Coyotes of Irmo

Irmo, South Carolina is home to several wildlife species such as bobcats, foxes, deer, and coyotes. If you are lucky to spot a wild coyote, don’t panic! Coyotes are naturally fearful of people, and it is rare for coyotes to attack a person.

Coyotes are seen more often during this time of year for three reasons:

coyote pups

  1. It’s breeding season. Breeding season for our area is January – March.
  2. Searching for food. It’s easier to eat out of a bowl than to go on a hunt.
  3. Environmental changes. Coyotes are most active beginning at dusk. With the time change and most folks arriving home around dusk, you have a higher likelihood to spot a coyote. Additionally, most leaves have fallen, and coyotes become more visible.

Coyotes are drawn to Irmo and surrounding areas for the following reasons:

  1. Food & Water. The natural food choices for coyotes are rodents such as mice and rats. However, coyotes can be attracted to neighborhoods by human-associated food sources such as pet food and unsecured compost or trash. Urban areas provide a year-round supply of water from stormwater, lakes, irrigation, or pet water. Intentional or unintentional feeding can lead coyotes to associate humans with a food source. This can turn into negative interactions among coyotes, humans, and pets. Tip: Keep trash and compost in containers and don't leave pet food or water outside. 
  2. Unattended pets. Coyotes may consider pets as potential prey or competitors. Free-roaming cats and dogs may attract coyotes into neighborhoods. People who feed pets outside should remember that coyotes will be attracted to both the outdoor pet food and the pets themselves as prey. Tip: Keep small pets on a leash outdoors; remove water/food sources from outside.
  3. Access to shelter. Parks, open spaces, buildings, sheds, decks, crawl spaces, etc. Irmo has a variety of coverings for coyotes, allowing them to safely and easily remain close to people, pets, homes, and businesses. Tip: In the spring when coyotes give birth, they may concentrate their activities around these coverings. Be aware of your surroundings.

The Town of Irmo supports non-lethal methods to keep our community safe and coexist with wildlife.  Education is the key to having residents make appropriate decisions regarding their safety and managing their property and pets. This involves decreasing food attractants, taking precautions with pets, and creating tolerance towards normal coyote behavior.


Humane Society