Living with Urban Wildlife

Many residents of Lake Forest experience occasional visits from local wildlife. This is a part of our choice to live near open spaces of nature. But late night forages in trash cans, messes left behind, and the occasional “setting up camp” in or around property can make our furry neighbors a bit of a nuisance.

OC Animal Care offers the following tips to help discourage wildlife activity in your neighborhood.
  • Keep pet food indoors and do not leave food of any kind outside at night. Food left out at night will be taken as a welcome invitation by wildlife, and may prompt future visits.
  • Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.
  • Remove any fruit which has fallen to the ground.
  • Store trash in covered, heavy-duty containers.
  • Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds, and enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
  • Eliminate garbage, debris, lumber piles, etc.
  • Check fencing and try to eliminate access points to roof tops.
  • Change automatic sprinkler settings regularly.
By minimizing food, water, and shelter in your yard, you can help alleviate wildlife encounters and property losses. For more information, contact OC Animal Care or visit the OC Pet Information website.

Coyote Information 


Orange County residents experience occasional visits from wildlife, especially those that reside in areas next to protected parks and wilderness trails. During spring time, these visits may become more frequent as this is the breeding season for many wild animals, including coyotes.

The City of Lake Forest offers some helpful tips to discourage wildlife activity in their neighborhoods. 

  • Keep pet food indoors and do not leave food of any kind outside at night. Food left out at night will be taken as a welcome invitation by wildlife, and may prompt a future visit. 
  • Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult. 
  • Remove any fruit which has fallen to the ground. 
  • tore trash in covered, heavy-duty containers. 
  • Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds, and enclose the bottoms of porches and decks. 
  • Eliminate garbage, debris, lumber piles, etc. 
  • Check fencing and try to eliminate access points to roof tops. 

Coyotes are naturally timid animals and will usually flee at the sight of a human. If they linger or approach, it’s time to begin “hazing.” This is a term applied to the following actions that can be taken to scare coyotes and chase them away:

  • Be as loud as possible and make noise (e.g. whistle, blow a horn). Do not run or turn your back. 
  • Wave your arms, clap your hands, and shout in an authoritative voice. 
  • Throw small stones, sticks, tennis balls, or small objects. The intent is to scare, not injure. 
  • Spray with a hose, if available, or a squirt gun filled with water. 

Taking preventative measures should help deter wildlife from visiting your property. Any incident (e.g. sighting, encounter, or conflict) with a coyote should be immediately reported by calling (888) 334-2258. In an emergency, contact 911. Residents can also sign up for Coyote Cacher, a University of California Cooperative Extension alert system and research initiative designed to report sightings of coyotes and collect information on coyote conflicts in California.