Foxes and other wildlife are moving around the Municipality.
How To Deter Foxes From Your Garden: Tips and Tricks
There are plenty of fox deterrents you can use in your garden to keep any unwanted visitors at bay. Here are five of the best fox deterrent methods:
1. Mark Your Territory
Scent marking (usually with urine) is one of the number one ways foxes know which areas are free to claim as territory and which patches already belong to someone. You might try using human hair clippings to leave “human smell” around your garden. Alternatively, there are chemical fox deterrents available on the market that you can spray around your lawn and flower beds and which mimic the scent markers that foxes use to mark territory. These are especially useful if a fox has been fouling your flowerbeds in an attempt to claim them!
2. Tidy Up
If you’re wondering how to keep foxes out of your garden, an important thing to keep in mind is that one of the things any wild animal looks out for in its territory is places to hide – so the more overgrown your garden is, the more inviting it is to foxes. Trim back your lawn, pull up any weeds and clear away any garden waste sitting around.
3. Check Your Bins
Foxes are known scavengers, restrict their access to things to scavenge! Keep your rubbish in tightly sealed bags and make sure that any rubbish that goes out for collection is in a closed bin. Make sure you put your rubbish out for collection regularly, so that you don’t have any overflowing outdoor bins on your property.
4. Feed Pets Indoors
Cat or dog food is equally delicious to foxes, so if you’re wondering how to deter foxes from your garden, consider feeding your pets indoors. If you must feed them outside, make sure you take the food dish away once your pet has finished eating – even if there’s still some food left in it. Your furry friend will be sure to let you know if it wants more later on, and in the meantime, keeping the food dish indoors will ensure that nobody else gets to it! Similarly, make sure that any animals you keep out of doors, like chickens or guinea pigs, are shut away safely at night.
5. Use Flashing Lights & Sprinklers
The key to keeping foxes away is to make your garden an uncomfortable environment for them. Removing hiding spaces in the form of overgrown weeds or plants is one way of doing that; artificial scent marking is another. If all else fails, though, another thing you can try is setting up your garden so that it’s an unpredictable place for foxes to be. This can be done with motion-activated LED lights or sprinklers, which you can find at most garden centres. Be careful when you set them up, though – you want to make sure that you won’t spray yourself with water as you stroll across the lawn, so look for places that foxes are more likely to go than people!
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When are foxes most active?
We get most calls about foxes during:
- December to February, which is their breeding season
- Autumn, which is when cubs leave their parents and establish their own territories.
Problems associated with foxes
The main problems are fouling, digging and noise.
How to prevent fox problems
Do not feed foxes
If you feed foxes:
- this makes their territory much smaller, leading to more foxes in the area
- they are more likely to foul and dig in gardens.
Secure your rubbish
Foxes are lazy and will scavenge if you don’t keep food in a secure container. Put your rubbish in a secure bin and close the lid.
Keep your garden clean and tidy
Foxes like untidy, overgrown gardens because they provide excellent shelter.
If you clear your garden, it will be less attractive to foxes.
Tidy away things like old gardening gloves and shoes, which can smell very interesting to foxes.
Use concrete bases for sheds and garages
Many foxes dig a den for their cubs under sheds and garages. If you build your shed or garage on a concrete base, this won’t happen. Replace all broken air bricks before the start of the breeding season.
Removing fox scents
Foxes repeatedly foul the same areas in gardens is to mark their territory.
If you clean concrete areas with chemicals such as bleach, this only temporarily masks the smell. It does not remove it, and the fox will still foul there.
Instead, use either:
- a biological washing powder mixed with hot water
- an enzyme-based product from your vet.
This will break down the residue of the waste, leading to less fouling.
Always use gloves when removing fox waste.
You may have to persistently wash the same spot, sometimes every day for a fortnight, but usually the fox eventually gets the idea and stops fouling in the area.
Try the above measures first. If they don’t work, commercial deterrents include Get Off My Garden and Scoot.
These are aimed at cats and may upset pets.
See the document below for more information on foxes and how to deter them.
Foxes are no strangers to modern back gardens, but they aren’t welcome everywhere, especially if you discover the contents of the bin scattered around your outside space. Here David Hall offers advice on how to deter these nocturnal visitors..
