Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services, LLC
Telephone: (804) 457-2883
COYOTE TRAPPING AND REMOVAL
Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services offers predator control to farmers and land
owners throughout Virginia by trapping and removing problem coyotes.
It is important to understand that effective predator control is a year-round process - it is not the
type of wildlife problem that can resolved with spot-treatment. To be truly effective it requires a
comprehensive plan covering all twelve months of the year. Virginia Professional Wildlife
Removal Services does not use, or recommend, poisons or M-44 cyanide guns for predator
control in Virginia. While effective, we believe they are far too dangerous to domestic pets and
non-target animals that are found so commonly in Virginia.
At Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services we are constantly seeking to advance our
education so that we may serve you better.
Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services routinely provides predator control to Central
and Eastern Virginia - including Albemarle, Goochland, Louisa, Fluvanna, Powhatan, Henrico and
Hanover Counties, as well as the cities of Charlottesville and Richmond, and the towns of Mineral,
Gordonsville, Earlysville, and Keswick. We can also travel to other areas of Virginia. Call Virginia
Professional Wildlife Removal Services today and let us address your predator control needs.
Description of Damage
Coyotes can cause damage to a variety of resources, including livestock, poultry, and crops such
as watermelons. They sometimes prey on pets and are a threat to public health and safety when
they frequent airport runways and residential areas, and act as carriers of rabies. Usually, the
primary concern regarding coyotes is predation on livestock, mainly sheep and lambs.
Since coyotes frequently scavenge on livestock carcasses, the mere presence of coyote tracks or
droppings near a carcass is not sufficient evidence that predation has taken place. Other evidence
around the site and on the carcass must be carefully examined to aid in determining the cause of
death. Signs of a struggle may be evident. These may include scrapes or drag marks on the
ground, broken vegetation, or blood in various places around the site. The quantity of sheep or calf
remains left after a kill vary widely depending on how recently the kill was made, the size of the
animal killed, the weather, and the number and species of predators that fed on the animal.
One key in determining whether a sheep or calf was killed by a predator is the presence or absence
of subcutaneous (just under the skin) hemorrhage at the point of attack. Bites to a dead animal will
not produce hemorrhage, but bites to a live animal will. If enough of the sheep carcass remains,
carefully skin out the neck and head to observe tooth punctures and hemorrhage around the
punctures. Talon punctures from large birds of prey will also cause hemorrhage, but the location
of these is usually at the top of the head, neck, or back. This procedure becomes less indicative of
predation as the age of the carcass increases or if the remains are scanty or scattered.
Coyotes, foxes, mountain lions, and bobcats usually feed on a carcass at the flanks or behind the
ribs and first consume the liver, heart, lungs, and other viscera. Mountain lions often cover a
carcass with debris after feeding on it. Bears generally prefer meat to viscera and often eat first the
udder from lactating ewes. Eagles skin out carcasses on larger animals and leave much of the
skeleton intact. With smaller animals such as lambs, eagles may bite off and swallow the ribs.
Feathers and “whitewash” (droppings) are usually present where an eagle has fed.
Coyotes may kill more than one animal in a single episode, but often will only feed on one of the
animals. Coyotes typically attack sheep at the throat, but young or inexperienced coyotes may
attack any part of the body. Coyotes usually kill calves by eating into the anus or abdominal area.
Dogs generally do not kill sheep or calves for food and are relatively indiscriminate in how and
where they attack. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to differentiate between dog and coyote kills
without also looking at other sign, such as size of tracks and spacing and size of canine tooth
punctures. Coyote tracks tend to be more oval-shaped and compact than those of common dogs.
Nail marks are less prominent and the tracks tend to follow a straight line more closely than those of
dogs. The average coyote’s stride at a trot is 16 to 18 inches (41 to 46 cm), which is typically
longer than that of a dog of similar size and weight. Generally, dogs attack and rip the flanks, hind
quarters, and head, and may chew ears. The sheep are sometimes still alive but
may be severely wounded.
Accurately determining whether or not predation occurred and, if so, by what species, requires a
considerable amount of knowledge and experience. Evidence must be gathered, pieced together,
and then evaluated in light of the predators that are in the area, the time of day, the season of the
year, and numerous other factors. Sometimes even experts are unable to confirm the cause of
death, and it may be necessary to rely on circumstantial information. (Source: www.ICWDM.org)
Coyotes are susceptible to many of the same ailments as domestic dogs.
Distemper - is one of the more common and serious diseases. Distemper is a contagious,
incurable, often fatal, multisystemic viral disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and
central nervous systems. It is possible for humans to contract an asymptomatic (subclinical) CDV
infection. Anyone who’s been immunized against measles (a related virus) is protected against
CDV as well.
Mange - Another common coyote disease, Mange is caused by a small mite which burrows into the
skin, causing an irritation. This disease is extremely contagious, affecting as much as 70% of the
coyote population. Mange mites can infect humans, but the symptoms are usually mild, consisting
of a rash near the infected area.
Heartworm - infection is a fairly common disease caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of
the lungs and heart of coyotes. In rare instances humans have also contracted this serious and
potentially fatal disease.
Rabies - is an acute, fatal encephalomyelitis caused by neurotropic viruses. It is almost always
transmitted by an animal bite that innoculates the virus into wounds. Any coyote bite or scratch
should receive prompt local treatment by thorough cleansing of the wound with copious amounts of
soap and water; this local treatment will significantly reduce the risk of rabies. Anyone who may
have been exposed to rabies should be advised to always contact local health authorities
immediately for advice about postexposure prophylaxis and should also contact their personal
physician as soon as possible.
Copyright 2009-2012 Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services, LLC.
Kents Store, Virginia 23084 (Goochland County)
Telephone: (804) 457-2883
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