News & Announcements

Little Elm News Flash

Posted on: December 11, 2018

A Word About Wildlife

What To Do

Many of our properties back up to Army Corps land, Lake Lewisville, creeks, or wooded areas. Living close to these areas means more encounters with wildlife, both the cute and the creepy. Recently, many residents in our area were shocked to hear of a violent coyote attack on a jogger just a few miles away in Frisco - a very busy and populated area.

While this incident is definitely not the norm for the usually skittish coyote, it is concerning. As a result, we've put together a few tips on what to do if you encounter a coyote (no, none of them involve a stick of Acme dynamite or an anvil) or other wildlife while you are on one of our trails, in our parks, or just out and about in Town.

Coyotes

Coyote attacks on humans are very rare. Coyotes don't really like humans or want to be around them; they usually turn and quickly run the other way. But, should you encounter a bold coyote, here are a few suggestions on how to handle it:

  • Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote. This is referred to as "hazing.”
  • Never run away from a coyote.
  • If hazing does not work initially, approach them slowly and increase the intensity of your yelling and waving your arms until they do run away.
  • If the coyote moves away from you but stops to look at you again, continue the hazing process until it leaves the area entirely.
  • If you see the coyote again, repeat hazing; it may take 1-2 encounters for the coyote to leave the area entirely.

Read more on how to handle an encounter with a coyote here.

How to keep coyotes away:

  • Don’t store pet food outside.
  • Clean your grill after each use using, or store it in your garage when not in use.
  • Ensure the lids of your trash and recycling cans close securely.
  • Put your trash out the morning of pick-up, rather than the evening before.
  • Keep small pets indoors and accompanying them outside.
  • Do not leave dogs tied up outside, especially small dogs.

Don’t become indifferent; if you see a coyote in your yard or neighborhood ALWAYS haze them away using the tips described above.

Bobcats

Like coyotes, bobcats typically stay away from humans. Bobcat attacks on humans are relatively unheard of, but they can, and will, attack pets if given the chance. Here are a few ways to keep your pets safe at home or when walking:

  • Be sure to use a leash. We recommend one that does not retract.
  • Remove food sources from your yard such as pet food dishes, fallen fruit, and food debris.
  • Clean up brushy areas and wood piles.
  • Do not allow cats to roam free outdoors.
  • Avoid bushy areas or paths near abandoned properties.
  • If you see a bobcat in your yard or area, you can scare it away using the hazing tips mentioned for coyotes.
  • Never encourage or allow your pet to interact or “play” with wildlife.
  • Ensure your fence is in good repair.
  • Do not leave pets unattended outdoors.

Squirrels, Mice, and Rats, and Other Critters

While these animals are kind of cute (not rats, yuck!), they can be incredibly destructive. If these pests get inside your home, they can cause extensive and expensive damage to wiring, insulation and structural components. Their waste can also leave you at risk of serious illness. We suggest that you regularly inspect your property for signs of pests such as:

  • Droppings
  • Urine odors
  • Chew marks or gnawed holes
  • "Rodent runways" or worn paths in which rodents travel back and forth to and from your home.
  • Rodent Nests
  • Scurrying or clawing noises
  • Unusual pet behavior

If you notice evidence of rodents or other pests, call a licensed pest control company for treatment.

You can help keep rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels and pests such as raccoons and possums away from your home by taking a few preventative measures. We recommend that you:

  • Keep pet and bird feed indoors. If you must store pet and bird food outside, keep it in hard metal or plastic containers with lids you can secure tightly. 
  • Remove trash piles, piles of cardboard, wood, or brush piles. (Reminder: these things can be picked up by Bulk Trash pickup service).
  • Keep woodpiles away from the house and at least six inches away from fences.
  • If you have a garden, pick fruits and vegetables as soon as they are ripe and bring inside.
  • Keep your lawn mowed, eliminate weeds, and yard debris.
  • Trim tree branches away from your home.
  • Remove potential water sources for rodents and pests by taking out bird fountains, pet water dishes, and repair plumbing leaks.


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