How to Keep Javelinas Away from Your Yard
Excerpt from Valley 101: The Great Big Book of Life, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published September 7, 2001.)
Q: We have a herd of javelinas that have decided to come down to a common area in our neighborhood directly behind our house and use it for a latrine. If you’ve never smelled javelina poop, it’s something else. Is there anything that will repel these creatures? I tried mothballs already.
A: Thank you for sharing your thoughts about javelina poop. I really wasn’t hungry for lunch anyway.
I consulted on this one with Joe Yarchin, an urban wildlife specialist with the state Game and Fish Department. He knows all about stuff like this, although as far as I know he doesn’t know who stole my bedspread off the clothesline the other day. This really honks me off. I bet it was javelinas.
Anyway, Yarchin said your best bet is a fence. You don’t need to put up a great big block fence. Try driving some wrought-iron stakes deep into the ground and maybe reinforcing them with chicken wire.
You need to make sure there isn’t anyone in the neighborhood putting food out for the javelinas because they think they’re cute animals. I don’t know why anyone would think they’re cute, but some people do.
Some repellants based on red pepper might work short-term and you could try scattering around some rags that have been soaked in ammonia. It can’t smell any worse than the javelinas. Yarchin said he doesn’t like using mothballs because it just means that many more chemicals leaching into the soil.
Yarchin also said you should try to discourage them from getting comfortable. You could try spraying them with a hose, but I think they might actually like that. You can also run at them and wave your arms and shout. It’s not like they’re going to eat you or anything.
He also suggested making a shake can by sealing some pennies or small pebbles in a can and then winging it at the javelinas. It won’t really hurt them, but it might scare them off. Let me know if you do
that because it sort of sounds like fun.
While javelinas can be a smelly nuisance, they are truly one-of-a-kind. Check out some interesting facts about these odd animals.
I think your friend, Joe Yarchin, should be in another business. Suggesting to throw things at wildlife, put down potentially dangerous and harmful (red pepper, amonia-soaked rags) things that will definitely hurt other wildlife? Way to go, Joe! Javelina will leave when they get bored. Leave them alone. Weren’t they here first anyway? Yes, they have been in my yard and pooped, just pick it up and throw it away, what is the big deal? And yes, I am one of those who think they are cute, but let’s be respectful of our wildlife, not try to injure them because we don’t want to be bothered. Maybe that is why I would never be hired to be in charge of wildlife…I don’t want to hurt them.
^^^You must be one of those stay at home ladies with nothing else better to than pick up poop. Try getting a real job then come home to clean up after them. By the way, red pepper is harmless to animals, it just repels them. That is what I use to repel them. Works like a charm!
I’m curious about the red pepper. Where do you put it? In the garden or in the yard before they get to the garden? Also, crushed red pepper or what king? The javelinas are eating my ruellia. Thanks!
Eww. Why have a garden at all if you have such a negative attitude toward wildlife. Oh, I know, it’s so the neighbors will see it.
This is an old post, but wtf Sil?! Most people have full time REAL jobs…including “stay at home ladies” and have no problem picking up after all kinds of animals…and people for that matter. You must be one of those ignorant lazy sexist mental giants. You are losing at life.
They are cute. I agree. Unfortunately they my watermelon the other night and my Swiss chard this morning. Ahem. I’m thinking SPEAR at this point. Any better suggestions, because I love life.
I agree with you Holly. Unless the javelina are destructive or you are in danger of being attacked (usually only when there are babies) why would you care if they are in your yard. I think they are adorable and have many pictures of them on my FB page. My house is not fenced in so wildlife can enjoy my space as well. As are as picking up poop Sil, I just leave it and the rains will wash it away. They were here way before any of us were.
Go you! So right! The only thing you can do is put up a fence. You can’t really take nature out of nature. After-all, we are all a part of it and it was here long before us! Also, don’t run at them. A javelina mom with babies will not always back down.
No, the Javelina was not here first. We pioneers. were here first. My grandparents came here in the 1800s and my parents were both born in the territory. Javelinas are not natives of northern nor central Arizona. They were brought in by some misguided Federal program. There are plenty of Javelinas in Mexico. If you approve of them, there is where you will find your haven.
