Foxes can be a pain at the best of times. I mean, just yesterday I left a wheelbarrow in a customer’s garden ready for the next day and this Morning I’ve came back to find the tyre completed chewed up! I asked the customer if they knew anything about it and they explained that they have a fox that lives somewhere in the back of their garden and that it had chewed things up of theirs in the past – I wish they had warned me!
Straight away I knew that I had to write an article based on how to stop foxes coming into your garden as this incident wasn’t the first time that I’ve had an issue with a fox so I’m certainly not going to be the only one either! Here is my article showing you how to keep foxes out of your garden!
First, let’s look at the problems foxes can bring to your garden
Foxes will chew anything they see as a fun to play with toy
Just like the tyre of my wheelbarrow ripped to shreds, what you see as a useful or valuable possession a fox may see as nothing but a chew toy if left in your garden. To be honest I don’t blame them, my dog still has his moments and his supposed to be fully trained by now! Footballs, trainers, tyres or anything chewy – If it means something to you then try to put it in a safe place.
Foxes will go through your bins
This is another problem I encounter on a fairly regular basis. With a large family it’s not uncommon for our wheelie bin to be full and my wife to leave the extra bin bags beside the wheelie bin ready for collection the next Morning but by the time Morning comes the contents of our bin could be all over our drive!
When we first moved here my wife would put the extra bags to one side of the garden until bin collection day came but I very quickly realised that I had to build my very own bin shed to keep them away!
Foxes will leave fecies in your garden
The smell of fox poo is enough reason alone to keep them out of your garden! I’ve had them poop a few times in my garden and there have been times that I’ve literally had to use my nose to find it.
Oh and if you have dogs then be careful if they are anything like mine! One of my dogs likes to roll around in fox poo whilst the other for some reason eats it only to throw it up on the living room floor later on in the evening – This is no lie!
Foxes can eat small pets like rabbits as well as cats!
It’s not uncommon for foxes to eat rabbits and Guinea pigs and can often break into your rabbit hutch to do so. Foxes are smart and crafty animals so when a locked hutch isn’t enough to keep them away that’s when you know it’s time to try and keep them from coming into your garden full stop.
Some people say that it is a myth when it comes to foxes eating cats but let me tell you from first hand experience that it is no myth.
In my younger days I remember driving through town in a friend’s car when I yelled at him to stop. There I saw a fox with a helpless live cat in it’s mouth. The most horrific thing about this situation is that the cat was looking at me meowing as if it were asking me for help. I ran towards the fox expecting it to let go of the cat but instead it ran off, with the cat in mouth and disappeared! Although I assume that this would be more common with elderly, weak or injured cats.
Do foxes attack humans?
Although there have been reports of foxes attacking humans it is extremely rare and very unlikely that you will be attacked by a fox.
Foxes are scavengers. The only thing they are interested in is finding food – Not attacking us humans. They are more afraid of us than we are them. It is for this reason that the only way a fox may attack us is if it is scared, trapped or backed into a corner and it feels the need to attack to survive.
How to stop foxes getting in your garden
Install fence and wall spikes to stop foxes jumping into your garden
It’s no secret that foxes are great jumpers – I’ve seen them jump over the tallest of fences with ease. So much so that I think extending the height of your existing fence or wall is simply a waste of time and money.
You can purchase humane plastic fence and wall spikes which create an uncomfortable surface for all animals jumping on and over your fence including birds, cats and of course foxes as well as the added benefit if deterring burglars too.
Not only this but prices are cheap, they look presentable and are easy to install!
Lay prickle strips to stop foxes from digging their way into your garden
Another true story! We once had a customer that had a Jack Russell that kept digging it’s way under the fence and escaping. We were asked to dig a 2 foot trench and install chicken wire to stop the dog from digging which worked…for a couple of months until it found a way through the chicken wire!
This was a £280 job which lasted 2 months. The customer then went and purchased £30 worth of prickle strips, layed them on the ground and her little Jack Russell never dug again!
