms, backyards, and even suburban neighborhoods.

It seems like they always find a way onto your property no matter how many restrictions you have in place.

Some people try fences, while others try motion activated lights deterrents.

But, what really works against coyotes? How to keep coyotes off of your property?

Will lights keep coyotes away?

Let’s find out!

Will lights keep coyotes away?

While coyotes are naturally afraid of humans, as they get more comfortable with the situation, they seem to find some bravery.

Coyotes may be naturally afraid of your home at first, but what happens after they get used to you?

Eventually, they will think it’s ok to sneak gradually closer and closer.

So, how do you let them know that they are not welcome at your home?

Some people think that turning on a light will spook a coyote.

Are coyotes scared of existing lights?

The answer is slightly more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Coyotes are afraid of things that seem unnatural to them.

As they get more comfortable with your home and yard, they will learn what is normal and what is not.

If you install an outdoor light that automatically turns on after sunset, coyotes will learn that this light is always operational.

After they learn that it is constant, they will no longer be afraid of it.

Coyotes naturally avoid light, so they may stick to the shadows, but such a light will not keep them away from your home if you’re thinking long-term.

Are coyotes afraid of newly installed lights?

However, if you do not have an outdoor light, coyotes will be shocked by the presence of a light immediately after you install the fixture.

They will be afraid of the new development on your property and may stay away for a few days or weeks.

So, from this perspective, outdoor lights do scare coyotes, if only temporarily.

However, after some time, they will realize that this is the new normal. The newly installed light will become just another part of your property.

Once they become accustomed to the light, they will not be afraid any longer.

Keep in mind that the new light may illuminate different parts of your property than were visible before.

Thoughtfully install lights so that your pets remain protected!

Are coyotes afraid of motion sensor lights?

What about lights that are not turned on all the time? Motion sensor lights are a good way to keep coyotes on their feet.

Unlike lights that operate on a timer, motion sensor lights are triggered by movement.

When a coyote gets too close to your property and trips the sensor, a flood of light bursts onto the scene.

Wouldn’t you be scared if you were snooping somewhere you should not be and suddenly found yourself in the middle of a spotlight?

Coyotes are afraid of stark spotlights, too!

Motion sensor lights are much more effective at spooking coyotes than are constant lights.

However, the downside is that a coyote has to come close enough to trip the light.

In most cases, you want the coyote to stay far away from your property.

To combat this issue, think about the best location to place the lights.

It’s usually a good idea to install multiple motion sensor lights. 

You can put them at various points throughout your property for effective coverage.

Try to place the lights at spots on the outside edges of your property.

(If you live in a populated area, please be considerate of your neighbors.)

Make sure that the motion sensors are unobstructed. Direct them toward clear pathways facing outwards from your area.

If possible, move the lights periodically.

As we discussed, coyotes eventually learn what ‘normal’ is for a homestead. 

If you leave the motion sensor lights installed in the same location for a long period of time, coyotes will learn that this is standard.

They are even crafty enough to determine the range of the sensor.

If given the opportunity, coyotes will actually learn to evade the sensor and find a different way into the area.

So, be sure to move the motion sensor lights periodically.

If possible, choose lights that also come with a sound feature.

Coyotes are afraid of loud or unfamiliar noises, and this will spook them!

How to use lights to keep coyotes away

While it may seem like the lights themselves are responsible for keeping coyotes away, that is not the case!

In many cases, lights serve as a signal to you, the landowner, that something is awry.

Lights give you greater visibility and allow you to keep a better eye on your property.

Coyotes can see much better in the dark than humans can. So, lights help even the playing field.

While you cannot watch over your land every minute of the day, lights allow you to have better vision at night.

If you hear something outside while you are asleep, you can quickly look out the window and assess the situation if a light illuminates the area.

Similarly, a motion activated light alerts you activity.

If you put the light in a location where you know that animals should not be, you can quickly identify the invader as soon as you see the light flash.

Of course, this is not a fool-proof method for keeping away coyotes.

Any animal can trip the light. You are more likely to see rabbits, skunks, raccoons, deer, squirrels, and many other outdoor animals than you are to see a coyote.

So, lights can help you defend against coyotes, but they are not a definite cure for the problem.

If you have an issue with coyotes, it’s important to contact an industry professional to discuss the best way to address the problem.

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com