How to Get Rid of Foxes Humanely
Foxes can be a nightmare for poultry farmers, agricultural producers and even residential property owners. They prey on chickens and they raid gardens and trashcans in search of a meal. If you are faced with a fox problem on your property, there are a number of fox control methods that enable you to get rid of the animal without causing it harm.
- How to Get Rid Of
Foxes are opportunistic feeders and they feel safest hunting in areas that have plenty of hiding places. Avoid inviting foxes to your property by limiting access to their favorite foods and cover.
Store all garbage in airtight, locked containers
Wash garbage bins periodically
Remove all traces of food, drink and pet food before dusk
Clear brushpiles, wood piles and other forms of cover
Prune overgrown bushes and shrubs
Repair broken doors, windows or screens that may allow foxes into animal or food storage facilities
In order to get rid of foxes, it’s important to determine where they spend their time. Foxes are stealthy and rarely make themselves seen, so the best way to determine their whereabouts is to identify the signs they leave behind.
Signs of fox damage include:
- eaten or damaged garden fruits
- missing poultry, eggs or small livestock
- pilfered garbage
- trampled garden vegetation
- foul ammonia-like odor due to territory marking
Most fox activity occurs during dawn and dusk, so if you want to catch a fox in the act, keep an eye out during these times.
3Choose a Control Method
Once you’ve identified where your foxes are living and causing damage, use the information below to select the best fox control method(s) for your needs. Foxes are very intelligent and can outsmart some control methods. Layering multiple strategies at once will give you the best protection against foxes.
Live Fox Trap
If you want to physically remove a fox from your property, you’ll need a live trap. Foxes are very smart and wary of unfamiliar objects, so it’s important to be cautious and patient. Some trapping tips include:
- Camouflage the trap with branches, twigs and/or local vegetation.
- Slowly lure the fox into the trap by getting him used to feeding around the trap first. Learn more about baiting your fox trap »
For more trapping tips, read How to Trap a Fox »
Motion-activated sprinklers seek out and frighten skittish foxes away using startling bursts of water, sound and movement. Electronic repellents can be used to protect a wide variety of areas, such as:
- vegetable gardens
- poultry houses
- fruit trees
- flower gardens
- edible plants
- garbage/compost bins
For more repelling tips, read How to Repel Foxes »
Installing a fence is a good option if you want to exclude foxes from your property altogether. Many foxes can easily climb standard fencing, so specialized or combination fencing will be necessary for foxes. Some tips include:
- Woven wire fencing should have openings no larger than 3”, stand at least 6’ tall and extend 12” into the ground.
- Electric fencing is particularly effective; you can either install a 3+ wire electric fence, or add electric wire to the top of your woven fence to deter foxes from climbing over.
- Adding a mesh cover over small areas like gardens and animal pens will disallow foxes from accessing them.
Understand local regulations surrouding trapping and relocating wildlife before setting a live fox trap.
A physical barrier is the best solution for protecting animals from fox predation. Keep animals indoors or within a completely fenced-in area, and repair any holes or faults in the construction.
Never approach a freely-roaming fox. Foxes are rarely dangerous to humans, but they may carry rabies, which is life-threatening.
Employing multiple fox control methods at once will give you the best defense against sly foxes and their damage.
- How to Trap
- How to Repel