How to Get Rid of Foxes in Your Garden?

Red fox in the garden

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 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 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 towards their 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 the 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 coming to or through your garden altogether.

Conclusion

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.

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Disclaimer

Consider that we give information on possible ways to get rid of foxes in the garden. However, we cannot guarantee that all of the above approaches will work for you.

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