Efficacy of Ropel as a Coyote Repellent

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Human-Wildlife Interactions





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We examined the repellency of a commercially available animal repellent to determine the efficacy of its application to objects that are attractive to coyotes (Canis latrans). Specifically, we aimed to both prevent chewing behavior by coyotes on a nylon-like strapping material, which is used to construct barrier-arresting systems on military airstrips, and determine the ability of the solution to prevent the animals from repeating the undesired behavior. We mixed Ropel® Animal and Rodent Repellent with a liquid latex sticker to form a 2% latex and 98% Ropel solution. We used a 2% latex and 98% water solution as a control. The solutions were applied to test material placed in coyote pens. We exposed 12 mated pairs of coyotes to the Ropel and control in a 2-choice test and recorded behavior toward the materials using camera traps. Photographs and the condition of the material were used to determine when, and if, individual coyotes approached, made contact with, tasted, repeatedly tasted, or destroyed the material. There was no difference between the number of treatment and control materials tasted, but significantly more control materials were repeatedly tasted than treatment materials. However, there was no difference between the number of treatment and control materials destroyed. While results suggest that there are some repellent properties in the Ropel solution after initial tasting, we do not recommend this product be relied upon as a coyote-specific repellent.