How to prevent foxes

Foxes are one of the most adaptable species on the planet, the red fox, in particular, being the second most widespread mammal in the world (just behind us humans of course). Due to their adaptability and keen intelligence, foxes can make their home in a variety of habitats and environments. They are omnivorous, so their diet can adapt to fit more or less any place they find themselves in. From the wild untouched woodlands in Canada to an apartment block garbage can in the Southwest, foxes find a way to survive.

Their resourcefulness is largely what makes them a nuisance when they come into contact with humans. They can leap tremendous heights over fences, make dens under decking and sheds, and make a mess of stored food and trash. You might hear the characteristic wailing sound that they make when fighting or playing nearby.


Fox Prevention

Foxes will inhabit your property for two general reasons. One of them is that there is something outside your property that they want nothing to do with (predators, dangerous environments), or there’s something inside your property that they’re attracted to. Here are a few things you can do to prevent foxes from entering your property.

Securing The Property

Firstly, you need a solid perimeter that extends all the way to the ground. This could be any type of fence as long as it’s robust enough to stop foxes from chewing through. If you’re installing a wooden fence or one made of another solid material, make sure you either extend the fence into the ground a good distance or lay a concrete foundation. This will eliminate any possibility of burrowing. The design also needs to be such that there are no gaps that the fox could squeeze through.

Fox Prevention

Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for foxes to get stuck in small gaps in fences whilst trying to get into the property, which means they often starve to death or asphyxiate themselves.

If you opt for a wire fence around the perimeter of your property, make sure to use a wire gauge thick enough that they won’t be able to chew through.

They make quick work of chicken wire so invest in some quality material. If you still have a continual problem after trying everything else in this article, you can electrify the fence as a final (and rather expensive) option.

If your fence happens to border a public area, make sure that there’s no debris built up on the outside that will allow a fox to climb over. Foxes are excellent jumpers and can often scale fences on their own, so you don’t want to make it any easier for them.


The next thing you need to consider is what’s drawing the foxes inside your property.

  • Are you leaving food out on the ground for birds or leaving it out overnight? A fox will gladly help itself to birdseed or peanut cake intended for garden birds.
  • Are you leaving pet food out or poorly disposing of your own food?
  • Are your garbage cans poorly sealed or in full view to wildlife? Once a fox knows where you keep your trash, it will keep coming back if it’s not secured. To combat this, you can keep the lid tight by tying a bungee cord around the container. This will make it difficult enough for the fox to get in that it’s unlikely to bother trying.


There is reasonable anecdotal evidence that backs up the use of chemical and audio repellents, but also equally credible evidence of foxes ignoring them with little to no effort. It’s likely that a fox’s drive to sustain itself overrides its aversion to any strong smelling materials or irritating noises, but if you’re not getting the results you want, they don’t cost much money to install. Another device that has had varied success for deterring foxes is an automated sprinkler. These devices are activated when the sensors detect movement, spraying the fox with a jet of water to frighten it away.

Foxes are famously cunning, so short of completely fortifying your premises, you’re unlikely to guarantee a fox-free yard 100% of the time. However, taking away the points of attraction goes a long way, and if a fox sees nothing in your yard worth getting there’s less chance it will bother returning.

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