You are so right the pigs which they are were imported to here Arizona . They are destructive and a general pain in the butt. The best thing most effective cure is a water blaster (orbit. Rain bird ) on a motion detector I made one powerful it gives them a bath they don’t hurry back for. Yet does not hurt them for the goofy bunch who think they are cute and don’t mind cleaning up there rooting and rap in our yards. For those of you with under a half acre fence it
You, obviously don’t have a Javelina problem. That’s good. Forget that they excrete foul smelling by products. They also destroy outside plants, gardens etc; and it doesn’t matter if they eat it or not they will do it for spite! We have several expensive pots knocked over and broken. They don’t care. We will put up a fence solution, in the meantime these are minimal solutions at best.
What happens when they are costing you hundreds in landscaping repairs and eating food you planted? Wait til the whole yard and garden are destroyed. Then they’ll leave, great advise.
I think your statement is off the mark. No one suggested tackling the Javelina with chloroform in the style of a mobster movie. You put the stuff your yard and the scent chases them off. No one is throwing rocks at their heads. You take the can and you throw it in their direction – the key is the handful of pennies, screws, or beans in it, because the noise scares them. My only issue with his suggestion is the ammonia makes the raccoons, skunks, and strays mark my yard more. If I could attract some foxes and coyotes to mark my yard, I would be set. The Javelina do not get bored and wander off as much as they destroy all they can and then wander off looking for more. While I don’t have much in the means of vegetation in my yard, they ate my tulips and many of my other bulbs. I like cultivating bulb flowers and it can be pricey and challenging due to planting times for these plants. They will destroy a garden like teenagers with free booze and no supervision can tear up a house on a weekend, and they also like to scratch themselves on stairs, porch beams, and piers, which could potentially cause more damage than scaring them with a can of pennies or sprinkling red pepper powder all over when it’s dry.
I’m going to try the red pepper in my garden but has anyone heard of using Irish Spring soap to repel marauding pests? We have javalinas, raccoons, squirrels, deer, elk, skunk, rabbits and God knows what else in our neighborhood! Any other suggestions that won’t pollute?
Oh gees…. not more of that liberal crap!
“Wern’t they here first.”
They are very dangerous. They killed little dog, gored him to death. Notso cute watching him bleed to death.
.357 Mag with hammer head bullets . Budda Bing!
You win the prize!
Have you ever had them knock over your garbage? Uh it sucks because then you have to pick it up so if you want to say they are cute then go for it but once they actually do something to your yard besides poop your opinion will change.
Holly, your comment,’ ” Weren’t They Here First”! You’ve attributed peoples problems to the culture and attitude of Waters & Pelosi!
If you haven’t got any solutions, then your part and parcel of Americas problems! If intelligence can be derived by solutions then why open the Venus Fly Trap? It only breeds ignorance just like violence across this Nation!
Oh hell just shoot them! Nothing but a rat scourge
Shotgun, 44 mag whatever just kill them
A friend yelled at some Javelinas- they attacked her
try planting something, next morning its uprooted and laying on the ground, you’ll change your mind, but for you maybe not you’ll probably think it was cute way to go Holly
What would you do if they continued to urinate all over the side of your house? Would you think that’s ok? I don’t mind picking up poop, but this is too much.
I agree with Holly, and what supports her thoughts is, If Javalina are eating your plants, you have basically invited them to dinner. So don’t complain. Perhaps next time choose a none inviting plant or don’t plant anything.
Shooting works best. Javalina are rodents and carry disease. They are destructive and dangerous to livestock, pets, and people. If you put out anything to attract them you are an idiot and your neighbors should be allowed to tar and feather you.
Definately the most foolproof method. You should have a large clip unless you’re a great shot.
