Javelina (also known as peccaries) are small, 4-legged animals native to several areas in the Southwest. In Arizona, they’re as abundant as the rocky hillsides they roam. New residential developments closer to their habitats have changed interactions with these animals over the past several years. It isn’t completely uncommon to see packs of javelinas in Phoenix residential neighborhoods or on downtown streets.

Although they prefer to roam at night, drought conditions have altered their habits. While javelinas are generally just a nuisance, they can be a threat to your pets. They have been known to attack dogs in an attempt to protect themselves and their young. Many can easily be scared away with a loud, abrupt noise should they walk onto your property. However, most people have a more difficult time scaring them away, particularly if they are not on the scene when the javelina approaches their property.

Javelina only needs food, water, and a comfortable place to loiter and roam.

Steps To Keep Javelina Away From Your Home

Begin by establishing habits that help to keep areas outside your home clean. For example, if you have pets and you normally leave food dishes outside, consider storing them inside. Pets don’t always eat all their food at once and any remnants can easily become the food of a javelina. This is also true of standing water in pet dishes. Any containers with standing water should be emptied regularly, especially during drought conditions. Another habit would be to keep bird feeders free from excessive bird seed. Next, pick up fruit that falls from any trees. Lastly, store all garbage cans and bins in areas where they can be secured tightly at all times. Javelina is capable of knocking these down so they can rummage through them. Do not let any litter such as empty fast food bags, pizza boxes, or drink containers sit on the property grounds.

After you have established habits to keep your home property clean, focus on your landscaping. Make a conscious effort to plant greenery that Javelina does not prefer to eat. Any plants that bear fruit or nuts should be avoided. Prickly pears are their favorite. If you start living in a home with plants that javelina like to eat that are already part of its landscape, remove and/or replace them if you can. If you are unable to remove any plants that javelina likes to eat, some residents have had success in using coffee grounds, garlic water, and/or red pepper flakes around these plants. Consider using hanging plant baskets if you insist on having greenery and flowers near your home.

Research javelina so you can understand them, especially the patterns of those closest to your home. Controlling nuisances from these wild animals is a community effort. They should never be fed. Do not let children attempt to play with them; they are not like pets. Do not immediately attack one. They will resume roaming to more natural areas if you keep your home from being an inviting environment.

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