Written by David Hall –
Published on Monday, 11th of February, 2013 .
Every so often a fox hits the headlines by gaining entry to a house and gets the nation talking about the merits of this beautiful but sometimes controversial animal.
Some say that foxes are a menace that needs to be controlled as they can live under sheds, make awful noises during the night, foul the lawn, dig up plants and turn over bins before eating the contents.
However, others blame humans for encouraging these animals to make the urban environment their home, by leaving out food and destroying hedgerows in the countryside where they normally live and forage.
How to Discourage Foxes
There are several ways you can discourage foxes from coming on to your property by:
- Using Chemicals
- Adding Fox Ornaments
- Removal of potential food sources
- Placing deterrents around a shed
Chemical Fox Deterrents
There are several products to deter foxes that can be obtained online or from a garden centre, they work by confusing the animal’s sense of taste and smell and is effective against cats, dogs and rabbits as well as foxes. Other products, including several cat repellents, can be seen here.
Recently we received an email from a customer in Glasgow who had purchased a highly detailed Vivid Arts life-sized fox that she put in her garden. As a result, the local fox was discouraged.
“. it is now in the garden in the pouring rain and looks SO!! realistic, so much so, that at lunch time our resident fox appeared and obviously thought it was real, he circled and arched his back at the ornamental fox, but was not brave enough to approach. “.
There are baby fox and full grown versions available.
Remove Food Sources
Making cat, bird or other food unavailable to foxes will make a garden less attractive, and by using fertilizers that do not contain fish, bone or blood products will stop foxes from digging in flowerbeds or lawns in search of a non-existent carcass.
Foxes Under Your Shed
If there is a den under your shed, just soak some rags or straw with a deterrent such as Cat A Pult and loosely block all the holes, which are the entrances to the den. Do not block the holes with bricks as this will prevent the female from getting to the cubs and they will starve to death. Each morning replaces the rags and straw in the hole. Once the rags or straw have not been moved for a couple of days, there will be no foxes left under your shed and you can permanently block the holes.
Image by: Forest and Kim Stars / License: CC BY SA 2.0
When you live in a home with a garden, you get to enjoy the gift of spending time outdoors, while still at home. But there are times when uninvited guests may visit. Foxes are beautiful and smart creatures as long as they have not found their way into your garden. From unexpected piles of excrements to fox holes and dens, there may be many issues that would make you wonder about what repels foxes and how to get rid of foxes in the garden.
Why is it Best to Get Rid of Foxes in Your Garden?
If you have not yet encountered a garden fox until now, you may not be sure whether foxes are dangerous to humans or pets. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fox-related types of damage that you would not want to come up against. If a fox has decided to take shelter in your garden, it will have to claim that territory from others of its kind by fouling it.
A fox’s diet is mainly insect and animal-based, so you may start finding feathers, fur and bone fragments throughout your garden, accompanied by a lot of noise and many dug holes. If left unchecked, fox’s dens can cause damage to the structural integrity of your shed or deck, as they usually choose the safety of a wooden structure to create their nest under.
Throughout the winter months, foxes usually look for a warm place to have their litter in. If a fox has its cubs, it will be extremely difficult to remove them up to 9 weeks after birth. After that, the cubs are considered grown and may choose to move on their own.
What Attracts Foxes in Your Garden?
A fox can eat anything, from small animals and birds to food scraps and pet food. Throwing food scraps on your lawn or having multiple bird feeders may attract more wildlife than you’ve intended. And if you are keeping chickens or have one or more rabbits in your home, it is best to make their housing as secure and as impenetrable as you can.
Other reasons that foxes may have taken a liking to your garden may be:
- You have opened patches of dirt for your flower beds. Cubs may practice their digging skills there or foxes may feed on the worms. Place the chicken wire on top to avoid this.
- You buried a deceased pet. Foxes usually bury their food finds to return to them at a later point, so burying your pet may seem like a gift to them. Place heavy slabs on top for a few months until the smell is indistinguishable and stops attracting foxes.
- You use bone-based plant food. The smell may attract foxes, so it is best to switch to a non-animal-based fertilizer.
