10 Ways To Keep Foxes Out Of The Garden
Foxes are undoubtedly one of the most intelligent and stunning creatures roaming the face of the earth. They are known for their agility, speed and cunningness.
However, if you live in a town, in the countryside, or are surrounded by nearby wooded areas, chances are you have encountered a fox. The creatures are pretty charming to observe from a distance but can quickly turn into a menace when they invade your garden or house.
As you may already know, once a fox has gotten used to hanging around your home, only serious, well-thought-out strategies can help you get rid of it. But, you need not fret yet; we have some quick and easy tips to help you fox-proof your garden.
Before we move on to ways to get rid of foxes from your garden, we must take some time to understand these mystical wild animals that have somehow managed to become pests in urban areas.
Foxes are generally found in wooded areas, but with civilisation growing and encroaching upon various natural habitats, numerous wild animals are spotted in urban areas. Foxes are nervous creatures that usually don’t come into heavily populated areas unless they have an ulterior motive.
Most of the time, this happens to be food or a nice place to lounge. So if you leave your bins uncovered, have plenty of leftovers thrown out, or have a number of small pets, then you may attract some sly urban foxes.
Although foxes are intelligent creatures, they are also quite skittish and avoid confrontation at all costs. Also, foxes hate water, loud noises, sudden movement, and certain smells. So if you have a fox problem, you can use these qualities to eliminate foxes from your garden.
How To Deter Foxes From Your Garden
Foxes can attack your pets, dig up your garden and flower beds, leave faeces, and chew through hosepipes. In short, Urban foxes are not the ideal garden visitors that they might lead you to believe they are.
Additionally, these crafty creatures are highly adaptable and agile, so they can usually find a way around your feeble efforts to keep them at bay. However, that does not mean all hope is lost, and you need to call pest control.
We have put together some practical ways below for you to protect your house and garden from pesky foxes. Remember, not every method is bound to be successful with your unwanted guest.
So before you give up, you should try all of the approaches mentioned below, and be persistent in your efforts to ensure the animal leaves your garden alone.
1. Blocking their entrance and exit points
The best and most humane method of keeping foxes away from your garden is making it difficult for them to get in the first place. One way of doing so is by having a boundary wall or a solid fence all around your house.
But, since foxes are known to climb fences of up to 6 ft with ease, you will need additional reinforcements. These can include anti-fox spikes, wall rollers, and fences that are bent away from your garden. These modifications will act as fox deterrents by making it difficult for the foxes to get in.
Another thing you should consider is that foxes are brilliant diggers and have no trouble digging under your fence to get in. So to prevent this, you can have one to two feet of concrete so that foxes can't dig their way in.
2. Do Not Feed Urban Foxes
Foxes are always on the hunt for food sources, so if you deliberately leave out food every now and then for your little fox friend, then you must know that this friendship will last for a long time. Foxes will recognise your garden as an easy food source and come there often searching for it.
Additionally, if they do not perceive any danger in your garden, they are likely to bring their fox cubs with them too! So if you don’t want your garden turning into a playground for foxes, it is best to hold back the urge to feed them.
3. Electric Fencing
If a regular fence is not doing the job for you, you can consider switching to a low voltage electric fence. These fences do not cause significant harm to foxes, but the slight discomfort they feel when they come in contact with it is more than enough to scare them away.
However, if you have other small animals in the area, such as hedgehogs, you should make some modifications to the fence to ensure they are not harmed. You should keep the fence about 15 cm from the ground to ensure hedgehogs can pass safely from underneath. This is because, unlike other animals, hedgehogs do not run away after being electrocuted. Instead, they simply curl up and continue to be electrocuted.
4. Clean up
Foxes are natural scavengers. So any place they can find hidden food is a gold mine for them. Bins that have been left uncovered, nuts and food left over from feeding birds, leftover pet food and other easily accessible edibles may warrant frequent fox visitations.
Since foxes have an acute sense of smell, even having leftover food near your house can cause them to roam around in the area and nestle in your garden. So to ensure you’re not inviting foxes over with your food habits, ensure that you clean up well and don’t leave any food outside.
Another thing you must clean up to keep foxes away is their poo. That’s right, once foxes get into your garden, they often leave excrement and urine around the yard. The faeces and urine help foxes mark their territory and can lead to them returning to your garden frequently. This is their way of signalling to other animals and male foxes that the area now belongs to them. So to ensure that foxes do not return, be quick to clean up any faeces you may see lying around.
