How to Get Rid of Foxes - Foxes are shy, cunning creatures with a nose for food and enough intelligence to learn how to get it. They are notorious for finding ways into chicken and rabbit coops, carting off small game animals to their burrows for consumption. That’s the tricky part about having a fox problem—there’s rarely any evidence that the fox was ever there. If you’re suspicious of a fox creating trouble, you should be able to identify some tracks or droppings near an exposed are of fence. If you haven’t got a fence around your food birds or bunnies, that’s your first step. Free range animals are prime targets for hungry foxes and larger, more dangerous predators.
The get rid of a fox, you need to teach the fox that there are no easy access points to get to the source of food. Food sources are most commonly small animals, though foxes in more populated areas are opportunistic and will feed on human food waste if accessible. Button up all garbage and compost, especially the kind with edible remains. Next, seal off the area your small farm animals graze in. Food birds and rabbits often have pens within which they can feed on grasses and seeds. Fencing should be flush with the ground or, more ideally, flare outward at the base, preventing a curious fox from digging underneath it. The material should be solid or heavy gauge wire. Mesh that is too sparse can be chewed or broken through. Four feet high is an acceptable height, though higher is better. Again, making the top flare outward will prevent any animals from leaping over the barrier. If fencing in a large area isn’t practical for you, there are mobile, fenced paddocks available commercially. These small, portable units are able to be move daily, providing a fresh area for grazing as well as adequate protection.
Removing possible burrow sites is also an important part of fox control. Foxes will live in areas of dense cover. They will also choose places close to feeding grounds. Routinely check hay bales left in fields, thick plots of vegetation, piles of rubble, and old stone fences. If you locate a fox den, consider it a good place to set up a trap.
Depending on the area you live in, simply patrolling and being proactive about fox invasions might not be enough. Some areas have high density populations of the animal, making encounters likely regardless of preventative measures. If you have a fox in your area, consider trapping and removing the wild animal. There are a variety of traps on the market, and a fox is small enough that most property owners don’t feel intimidated by their presence. Be sure to check your local laws. Some fox species are protected or require special licenses prior to trapping. Because foxes are small and relatively timid, live traps are very successful. Using a wire cage with a pressure trigger, a fox can be trapped and then relocated to an area of better shelter and food supply. Lethal traps are also available, mostly in the form of body gripping traps and leg hold snares. Though rare, foxes have been known to carry rabies, so any fox—alive or dead—should not be handled unnecessarily. Like most predators, trapping foxes can be tricky. Wild animals are naturally fearful of new or altered things in their environments. Traps, both lethal and non-lethal, must be placed carefully and selectively. Anticipate the fox not venturing near the trap until a few days have passed. Baiting without setting the device is recommended to help build trust prior to capture.
There are no poisons approved for use on foxes. These animals are very intelligent and do not easily fall for terrorization gimmicks such as predator urine or scent. Foxes do not like to be harassed, though, and keeping an area well lit, active, and open will help discourage the creature from spending too much time there. There are no effective, chemical repellents. Some people are tempted to try ultrasonic pulse emitters. A fox can hear frequencies humans can’t; however, that has no bearing on whether or not the fox actually acknowledges the frequencies as bothersome. Most of the time sound emitters and ultrasonic devices are ignored. Save yourself some time and money and avoid these commercial flops.
Learn some additional tips on my How To Get Rid of Foxes Yourself
page - more fox removal tips and methods.
- Preventative methods for how to keep foxes away from your property.
Fox in the chicken coop
- how to keep them from eating your chickens.
Are Foxes Dangerous to Pets
- or people? Not really, they are fairly shy.