- You have a pond, a fountain or an uncovered irrigation system. Foxes need a steady supply of water and will come back again and again to your garden if they can easily get a sip. Make it difficult for foxes to get to your pond by surrounding it with plants and pots or other items and cover or slightly bury your irrigation pipes.
If you do not do any of the above and your garden is unkept and overgrown, then that is what will attract foxes. They prefer to stay hidden and if your garden offers many hiding spots, foxes will move in.
What Repels Foxes?
To know how to stop foxes from coming into your garden, you have to be prepared to not only be careful not to welcome them. Sometimes, your garden can seem a great place for a fox, regardless of whether there’s easily accessible food, water and shelter.
While it is not illegal to hunt or kill a fox, unfortunately, in the UK, it is against the law to cause unnecessary suffering to this and many other animal creatures under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. There’s a fine of up to £20,000 for offenders.
So, if you discover that you’ve got a fox in your garden, you better contact a pest control specialist to deal with the situation. But if you consider it disturbing and unethical to harm a fox, there are other ways to make your garden an undesirable place by learning what deters foxes in the first place, such as smells, fear and natural predators.
What Smells Deter Foxes?
As you now know, foxes have a strong sense of smell and you can use this to your advantage by learning what smells foxes hate. Mixing chilli pepper and garlic in boiling water and spraying the solution around your garden is the easiest way to deter foxes from entering your garden, as they will be offended by the smell.
What are Foxes Afraid of?
Foxes are afraid of people, loud noises, flashing lights and sudden movements. If you come across a fox, you can yell at it or throw something in its direction to scare them away. There are also ultrasonic devices, available for sale that emit a high-pitch noise that only animals can hear. It would keep away any foxes but have in mind that other animals will hear it, too, and it may cause them great discomfort. A less invasive way to keep away foxes is to leave a light on in your garden. Foxes enjoy the comfort of darkness and will avoid any well-lit areas.
What are Foxes’ Predators?
Adult foxes are extremely adaptable and have no natural predators in Britain, except for humans in a way. Fox cubs may fall prey to badgers and golden eagles in the UK and several other predator species in Europe.
Learn more about Red Foxes
Can I Stop Foxes Digging up my Lawn?
A fox usually digs very shallow holes in your lawn when looking for earthworms or other types of small insects for food. This is generally a seasonal problem, as worms are usually out and about during the wet parts of the spring and autumn season. If the damage is not too great, you can let it pass on its own.
If you find deeper holes, dug around your property, then foxes may be attracted by the smell of buried food or animal remains. Check out our post on how to dispose of a dead animal. This may not be coming from actual animal remains if you have recently used a bone-based fertilizer. The smell from it confuses the fox, sending it on a scavenger hunt for something that is not there. If that is your case, you can either wait patiently for the rain to wash the product away or just double on the watering yourself.
Can I Stop Foxes From Fouling in my Garden?
Foxes use fouling to mark their territory and usually leave their piles in the most conspicuous places for other foxes and unfortunately, for you to see. Foxes coming into adulthood, trying to establish their territory, are prone to excessive fouling. In some cases, your garden may be the chosen spot for more than one fox. In that case, until one fox prevails and wins the territory, you may suffer from coming across excessive amounts of fox excreta.
Unfortunately, there is not a way to stop foxes from ever fouling, as this is in their nature. The only solution would be to take the above-mentioned steps to stop the fox or foxes from coming to or through your garden altogether.
If you have unwanted visitors in the face of a fox or two and they are wreaking havoc in your carefully curated garden, it may be best for you to take steps to keep them away. Even though foxes are not a danger to you, your family or your pets they do carry some diseases you may not want around. If you have taken all of the steps above and you are still looking for ways how to deter foxes it may be best to seek professional pest control services to help you deal with your fox problem.
If foxes are causing a nuisance in your garden, make sure you deal with the problem legally and humanely by checking out our best fox deterrent tips, how to get rid of urban or garden foxes, and what to do with foxes in your garden. You will also find information on natural solutions to foxes digging up gardens, as well as tips for using fox repellent. While foxes may not cause an imminent threat to you, dealing with foxes can be tricky, and it may be wise to work towards fox proofing your garden and educate yourself on how to rid foxes from your property.
