How To Get Rid Of Foxes
The fox is considered a nuisance predator in many places. They are not afraid to live in close proximity to people, even in suburban areas. Foxes are not dangerous to people, unless they are rabid, which is very rare.
To the farmer or rancher, they can be a threat to small livestock, especially chickens. The problem is such a prevalent and long-standing one that Americans have even developed sayings around it. Sayings such as “Leaving a fox to guard the hen house” or “A fox in the hen house” conveys the sentiment of allowing a predator to guard its prey or that there is a predator nearby.
Ways To (Not) Get Rid Of Foxes
There are several things a person can do to discourage foxes from coming onto your property and causing problems. One of the first things many people think of is to just shoot the offending animal. But first of all, you must consider the gun laws in your area. Second, foxes prey on mice, rats, and other small nuisance rodents, and so they are beneficial to have around.
Poisoning is another poor option. First of all, an animal may get into the poison that you wish wouldn't have, such as your pet. Second, it's a rather mean way to kill an animal, as they get sick and take some time to die. So let's consider some more humane ways of discouraging foxes from coming around for chicken dinner at your place.
There aren't any repellents made especially for foxes, but there are a few that target domesticated dogs. You can try one, but they don't work very well. They dissipate rapidly and just aren't very effective.
Fencing your property will keep out many animals, not just foxes. But, depending on how much property you have, it may be expensive to do that. Often, the simple white picket fence, or a plain wire mesh fence, will do the job. But foxes can jump so you may need to opt for a higher fence.
To keep a fox from making its den under your porch, patio, or outbuilding, it may be necessary to bury an L-shaped footer around the perimeter of the area. Ordinary wire mesh fencing will do just fine.
Keep Your Property Clean
Make your property less attractive to foxes by cleaning up wood piles, trash, and keeping brush and vegetation cut short. Don't leave any type of food outside that will attract them, including pet food, tree fruit that has fallen, trash cans that are easily accessible, or meat scraps in your compost pile. This is a common-sense approach that will deter many wild animal, rodent, and reptile pests from taking up residence in your yard or garden.
Other Types of Deterrents
A large outside watchdog will generally deter a fox from coming onto your property, or chase it away if one does venture into your yard. Another method to consider is to use motion detectors that sound an alarm, or some type of noise, when set off. Set one or more of them up around places that you think a fox might be likely to try to approach. Motion detectors attached to a bright light will work, too. The fox will be frightened away by the sound and/or the lights. One other type of motion detector that is effective is one that is attached to a sprinkler. When the fox trips the motion detector, a sprinkler will come on and spray the fox. It won't like that either. In each of these scenarios, the element of surprise is a big factor in scaring away the fox.
If a fox has already turned the space under your porch or garage into a nursery, it would be the kind thing to do to allow her to stay until the babies are old enough to leave the den. Then you can block up the entrance once you are absolutely certain that all of the little foxes are gone. You wouldn't want to board up the entrance to the den, only to discover too late that there was one more little guy under there that subsequently starved to death. There are several other little things that a person can do to harass a fox into leaving a den that is under a porch or shed. One is to place a radio inside the shed, or on the porch, tuned to talk radio and leave it on all the time. Or you can walk around in the shed frequently, stomping your feet loudly and making as much noise as you can. Foxes won't like all that commotion, and will soon leave. If all else fails, call a professional wildlife removal company and solicit their help.
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