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How to get rid of foxes

Information, facts and resources to help you deal with an infestation of foxes and, if the worst happens, how to destroy the foxes and prevent this household pests return.

Urban Foxes

What does an Urban Fox look like?


Urban Fox

Fox Description

  • A fully grown fox is slightly larger than a male cat.
  • A mature fox weighs about 6kgs and is about 60cms long excluding the bushy tail.
  • All foxes have pointed faces, red brown fur with long black hairs, a white throat and chest, and black legs.

Where do Urban Foxes live?

  • Due to suburban development of their natural habitats, foxes are born and raised in built up areas, and would struggle to survive in open country.
  • Foxes dens, called earths, have one entrance and one exit (bolt hole), and these are to be found under garden sheds, in dense undergrowth, or in banks of earth.

What are the signs of an Urban Fox infestation?

  • Sightings of foxes.
  • Foxes screeching and crying at night.
  • Rubbish sacks torn open by foxes during the night and refuse scattered around the home and garden by foxes.

What do Urban Foxes eat?

  • Urban foxes are carnivores and will eat garden pets, chickens and rabbits.
  • Urban foxes are scavengers and will eat from rubbish bins and refuse sacks.

Why must Urban Foxes be controlled?

  • Damage To buildings. Foxes will make an earth under a house if they can gain access through an airbrick, or by any other means.
  • Damage Within gardens. Although fouling and urinating is the main method of marking the foxes territory, this should not cause a great problem in our gardens, as foxes only shed a few drops of urine at a time.
  • Urban Foxes will however, tunnel under sheds or among shrubs, making large piles of earth or sand.
  • Occasionally foxes will, at certain times of the year (mainly autumn), dig shallow holes in the lawn when they hunt for earthworms or grubs.

How can I get rid of Urban Foxes?

  • Proofing. To protect chickens, rabbits and other domestic pets from fox attack, or prevent fox access to a garden, a wire barrier of at least 2 metres high with a 30cm overhang should be erected and buried into the ground to a depth of 30cms.
  • Cages and runs for animals should be constructed of galvanised mesh rather than chicken wire, which foxes are knwon to be able to tear open or worry a hole through.
  • Repellents. Chemical repellents, approved for use against foxes, are often the most effective way of keeping foxes away from your property.
  • These products contain pungent chemicals which, although not harmful to animals, will make treated areas less attractive to foxes.
  • Anti-fox products of this nature can be purchased at most garden centres.

How can I prevent Urban Foxes from returning?

  • Remove food sources. Keep all domestic waste in refuse bins or closed containers - if the foxes can't get at the food they will search elsewhere and leave your property alone.
  • Protect all animals and livestock; Well grounded wire fences and enclosures may be needed to deter foxes.
  • Only put refuse out on the morning of collection, thus leaving it available outside for the minimum amount of time to deter the fox's opportunistic feeding habits.
  • Do not leave food out for other animals e.g. cats, dogs, rabbits - foxes will find it!
  • Be careful where you put food to feed birds, this should be in proper bird feed containers, and therefore inaccessible to foxes.

Fox Poisons and Fox Pesticides

  • Repellents. Chemical repellents, approved for use against foxes, are often the most effective way of keeping them away from your property.
  • When using chemicals and pesticides always follow the instructions on the label.

The "Green Option" - Environmentally friendly control of Urban Foxes

  • Deterrents. Other methods of keeping foxes at bay are ultra sonic devices and automatic water jet adapters, which connect to hose pipes.
  • Prevention: Cleanliness, good hygeine in the garden and around the house will restrict the availability of opportunistic food sources for urban foxes.

Urban Foxes : Household Pests

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