5. Motion Sensor Sprinklers
Foxes are not particularly fond of water, especially when it is jetting out unexpectedly at them. Since foxes are skittish creatures, motion sensor-activated sprinklers and automatic water pistols can scare any wandering fox that ventures into your garden.
Automatic water pistols are often connected to hosepipes, and their effectiveness relies on the water pressure in said pipes. Since both devices are motion-activated, they can conserve water while still scaring foxes away from your property.
6. Light Up Your Garden
Foxes are highly non-confrontational animals. They enjoy their time lurking in the dark and quietly taking whatever food or small pets they can get their paws on. So one of the best ways to keep foxes away from your garden is by creating an unfavourable and well-lit environment.
You can go one step ahead and scare the foxes away by using motion-activated flashing lights. Wandering foxes will be immediately in the dreaded spotlight and run immediately. Such tactics help in keeping foxes away in a humane way without causing any harm to them.
7. Ultrasonic Repeller
Foxes have a great sense of hearing. Their large ears can easily pick up on the smallest of sounds, so any sudden or loud noises can cause serious alarm to these shy creatures. But you simply cannot disturb the entire neighbourhood with a loud alarm, especially at night.
So instead, you can use an ultrasonic repeller that does the same job without causing noise pollution. This is because the sound from an ultrasonic repeller has too high of a frequency to be heard by humans and can only be heard by animals such as dogs and foxes. However, this method may not be appropriate if you have pets at home as it can also disturb them.
8. Get A Guard Dog
You can always get a guard dog to protect your garden if all else fails. You can train dogs to chase away predators such as foxes with ease. Their natural protective instincts make them ideal for keeping unwanted visitors at bay.
Additionally, foxes can smell when the dogs have marked their territory around the house and will steer clear of the area to avoid fights. However, the occasional skirmish is simply unavoidable and may cause some noise disturbances.
9. Use Smells To Your Advantage
As mentioned earlier, foxes often urinate in certain areas to mark them as their territory and prevent other predators and foxes from claiming it as their own. This practice also helps foxes to return to what they now perceive as their area with ease. So to prevent this from happening, you must wash away any fox urine in the area and cover its scent. You can use white vinegar as it has a strong, pungent smell that easily surpasses that of fox urine.
Since foxes are so territorial, they cannot stand the scent of another predatory animal in their territory. So you can use fox repellant sprays that contain the smell of other predators or male foxes. This will falsely indicate to the visiting fox that this area belongs to another predator and they are not welcome here, causing them to leave as quickly as they came.
Additionally, there are certain smells that foxes are particularly averse to. These include the scent of capsaicin that is usually found in chilli peppers, citronella from the chemical carbonyl methyl nonyl ketone, and the pungent salt aluminium ammonium sulphate. Some fox repellents contain these scents, but you can even use chilli peppers and garlic as a natural fox deterrent.
10. Secure All Your Small Pets
Small animals such as chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and hamsters are the ideal meal for a fox. If you have such pets, and their enclosure happens to be outdoors, then you are very likely to find foxes around your house and garden, attempting to break into the enclosure in search of dinner.
To ensure your pets remain safe and the foxes stay at bay, you must build a secure enclosure. You cannot use chicken wire or plastic mesh for this purpose. Instead, you need a robust frame with a secure floor that will prevent foxes from getting in from any of its sides.
As discussed earlier, foxes are limber creatures that require military-level security to be kept out. They can easily climb up fences, chew through chicken wire, or dig holes in the ground and enter the enclosure to feast upon your pets.
So, if you have an outdoor animal enclosure that you simply cannot move indoors, you must go the extra mile to ensure it is completely secure. Otherwise, not only will you get frequent visitations from a cunning animal, but the number of your pets will start to diminish rapidly too.
Foxes are an essential part of wildlife and play a significant role in maintaining the ecosystem's delicate balance. These admirable creatures contribute to nature’s biodiversity in more than one way and should not be exterminated or harmed under usual circumstances.
However, when foxes sneak into private property, they can cause significant damage to your garden and attack your pets. If the foxes are not stopped, they will continue to invade your space with increasing courage and cause more and more harm to your house. So then it becomes necessary to get rid of foxes from your garden.
But, you can do all of this in a humane way that does not cause any harm to these beautiful creatures either. Once you have successfully dealt with your fox problem, you can focus on new ways to enjoy your evening outdoors, such as setting up a brand new garden set.