Why Get Rid of Foxes?
Foxes are solitary, nocturnal animals who stick to their own ‘patch’ – a territory they mark by fouling. Vixens can have one litter of cubs a year and will look for somewhere warm and safe to rear them for up to nine weeks after they’re born. Getting rid of foxes that invade your gardens and are causing issues is essential not only to the overall appearance and upkeep of your landscape but fox problems in gardens may lead to more advanced issues, such as dens under sheds and decks.
It’s important to note that foxes are not classed as pests or vermin, so local councils and many pest control companies do not deal with fox control. Foxes are protected from harm under wildlife protection regulations, and it is illegal to poison, maim, gas, drown, club, or snare them. Anyone who illegally harms a fox faces a £5,000 fine and a six-month prison sentence.
What do Garden Foxes Eat?
Foxes do not pose a threat to people, or cats, and dogs. High profile cases of fox attacks are extremely rare and have usually been later discredited. Foxes will, however, kill natural prey creatures such as birds and small mammals like rabbits, rodents, and guinea pigs if given a chance.
Keeping foxes away from pet rabbits will ensure their safety and well-being, and it is important to know the best practices for getting rid of foxes from your garden. Perhaps surprisingly, domestic cats spread more diseases than foxes do; however, foxes can suffer from mange and spread diseases like toxoplasmosis and Toxocara through their faeces.
At the very most, foxes usually cause a nuisance by fouling in gardens to mark their territory and digging dens under decking and sheds, as well as barking loudly, especially during mating season. Urban foxes are also often accused of causing a mess by rummaging around in bins and spreading rubbish. To avoid these types of issues, take a look at tips for how to deter foxes and options for fox repellant and how to stop a fox.
Foxes have copped a lot of bad press over recent years, but actually, many people love to see them in their gardens and have no problems living alongside them. However, if foxes are digging up your carefully manicured lawn or have taken up residence under your decking, you might want to know how to get rid of foxes in your garden. Here are some of the best fox deterrent ideas:
Best Fox Deterrent Ideas
Clear rubbish– leaving rubbish (particularly of the food variety) lying around will encourage foxes to frequent your property. Keep your front and back garden tidy, and make sure bins are securely fastened. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight as a source of nourishment for foxes.
Secure pet enclosures– if you have outdoor pets such as chickens, rabbits, or guinea pigs, it’s your responsibility to ensure they’re well protected. Remember, a fox can’t tell the difference between a pet and prey, so make sure you install a fox-proof enclosure with wire mesh, a solid floor, and a secure lock.
Fox repellant sprays– since foxes mark their territory by scenting and fouling, you can use non-toxic fox repellent sprays to deter foxes by marking your garden as territory already taken. A range of fox repellent brands is available, such as ‘Scoot’ and ‘Get out of my garden’, both of which are recommended by The Fox Project.
Water deterrents– devices like the Scarecrow work using sensors; when a fox gets within range, water is sprayed from the device, startling and scaring away the fox. If strategically placed at the edges of gardens or by fox holes, these can effectively stop foxes from coming back to your garden.
Sonic fox deterrent– these electronic control devices are quite controversial. Many manufacturers claim that they deter animals by emitting a high-pitched noise audible to animals but not humans. In theory, this acts as an irritant that drives animals away; in practice, no scientific studies have found this an effective method of animal control.
Fox-proofing– there are various ways you can stop foxes from entering your garden completely or make your property an unappealing place for them to hang out. This includes fox-proof fencing and ‘prickle strips’ (spiky strips). You should also ensure that old fox holes are blocked and that animals can’t get under sheds or decking to build dens.
Natural fox repellant – If you wonder how to get rid of foxes in the garden using natural methods, you have several options. Foxes hate several ingredients that make wonderful deterrents, such as hot chilli peppers, garlic, and capsaicin. Trying boiling the chilli pepper and garlic in 2 quarts of water, then mixing in a blender. Spray the mixture anywhere throughout your garden, yard, underneath your deck, or anywhere else you want to deter the foxes. This natural repellent is highly effective and a great way to get rid of foxes in the garden without causing any harm.