Javelina are not rodents. I mean, seriously? Have you looked at a javelina? Have you looked at a rodent? Where is any similarity? They are closest related to the pig. Please share what diseases they carry. Shooting javelina is illegal (especially within city limits) unless you have a permit and they are in season. They are animals, just like me and you. They are only doing what comes naturally to them. Of course people shouldn’t feed them, that’s just dumb. They can be dangerous, which is why they deserve a little respect.
They are worse than a nuisance. We can not keep them from destroying our trash, and my two neighbor’s trash, let alone flowers, cacti, and vegatation. Even after anchoring my trash cans to the wall, they pound them until they break down. Amonia doesn’t work. Last night, in one of their feeding frenzies (I’ve had 15 or more) fighting viciously, blood is all over my drive way and yard. I will have to build a wall around my trash cans. btw two folks in Fountain Hills were attached and injured this year. They were walking dogs on the street when the Javalinas attacked from a wash.
The Park advice was weak. I have hit them with rocks, pounded on the cement with poles, yelled, etc. They just wait till you go inside. It makes me want to shoot!
I here you!
“They are animals, just like me and you.”???
Excuse Me!… Humans ARE NOT animals.
But, you go right ahead and believe that your great great great uncle was a chimpanzee, if you want to believe the fairytale of evilution.
Wow! Your a genius!
A genius indeed!!! My issue with the “cute little buggers who ‘were here before us'” is that they are literally costing me thousands of dollars. They have torn up the skirting around my house, broken drain & water pipes under my house & have me sleep deprived from all of the racket they make while tearing up my skirting @ 3am. My solution is to put masonry where my skirting was. I wish my problem was trash strewn about & a mangled garden.
Gee, I have a heart, a liver, a digestive system, etc. , but no, I guess to you those are not traits that I share with animals, myself being an animal too.
They are hoofed mammals, not rodents.
I just caught a mom and 3 babies digging in my trash. It’s apparently common in my neighborhood. I yelled at them , chased them away , and picked up the trash. First thing tomorrow morning, I’m buying a BB gun to shoot them in the butt if they come near my yard again. They are very destructive, and if they were here first, then they should find something to eat in the bushes they crawled out of. How did they survive before? Not by knocking over trash cans. Disgusting!
the big deal is they leave javelina poop all over our pathway. my husband has to pick it up everyday. they use our fountain and pathway for a latrine. just shoot them is against the law. and spearing them is out of the question I don’t have a spear. we bought a bb gun
You aren’t living in a mobile home park right in the middle of Chandler AZ. HUMANS ARE UNPROTECTED SPECIES HERE.
Javelina, bobcats, coyotes and a couple dozen other animals are subject to state hunting regulations including licensing, seasons and permissible areas. In short, “You can’t just go around shooting critters,” said Bill Andres, spokesperson for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
They are not rodents. Although they are distantly related to pigs, they are even in a different family than pigs. They are in the same family as the Central and South American peccaries (Family: Tayassuidae). Pigs are in the family Suidae. Rodents (Rodentia) are more closely related to primates than they are to the group (Artiodactyla) that includes both pigs and peccaries.
Joe is full of javalina poop and should try a job at Walmart. Scaring them away is very temporary. Once they get used to an area they’ll return often. We have a herd that has been getting in the yard. A few small stakes & chicken wire fencing is no more a deterant than a wash cloth. The alpha male can make minemeat out of your family pet. While they do scare easily, if cornered can pose quite a risk. A medium sized javelina can knock a man down woith little effort. Thowing a can of pennies at them is stupid. They’ll eat darn near anything. They’ve ravaged our grape vines & other plants & flowers and will even dig through the compost pit. A solid fence of livestock wire & posts is probably best and perhaps the least you should do..
With the drought conditions, they are looking for water and stuff to eat. Dont feed them, Dont bother them. And when they poop in your yard throw it away or compost it. A low electric fence does just fine to keep them out. Sadly alot of people feed Coyotes, and javelina which makes them unafraid. Leave them alone and enjoy them when you see them.
They took our jobs!
ROFLMFAOOOOOOOO…. oh whew… that was hysterical!
