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How to deal with Foxes?

A fox laying on the grass looking past the camera

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.

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 more bad than good in your garden then keep reading to have a look at some solutions to get rid of the 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 fouling the ground (and the air) with their scent and droppings, digging up plants and flower beds and making holes in the lawn, 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 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! 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 is terrifying, and not easily forgotten.    

The Solutions

Chemical

To avoid all of these sleazy symptoms, we need to deter the foxy felons from coming anywhere near your garden. Like the badgers mentioned previously, 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 can make foxes so nervous that they will not linger anywhere near your garden, but the effects wear off over time so repeated doses may be necessary before the would-be intruders get the message. 

Audio – Visual

Badgers and Deer are not the only wild creatures startled by sudden events like lights suddenly switching on and sounds being triggered. Security lights and ultrasonic repellers with Infra-red motion sensors are available specifically with foxes in mind and we have heard of successes being claimed for them. The ultrasonic sounds, which are inaudible to us humans, are said to be particularly nerve-jangling for foxes. Again, it appears that the effects are gradual rather than instant, with users reporting fox visits tailing off over time before stopping altogether.

Mechanical

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.  

 

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