It would help if you were extremely careful when blocking any dens or fox holes – make sure you don’t trap any live foxes or cubs in the den to starve to death. The best way to avoid this is to seek help from a fox control specialist; however, you can loosely pack entrances with material sprayed with a fox deterrent. At first, foxes may remove this and carry on using the hole. Reapply the rags every day, though, and eventually, this will drive them away. One way doors that let foxes out, but not in again, are also an option, but make sure to use with extreme care (or consult a professional) so that you don’t trap defenceless cubs.
Fox Pest Control
As previously stated, it’s illegal to kill foxes and, in most cases, trap them. Even if you were to remove a fox from your property, another one would move into the newly vacated territory, which doesn’t solve the problem. However, some professional pest or fox control companies will be able to help you put in place fox deterrent plans and fox-proof your garden to solve your problem humanely.
Fox Control Prices
Fox control prices will vary depending on whether you hire professional or fit deterrents yourself; here are some example costs:
How to Repel Foxes
Keeping a nuisance fox away from your property isn’t easy — foxes are extremely intelligent critters that aren’t easily fooled. The best way to repel foxes is to employ a variety of repellent methods to attack the problem on all fronts. Learn how to repel foxes below.
1 Identify Areas of Damage
The best fox repellent is a motion-activated sprinkler. In order to determine how many repelling sprinklers you will need and where to place them, it’s important to locate the vulnerable areas on your property by identifying damage.
Common fox activities include:
- eaten or damaged garden fruits
- missing poultry, eggs or small livestock
- pilfered garbage
- trampled garden vegetation
- denning underneath porches or other similar structures
- foul ammonia-like odor due to territory marking
2 Obtain a Motion-Activated Sprinkler
Motion-activated sprinklers work by seeking out fox activity and startling them with sudden bursts of water. When used properly, they’re extremely effective tools for repelling foxes and conditioning them to avoid protected areas.
Two types of motion-activated sprinklers are available, which you may select based upon your property, preferences and local animal density:
3 Determine Placement
Strategically position repellents in the areas you want to protect. Some examples of repellent placement include:
- around the perimeter of your property
- at each entryway to your property, barn or poultry house
- in front of a fox den
- inside your garden
- beside garbage bins
Be sure to space out multiple devices if the area you want to protect exceeds the unit’s maximum coverage area.
4 Set Up as Directed
Install your repellent by carefully following the instruction manual. Be thorough – each step is critical to the functionality of your device. For example:
- Point the sensor and the sprinkler in the direction foxes will be approaching.
- Ensure your solar-powered device has access to direct sunlight so the battery may remain charged.
- Set your sensitivity based upon the average climate and desired detection distance.
- Check the battery and/or water level of the device periodically, and adjust the sensitivity as the climate changes.
5 Reduce Attractants
Making your property less desirable for foxes to live and hunt in will help to reinforce your repellents. Foxes are attracted to areas with plenty of available food and cover. Steps you can take include:
- storing garbage in airtight, locked containers
- periodically washing out garbage bins
- harvesting fruits as soon as they’re ripe
- removing all traces of food, drink and pet food before dusk
- clearing brush piles, wood piles and other forms of cover
- pruning bushes and shrubs
- repairing broken doors, windows or screens that may allow foxes into animal or food storage facilities
Do you have a problem with foxes visiting your garden on a regular basis? Knowing what do foxes not like may help you to repel them. Foxes love to chew, dig and poop all over our lawns. They also cause damage to our bins, hoses, flowers and lawns.
Foxes are fiercely territorial. So getting rid of one doesn’t mean another won’t move in to take its place. There is a way to prevent foxes by knowing what foxes do not like. All you have to do is read our step-by-step guide on deterring foxes. Soon you’ll be free of this four-legged pest, and you’ll be able to enjoy your garden once again.
What Do Foxes Not Like? Get To Know The Facts…
Foxes are cunning. They are crafty, intelligent and are made for survival. Foxes have good hearing, a powerful sense of smell and can run quickly over short distances. But they have some traits that you can use to your advantage.
Foxes have very bad eyesight. They will also avoid situations where they feel uncomfortable. They are known for scavenging and running, not for wanting to fight.