Javalina are peccarys and they are not pigs. They are also not cute! They also carry RABIES! I would never run or yell at one unless there is a strong fence between us! My dog chased one and it attacked, cost $280 at the vets ten years ago to get stitched back up!
They will eat your entire garden down to the ground, they tear up and pull up what they don’t eat. They are nasty animals. I would much rather have real wild boars. At least those are tasty!
Javelinas are digging craters in my front yard! Last year they chewed off 4 metal raingutter downspouts. Our Homeowners Assn forbids fences in the front yard. After spending so much money on landscaping, my front yard now looks like an open pit mine!
Javelinas are not cute; they are destructive. If I owned a gun, I would shoot them even if it’s illegal because Game and Fish and no other government service can do anything about javelinas who do their destruction in the middle of the night.
The other suggestions are ridiculous—are you supposed to stay up all night in the chance that they will attack your property and then what? They charge at YOU? If I didn’t live in an HOA I would shoot the critters. There are plenty more to go around here in the desert. Maybe it will be a deterrent if the head honcho javelina doesn’t return to his pack; the others just might get the message.
We also live in an HOA and cannot fence our front yard. We have planted plants that they don’t like and it helps. They still come up on our front porch though, I have only Vinca and Mums in pots there but they still come and push things around. Leaving the front porch light on at night helps and Mt. Lion crystalized pee sprinkled onto plants helps. The other night II chased after them by banging pots together. As to them being here 1st..wrongo..they migrated up here from So America. Humans were here much before Javelinas.
Being here first has nothing to do with the problem. I have tried everything except the pepper, including mountain lion urine, to no avail. In fact, the javelinas ate the foam pieces which were to contain the urine. I do not care that the javelinas smell, are ugly and deposit their droppings all over the place. I do care that they are more destructive that a road grader. Any USEFUL suggestion appreciated.
Javelinas are disgusting filthy dumb creatures. Anyone who finds them cute should go see a head doctor. Humans need a habitat too. If you use the argument they were here first, wheres your empathy for native american indian?
I too would love to have them gone forever from our yard and what’s left of my plants. I will try the hot pepper and ammonia, with hopes to getting them gone.
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A couple of years ago someone sent me Sees candy, which the UPS guys left by my front door. Of course all that was left was a mess, and since then ANY package left by my front door gets demolished by these disgusting creatures. They regularly dig up my sprinkler lines, poop all over my front door mat (what a welcome for my guests!) Drag their ugly, muddy (they’ve created a bog behind the tree in my front yard with my dug up sprinkler lines) across the front of my newly painted house. Have bitten my dog, and are simply put, unacceptable neighbors. I just sprinkled cayenne pepper in the bog and around my front door. Hopefully this will be unpleasant enough to make them look for another place to vandelize! I think I will also put pans of amonia by the front door and see if this helps….I will post again if it does.
I have seen a group of them, approx. 12-15 early morning just down the street in nice neighborhood, they were not afraid of me, nor did they acknowledge me when I flashed my bright car lights on them to try and scare them away. ( I couldn’t blow my horn as it was way too early)
They had a large trash can on wheels on the ground and they had everything in it on the ground as well. a large piece of the big plastic can was missing.
I have seen them in Oct. eating pumpkins that people left out. They love pumpkins, so be careful of that. we woke up to our neighbors pumpkins and decorative gourds all over the middle of the street.
Just wondering if there are any plants I could plant in front that they might leave alone. Civono Nursery said they won’t eat Vinca vines. Anyone know of anything else?
The only thing I have success with is Euphorbias, such as ‘sticks of fire’, African milk bush, gopher purge, and pungent leaved plants soch as sage, salvia, rosemary, lavender.
They root around the agaves and aloes, although they don’t like the tops of these plants, only the roots. They don’t bother with my yucca 0r lantana.
I just had a javelina ruin my aloe, placed right in front of my front door, with NOTHING else they are trying to eat near the house. Prickly pear always grows on acreage and lots in neighborhood. SO surprised they came to door…anyway, what to do with mangled stalks it left behind??
Comon people, all you have to do is get a shotgun, load it with 00 buckshot and blast the living shut out of them , one time all it takes. They will not come back but if they do blast away.
