SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT THE FOXES ON YOUR PROPERTY?
Foxes are known for their bushy tails, cute faces and sleek coats. Seeing one dash away while you’re hiking in the woods can be exciting, but if you start spotting these creatures in your yard, you may wonder if you should be concerned.
In most cases, foxes are not a threat to humans. They’re very timid and will back away rather than acting aggressively. So seeing foxes in your yard from time to time should not generally cause you to worry.
However, there are times when foxes are a cause for concern and you may want to take steps to keep them away.
WHEN DO FOXES POSE A THREAT?
If you’re seeing a fox or foxes in your yard on a regular basis and any of the following is true, it’s smart to take action.
THE FOXES LOOK SICK
There are a number of diseases that foxes can transmit to humans and pets. Rabies is the most serious example of these zoonotic diseases, but foxes also carry leptospirosis, fleas and various species of worms. If the foxes on your land appear to be ill, then it’s a good idea to contact a wildlife control company.
Especially contact the experts if the foxes appear disoriented and confused or if they are out in the daytime with seemingly no fear of humans, as these symptoms can be signs of rabies.
YOU HAVE SMALL OUTDOOR ANIMALS
Foxes can be more than a minor nuisance if you own chickens. In fact, the fox hunting sport developed because farmers needed to drive away the foxes that were killing their birds. If you have chickens, it’s a good idea to get rid of the foxes while you still have some chickens left. Foxes may also kill or injure young cats, rabbits and other small animals.
THE FOXES ARE NESTING IN AN AREA YOU FREQUENT
Foxes love to build their dens in sheds, wood piles and other outdoor structures. If you’re noticing a lot of foxes in an area you frequent, such as in and around your shed, you’ll want to get rid of the animals for the sake of convenience.
The foxes may eventually have pups in their den, and they can get defensive around their young, and you probably won’t want to deal with a territorial-mother fox each time you pull out the lawn mower or stack wood.
HOW DO YOU GET RID OF FOXES?
If the foxes appear ill, do not attempt to get rid of them yourself. Contact a professional wildlife removal company as their staff should be vaccinated for rabies and will be able to safely remove the animals. If the foxes appear healthy and are simply a nuisance, there are a few things you can try to drive them away.
INSTALL LIGHTS AND MAKE NOISE
Foxes prefer to nest in dark, quiet places. Try setting up a bright spotlight or two in the areas where they’re nesting. Also, visit the area a few times a day and make some loud noises to try and scare the foxes off. They may decide your shed or woodpile is not as hospitable as they initially thought and move on.
USE FOX REPELLENT
Visit a local garden supply store, and purchase a bottle of fox repellent. These products have an ammonia-like odor that is meant to deter foxes. Scatter the repellent in the area where you’ve seen the foxes. You may need to reapply it after it rains.
CLEAN UP YOUR PROPERTY
Trim the weeds around your shed or woodpile, clean up piles of trash, and drain any standing water. A clean property is less appealing to foxes, and taking these steps to clean up will encourage them to move on and find another place to live.
Seeing the occasional fox on your land should not cause you any concern. Chances are, the fox is just passing through and will be gone soon enough. However, if you have chickens or other small animals, or if you find foxes nesting in your outbuildings or if you are concerned that the foxes are not healthy, taking steps to get rid of these animals is advised.