WACO, Texas – With the weather getting colder you may see fewer bugs, but this time of year is notorious for another kind of pest.

You may be seeing more coyotes running around. If you do, you’re not alone.

“We’re seeing more coyotes simply because the plants are losing their leaves, and plants are going more dormant. They’re fairly active throughout the spring and throughout the summer and throughout the fall, but we’re seeing them a little more,” says Sam Kieschnick, an Urban Wild Life Biologist.

In other words, they are always there. You just don’t notice them.

“One of the things I hope people realize is that coyotes live with us. They are here. They are among us,” Kieschnick says.

There may be some other reason you are seeing more coyotes around.

“One of the words I like to use for coyotes is an opportunist. For coyotes, whenever an opportunity arises, it will utilize that opportunity. For instance, if a trash can is on its side and there are some chicken bones left in the trashcan, the coyote will take that opportunity and get a little lunch out of it,” Kieschnick says.

Another thing coyotes may be attracted to? Your pet’s food.

“The coyotes will use this as an opportunity and eat the cat food or the dog food that’s left out,” Kieschnick says.

“Keep your cats inside at all times, because if they’re outside running around, they’re likely to become prey for coyotes. With small dogs and medium-sized dogs, go outside with them. Have them on a leash and go outside with them,” says Kristin Dodson, a Veterinarian at the Hewitt Veterinary Hospital.

If a coyote becomes a problem on your property, making a lot of noise and leaving lights on can keep the canine away.

“In my opinion, it’s okay they live here with us. They’re doing good services for us. They’re eating the rats and eating the mice. They’re eating some of the pests around us, and that’s a good thing,” Kieschnick says.