Animal Wildlife Information

Living With Coyotes in Illinois

For children

  • Coyotes look like pet dogs, but they are wild animals. Do not try to pet or feed a coyote.
  • If you see a coyote you are probably just in the same place that the coyote is looking for food like mice, rabbits and birds.
  • Coyotes usually avoid people, and do not bite except when they are cornered and afraid, or being hand-fed. Coyotes are interesting to watch when they hunt.
  • If a coyote comes toward you, do not run. Yell, stand up straight and wave your arms. You want to make yourself look large and be loud.
  • If the coyote gets closer, throw something like small stones or sticks at the coyote to scare it away. Once the coyote goes away it is important to tell an adult when and where you saw the coyote. Play somewhere else for a week or more.

For adults and homeowners

  • To help protect small children and pets, all possible food for coyotes should be removed from around the homes in your neighborhood.
  • Coyotes are always on the lookout for food. Coyotes are looking for the mice, rabbits, and birds that bird feeders and pet food left outside attracts. If you do not want the coyotes near your home, stop feeding other wildlife and leaving pet food outside. Make sure ripe fruit is picked and garbage is secured in containers.
  • Keep a close eye on small children and pets whenever they are outside and a coyote is in your neighborhood. Consider using a dog run or fence to protect small pets.
  • From a distance, try to scare the coyote away by being loud and throwing something.
  • Coyotes are a permanent fixture in Illinois’ rural, suburban and urban areas. Seeing a coyote(s) cross a field, backyard, golf course, road, etc. does not necessarily constitute a problem or a dangerous situation for humans or domestic animals.

Wheeling Animal Wildlife Guidelines

The Village of Wheeling has an abundance of wildlife, and in most instances, people and wildlife can co-exist. It is not uncommon for raccoons, skunks, coyotes, rabbits, and waterfowl to travel the neighborhoods during nighttime. It is also not uncommon to encounter wildlife in your yard or while you are out walking through the village. Changes in habitat and the different seasons will cause fluctuations in wildlife population and travel.

Guidelines for wildlife encounters:

    •  Please do not feed wildlife

    •  Do not handle orphaned offspring or sick wildlife

    •  Do not try to approach or corner wildlife

    •  Secure all trash in garbage cans with the lid closed tightly

Feeding wild animals will cause them to discontinue foraging, making them dependent on human interaction. Further, human food is not appropriate nutrition for wild animals: it can cause them to become sick and sometimes starve to death. Lastly, wildlife may become unafraid of humans, increasing the risk of inappropriate human and wildlife contact.

Remedies for wildlife control:

    •  Grubs: Removing this food source should deter the presence of feeding wildlife. Try Murphy’s Oil or dish detergent mixed with water in a spray bottle.
       Spray over grub-infested areas.

    •  Ground burrows: Ammonia-soaked rags work well to vacate an unwanted visitor. Soak the rags and toss them in the burrow. Once the animal has
        vacated, pound rebar into the ground by the entrance and fill in the hole to prevent rehabitation.

    •  Raccoons in attics: Keeping a light and radio running for days will do the trick to vacate unwanted wildlife in the attic. Repairs to openings must be
       made to discourage new infestations.

    •  Animals in yard: The Scarecrow is an automatic sensory sprinkler that attaches to a regular garden hose. It detects movement and sends out a blast
       of water, scaring away all wildlife, including feral cats.

Feral cats are wild cats that have been born outside and have had no contact with humans. In Cook County, the law states that if you feed feral cats, you are required to trap, neuter, and return (TNR) them. TNR is a program that spays/neuters and rabies vaccinates feral cats. They are then returned to where they are being fed. Do not feed feral cats unless you are planning to participate and follow the program; otherwise the cats can become a public nuisance. For referrals to organizations that remove wildlife, or for more information on TNR, please contact Community Development at 847-459-2620.

Please click on the links below to see the Illinois Department of Natural Resource information on:


     Red Fox  


     Striped Skunk    

     Tree Squirrels