- Night time
- Secluded areas
- Peace and quiet
- Consistent food sources
- Loud noises
- Sudden movements
- Flashing lights or vibrations
If you want to get rid of foxes, you have to make your garden a lot less appealing to them. You can do this by focusing on what do foxes not like, and make your garden an area they won’t want to be. Use a fox’s natural nervousness and survival skills to your advantage.
Install An Automatic Water Pistol
These devices are proven to scare foxes that enter your garden. You connect these systems to your hosepipe, so you will need to have good water pressure from the mains. The motion sensor is then battery operated, so will work during the day or the night.
When a fox passes in front of the sensor, the pistol will release a 5 second burst of water which will scare the fox. The system then will reset itself before the next target comes. You should reposition it every few days to confuse the foxes and keep scaring them. This product isn’t recommended if you have cats or dogs, or you may end up spraying them with water instead of the fox.
Ultrasonic Fox Repellents
Using these repellents with other forms of fox control will help to keep foxes out of your garden. You can aim these devices at the entry and exit points foxes are using to gain access to your garden. It’s better than aiming it at the entire garden.
Ultrasonic repellents work by sending out a very high pitch noise that only animals can hear. You will also need to move these around your garden every few days to maximise results.
Light Up Your Garden
Foxes love the darkness. The last thing they will want is a bright light suddenly and unexpectedly switching on. You can install motion activated outdoor lights that are cheap and easy to install. They also have the great added bonus of deterring burglars.
Attack The Fox’s Sense Of Smell
Foxes have a very powerful sense of smell, and there are smells that they really dislike. You can use these to deter foxes from your garden. Using natural ingredients like chilli peppers, garlic and capsaicin will keep the foxes away.
Try boiling the chilli pepper and garlic with some water, then mix it in a blender. Spray this mixture anywhere in your garden that you don’t want foxes to go near. It’s a great natural repellent that is highly effective, and is a great way to get rid of foxes in the garden without causing any harm.
There are a variety of ways you can stop foxes from getting into your garden. Things such as prickle strips will fox proof your garden. You should also make sure that any old fox holes are blocked off. No animals should be able to get under your shed or decking area.
If you are going to be blocking up dens or fox holes, you have to be careful. You may block fox cubs in the den, who will then starve to death. The best way to avoid this happening is to speak to a fox control professional in your area. You can also loosely pack it with materials. Foxes may remove the rags, but eventually it will drive them away from using that den.
The most important thing to remember about fox control is that it is illegal to kill them. Even if you remove a fox from your garden, another one will move into the newly vacated territory, and you’re problem happens all over again. We can help you to put in place fox deterrents that they will hate, and fox-proof your garden to solve the problem humanely. So now you know the answer to the question what do foxes not like!
Owners of livestock such as chickens will already know the havoc which can be caused by foxes. These red-faced raiders will cause chaos and calamity around your garden too if given half a chance, with their propensity for digging and pungent scent marking being the main annoyances.
Whilst foxes can be a headache to anyone with livestock in the garden, they can be wonderful animals to look at. But if they are doing more harm than good in your garden, then keep reading to have a look at some solutions to make your garden less attractive for foxes.
What Damage do they Cause?
Apart from the obvious risk to any livestock which may be living in your garden (and we should include innocent wildlife like hedgehogs in that list), foxes cause all manner of collateral damage too. This ranges from the mildly irritating things like knocking over dustbins and scattering their contents, to the madly infuriating stuff. This includes digging up plants and flower beds and making holes in the lawn, usually when searching for juicy treats such as Chafer Grubs in their search for snacks underneath. They are also known to bury stashes of excess food under lawns or out-buildings and are not known for their tidy workmanship!
On top of all these unpleasant issues, foxes can make the most disagreeable of visitors and will make their presence known by one of two methods. They are unusually smelly creatures, leaving behind a highly distinctive, pungent odour wherever they go. If you’ve had a visitation, you’ll be in no doubt whatsoever as who has been calling as their urine can cause brown scorch marks on your lawn similar to the domestic K9! Despite being known for their guile and cunning when hunting their prey, they can be extremely vocal at other times. Their vocalising takes the form of chilling, blood-curdling shrieks, which sound exactly like a young human in distress. Being awoken in the middle of the night by this sound kicking off in your garden can be startling.
