SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Coyotes have been the talk of Sullivan's Island. Neighbors are posting sightings on the internet.
The Sullivan's Island Police Department is warning residents to take precautions after a number of reports regarding coyotes on the island.
Trappers say this is the time of the year coyote cubs are roaming, looking for new territory to claim.
"They don't like the smell of humans, it scares them. You can take deodorant sticks and you can rub them around the trees, around your house and trash can," said Brad Hilfrink, owner of Creature Catchers.
Hilfrink and his son are professional trappers and critter proof homes for a living. They have dealt with many coyotes.
"There are actually a lot of them in Mount Pleasant. They're scattered in different areas," said Hilfrink.
He says neighbors should secure their trash cans. Making sure the lid is tight and the bags are sealed is a good way to help keep them away.
There were garbage cans on several streets with trash in them, but no bags. That could be bad news.
"Pet food, a lot of people feed their animals outside. That is bringing animals into your backyard which brings coyotes into your back yard," said Hilfrink.
The animals sometimes swim over from Mount Pleasant to surrounding islands.
Hilfrink said, "All those animals on the Island swim back and forth. You got deer, raccoons, coyotes, possums. They all make the trek back and forth though the marsh."
A Sullivan's Island woman posted on town message board that she saw a coyote on the boardwalk near Station 18. Hilfrink doesn't think they'll stick around Sullivan's for very long.
"Coyotes like to move a lot, so when they're in smaller areas they bounce around a lot," said Hilfrink.
They like to hide in the shadows, but are seen at day and night.
"You'll know when you see a coyote," said Hilfrink.
They don't normally approach humans, but pets are a different story.
Another neighbor, who also posted online, worries that her cat may have been killed by a roaming coyote.
"Cats and dogs, especially small dogs are definitely on their menu, but we're not," said Hilfrink.
He went on to say coyotes serve an important role in the environment, by keeping the rodent population down.
Town officials have contacted the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for guidance on the issue.