When trying to stop foxes from digging their way into your garden, first try these prickle strips! The only downside however is that you may need them on both sides of the fence for obvious reasons!
Install chicken wire against and under your fence to stop foxes from digging their way into your garden
I know that I just said that chicken wire was unsuccessful after a couple of months with a customer’s Jack Russell but you have to remember – This was a dog trying to dig it’s way out of it’s very own garden 3 times a day for 2 monthe so when it comes to keeping foxes out of your garden I think it could be a great success.
I would recommend digging a trench against your fence to a depth of at least 1 foot. Installing the chicken wire is really easy. Just use some wire cutters to cut the chicken wire to the width of the fence panels, but do this once your trench is dug as you will need to adjust your measurements to the concrete holding the fence posts in place. Simply screw the top of the chicken wire to the bottom of your fence, let it hang into the trench and finally back fill with earth! It’s that easy – Although the digging part might be hard work.
Install a motion sensored floodlight to scare foxes out of your garden
Foxes are nocturnal animals meaning that they come out when dark. If you have a motion sensored floodlight installed in your garden then this will be sure to scare any foxes away.
If you are on a tight budget and would like to avoid having an outdoor light connected to your mains power supply then why not opt for a battery operated one?
Floodlights are also a great burgler deterrent and if you get a camera installed too then you can see how foxes are coming in and out of your garden!
Purchasing an ultrasonic fox repellent is a great way at keeping foxes out of your garden
Ultrasonic animal repellents are great at keeping almost all wild animals out of your garden as they give off ultrasonic waves which can be turned up and down, with lots of these devices also coming with a motion activated flash of light.
As pets are domesticated animals many of these devices are advertised as safe to use around your pets and are available in battery operated and chargeable options. The one listed above offers the flash and can be charged.
Use fox repellent sachets, spray or granules to keep foxes out of your garden
These fox repellent sachets are also available in granule and spray form and work by effecting the foxes sense of smell.
This is achieved by leaving an artificial territorial scent in your garden which will keep a fox away out of fear of conflict with another fox. Cheap and easy to use – Perfect!
Am I allowed to kill a fox?
To my surprise you can actually kill a fox, at least here in the UK you can anyway but there are strict rules in place and failure to follow these rules could mean a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a £5000 fine.
You must only use controlled methods to catch and kill a fox. However some controlled methods aren’t allowed such as the use of self-locking snares, crossbows, explosives and the use of live birds and animals as way of bait. The use of gassing or poisoning as well as destroying or blocking a foxes den is also prohibited.
The controlled methods that can be used to catch a fox include free-running snares which must be checked once per day but be warned, once caught you are not allowed to relocate the fox. Instead you must humanely kill the fox whilst it’s in the trap or snare.
Firearms can be used on free foxes providing that you are in a rural area. To find out more about the legalities required to kill a fox then just visit the government’s website here.
My overall thoughts on stopping foxes from getting into your garden
Unless your looking to purchase and install all of the above fox repellents then it could be a good idea to find a way of finding out how they are getting into your garden and starting from there as it’s unlikely that one random fox repellent alone will do the job.
First look for obvious signs such as holes under your fence as well as dens in your garden such as under a shed or in a bush as this will be a different issue entirely since they would be living in your garden as opposed to getting in. Since it is against the law to disturb a fox’s den you would need to wait for the fox to leave it’s den before blocking entry points.
Foxes only have 2 ways at getting into your garden which are over and under. If there are holes or gaps under your fence or walls then I would recommend starting with the ground spikes as these would be the easiest option before trying the chicken wire. If there are no obvious signs of foxes coming from under your fence then I would start by using the wall or fence spikes before trying the ultrasonic sensors etc.. Although it’s always good to have a motion sensored floodlight regardless.
Do you have a fox story to tell or have more fox repellent ideas? Please comment below as I’d love to hear from you. Alternatively why not head over to our forum where we can all chat about everything garden related?