TLike many animals, foxes are susceptible to territorial scent-marking. There are various products on the market which replicate the scent of a dominant male fox, usually sold as a powder which can be dissolved and either sprayed or sprinkled using a watering can. ‘Marking your boundaries’ like this will scare off any intruder foxes, though effects will wear off over time (particularly in times of bad weather) so repeated applications may be necessary before the would-be intruders get the message.
Audio – Visual
Foxes have a naturally nervous disposition and are focused on one thing -survival. We can use this to our advantage and startle them out of the lawn by installing security lights or ultrasonic noise repellers triggered by motion sensor. If a fox feels uneasy or in ‘fight or flight’ mode it is unlikely to linger on your lawn. Generally, its reported that the effects are gradual rather than instant, with users reporting fox visits tailing off over time before stopping altogether.
There has been anecdotal and more recent scholarly research into possible taste aversion conditioning in animals, and specifically in foxes as a deterrent method. You can give this a try at home by leaving a small plate of food outside the chicken coop covered in mustard powder or extra-hot tabasco. Many have reported no further night-time visits following the fox sampling the spicy snack.
Removing fox scents
Like many animals, foxes often return to the same area to do their business as a way of marking their territory. These smells can really linger, especially on hard surfaces, and cleaning with chemicals like bleach often only temporarily masks the scent.
Animal control companies advise instead using a biological washing powder mixed with hot water to break down any residue left by the waste. Although you will need to make repeated applications over a few days, this tends to be the most effective way of removing the lingering scents.
If none of the above proves successful, you might prefer a mechanical solution in the form of ‘Dig Stop’ netting. This is a plastic mesh, with holes large enough to enable plants to grow through it and water to pass in the opposite direction. Spikes are moulded into the mesh at frequent intervals, creating a bed of points which are uncomfortable for any animal to walk or sit on. They are available on a roll and can be cut with scissors to fit any size or shape of location. These products are designed to provide a deterrent not just to foxes, but any animal with a propensity for digging.
However, remember the pull of food/ prey can be so strong that the more determined fox may not be dissuaded. If you have pets or livestock outdoors, it is better to invest in making sure that their enclosure is secure rather than relying on deterrents alone.
How to Deter Foxes
It is fair to say that the population is split on opinion when it comes to foxes. For some, foxes are an excitement of British wildlife, for others, a real nuisance and danger. This article aims to provide advice on how to deter foxes humanely.
Top Fox Deterrent ideas:
1. Clear rubbish – Urban foxes love to consume any human rubbish that is left around. Foxes are scavengers and will happily help themselves and live off waste as much of what people throw out is edible. Keeping your property and surrounding areas clean and tidy so there is no food source for foxes is probably the top tip on how to deter foxes.
2. Secure pet enclosures – Outside pets such as rabbits, chickens and guinea pigs make for a tasty and potentially easy meal for foxes. Remember, foxes can’t distinguish between pets and prey! Ensure that your pets’ enclosure is well secure and fox-proof; install solid floors and bases, a lock and strong wire mesh around the enclosure. Potentially you may want to consider an electronic fox deterrent.
3. Fox deterrent sprays – Want an idea on how to repel foxes? Foxes use scenting and fouling as a way to mark their territory and so a way to deter foxes in by making your garden your territory by using fox repellent sprays. There are a range of repellent brands that can be found online easily. The Fox Project has further advice on this way to deter foxes.
4. Water deterrents – There are water devices that use sensors to detect a fox and then spray water, such as the Scarecrow. If placed around the edge of gardens or by fox entrances into your garden you can strategically deter foxes using water.
5. Fox-proofing – This method on how to deter foxes entails making your property and garden a fox proof place. Fox holes should be filled in, fences should be properly fitted with concrete going into the ground under fences so that foxes cannot dig under them, decking and sheds should be filled in underneath too so that they are no longer a suitable home for foxes.
Foxes are a tricky animal to prevent and get rid of as so much of the population love them as they can be classed as an icon of our wildlife yet they can also be a real pest with real threats. For further help and information on how to deter foxes use pest control services.