I would love to shoot them, however there are too many people around & it would be just my luck that the cops would come a kockin at my door. I was sorely tempted to use the hollow points in my .38 late night though lol.
The creatures are soo cute and should be left alone or perhaps if they are hungry feed them scraps.. we all need to eat. peace love joy and happines
If you feed them, they will NEVER go away. Then, if you forget or decide you don’t want to anymore, they will tear up your property lloking for their expected meal. Please, out of courtesy for your neighbors, never intentionally feed them.
I’m going to try cayanne pepper sprinkled around my plants. The sonic pest repellers I’ve put out don’t seem to have any effect on the Javalinas around her. I just planted Peony roots, and I’m looking forward to them blooming–hope the J’s don’t get’em first.
To keep them out of garbage cans, but Doggy Dare straps on Amazon,, buy a spray bottle and spray the cans inside and out with mix of ammonia and cayenne.
Well this has definitely been odd. I was looking for info about WHY Javelinas are digging around a Palo Verde. But wow! Maybe you should all move to a place without Javelina. Hopefully, some of you already have. What an education! Thanks, it’s been hilarious!!!!
My wife uses a wrist rocket and gravel…..once they get plunked a coupla times they don’t come around as often, but the slingshot is already at the ready!!! Seen as many as 20 when we first moved to Clarkdale…now only see a few , but they are very dangerous and will hurt and maim if you come to close. As far as being “native” tha is BS…read a little….peccary from south America for the most part.
There is this stuff called Shake-away, it’s Coyote Urine Granules. You can get it at Ace Hardware, or Google it. The Javelina’s don’t like coyotes, in fact they are scared of them.
Hahaha, tell that the the pack at my house. Literally just watched the coyotes walk past them.
Trash knocked over multiple nights, they just got into the recycling about an hour ago, they don’t run when my 4 pitbulls are charging at the fence, ate all the bird seed after destroying the bin, pulled the bird feeder off the tree, tore up the entire yard and flower garden, turned over all the brick border, and destroyed some patio furniture.
BAD idea, running at them, threatening them.
Dang this conversation went far lol. Well I have some javalina that keep going under my mobile home. I don’t have a back yard fence so they have open access to my house and I have that crappy plastic skirting around the bottom of my mobile home. They basically just push through it and go under my house. I do plan on fencing in the backyard but is there a scarecrow or scent I can put by where they’re getting in to help keep them from coming in?
The convo sure did! lmao! Well after much destruction, trash tossing parties, and attacking my boss in a gory attack landing him in the hospital; I’m going to try ammonia soaked rags as Game and Fish suggested and see what happens.
Coyote urine granules.
Have read all these messages and no one has mentioned using a hi-powered pellet gun to kill the dirty, little bastards. They’re not cute, not resident to AZ and certainly pests of the worst kind. Also, I think it best to shoot them in the belly which will cause them to run off and drop dead somewhere else. An attractive poison would be good, as well, but I don’t know what that might be. I read that anti-freeze smells good to animals and they’ll drink it.
how long do the rags soaked in ammonia last. how often do you have to do this?? we have waterfall that we have stopped running because animals come and poop in it. there has not been water in it for 6 months. this waterfall in ian enclosed yard. no clue! we have moth balls, lights, sirens and whatever it is continues to poop.
Some facts for those planning drastic measures.
In Pima County, feeding wildlife carries a fine of up to $300. Killing or injuring a javelina is a second-degree misdemeanor with a fine of up to $750 and four months in jail.
Great to know! Thanks for sharing this info.
Most people will pick up after their Pooch, and quite frankly I prefer Javalina Poop than the San Francisco bunch ….
Perhaps those advocates for shooting them should read the Game and Fish Rules about what you can and can’t do to Javalina…
1. Its illegal, they fall under the game / Hunting regulations and you face a Felony charge if caught..
2. You are not allowed to trap or fence javalina.
3. Poison / Spears/Shooting /maiming/ or other methods of restricting and killing is illegal !!