Low western fences at sunrise.
 
Fences.  Mountain lion face in the shadow of a chain link fence.

Scaring Mountain Lions Away

Lion running from human construction.

Water, sound, and light can provide non-lethal methods for habituating wildlife to stay far from your home or farm.

Mountain lions depend on surprise to catch their prey, and, like most wild animals, they avoid dangers that they don't understand. Installing motion or timer-activated outdoor lighting, sirens, or jets of water around your home and domestic animal enclosures may help keep predators away.

Remember that it is as important to scare away the lion's potential wildlife prey as it is to scare away the lion.


Photograph of government electronic guard used to provide deterrance in large pastures.

Timed Alarms

Researchers have developed several devices designed to frighten or deter large carnivores from attacking livestock, though these are generally effective when livestock are confined in small pastures.

One such frightening device is the Electronic Guard, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which consists of a blinking strobe light and warbling type siren that activates for 710 seconds every 67 minutes at night.

While we are not aware of any studies examining the efficacy of frightening devices such as the Electric Guard with mountain lions, their effectiveness has been documented with coyotes and wolves.




Scarecrow model sprinkler head.

Motion Alarms

Another device that keeps some predators and other animal intruders away is the "Scarecrow." With a motion detected blast of cold water this device is a humane and effective method of deterring animals from your yard. It is hooked up to a normal garden hose and mounted in the ground. When the motion detector senses movement, the Scarecrow sprays a 3-4 second burst of water, and then resets itself. The spray head can be adjusted from 10- 360 to cover a small or large area and has a 35 ft range for flexibility in placement. The Scarecrow is simple to use, safe and inexpensive, but not yet proven to scare off mountain lions.

While frightening devices may produce only variable and short-lived benefits if maintained in the same location, altering their placement, varying the frequency of sound and light bursts, and utilizing a mixture of devices can retard continued habituation by carnivores.


Creativity

If you've developed effective frightening devices to deter predators from your property, please let us know at Mountain Lion Foundation.

For example, one ingenious man named Larry posted an idea on the BackYard Chickens forum about the method he discovered to protect his chicken coop:

"Several years ago we had a serious problem with skunks, fox, and coyotes raiding the coops at night. We did pretty well by making sure that the coops were in good repair and we also used all the heavy duty fencing available to us. But still there were times when a latch was left open or a determined animal made it's way into the coop. Luckily that did not happen often - but once can be devastating."

Photo of halloween lights used to protect chicken coop.

"One day while at a yard sale I saw a box of what looked like Halloween lights. A string of about 12 lights on a 14 ft. electrical cord. Each light had a plastic cover that looked like evil eyes. Pretty cool. I asked if I could plug them in to see if they worked and sure enough they were perfect. Each light had a blinker and they would come on and off independently. Each light was a different style and all of them spooky. And they're water proof."


"I removed all but 4 of the lights from the string and installed one pair of eyes on each side of one coop. I placed the lights down at ground level. I also plugged them into a day/night sensor to automatically activate every night at sundown."

"We have not had one incident of snoopy predators since."

Have You Invented a Solution?

If you've developed effective frightening devices to deter predators from your property, please let us know at Mountain Lion Foundation.