Tips to get rid of foxes

Foxes live very closely alongside humans, and while they don’t tend to be harmful to us, their destructive behaviour can sometimes be a nuisance.

You shouldn’t be concerned about your safety when dealing with foxes. A fox’s natural instinct is to run from predators and humans rather than to attack, and records of fox attacks on humans are extremely few. If a fox frequenting your yard is making you feel in danger, you can rest easy knowing they don’t pose an immediate threat to you. However, if you have animals like chickens or a guinea pig with an outside hutch, there is a possibility that a fox could make an attempt to break in and attack them.

The main grievance attached to foxes is their destructive capabilities to yards and structures. If you have an accessible space under a shed or decking, foxes can sometimes take up residence there to raise their young. Burrowing like this can often cause problems like damage to pipes or other underground work. Foxes can also dig sporadic holes in your yard, which they dig to find earthworms and other grubs buried in the soil. If you grow fruits or vegetables, you may also wish to eliminate the potential for a fox to steal your hard-earned produce.

Eliminating Attractants

If a fox is continually entering your yard, the first thing that you need to consider is the reason it’s attracted to your property in the first place. Here are some questions you can ask to identify why the animal may be taking an interest.

  • Is there anything edible left out for long periods of time?

This could be leftover pet food, birdseed that’s collected around the feeders, or a windfall from fruit trees to name just a few.

Fox Removal Tips

If there is a regular supply of free food in your yard, this is most likely to be the reason. Make sure that food items are not left out inaccessible places for a fox. Bear in mind that foxes can both jump and climb very well, so the best thing you can do is simply bring it inside.

  • Is your garbage secured properly?

Poorly secured garbage cans are a feast for a fox, and if all they have to do is knock the lid off to get to it, you can be sure that they’ll keep coming back. You can secure the lid down effectively with a bungee cord, or even better, put the containers in a secured compartment.

If you tend to leave items like gloves, shoes, or other chewable items in your yard, be prepared to have them destroyed. Young foxes will chew them for practice or play, and adult foxes will urinate on them to mark their territory.

  • Are there hiding places in your yard?

You might have piles of leaves, compost heaps, or overgrown shrubbery in your yard. These cool shady areas are perfect hiding places and will make foxes more likely to spend longer periods of time there. Make sure to keep on top of your landscaping. Additionally, if your yard has a shed or decking with space underneath, it’s prime real estate for a fox den, so block off any entrances to these spaces.

  • Is there an accessible water source?

One of the crucial things a fox looks for when it’s seeking territory is a water source. If you have a birdbath or pond that’s easily accessible, consider removing it or covering it with mesh.

  • Do you use natural fertilizers or regularly turn up your soil?

Soil enriching substances like blood and bone fertilizer or fish are a potential attractant for a fox. If you notice that there is a lot of digging happening around your garden or flower beds, consider opting for alternative types of plant food.


A sturdy perimeter is perhaps the best option when it comes to fox deterrence. If it’s a wooden fence make sure it has no gaps between the pickets, as foxes can squeeze through gaps smaller than you might expect. To deter burrowing, sink the fence well into the ground or lay a concrete foundation. If you do this effectively, the only way into your yard will be over the top. 

Fox Removal Tips

Lastly, if you construct a sufficiently tall perimeter of approximately six feet, this should discourage jumping and make it much harder overall for foxes to make their entrance. If you have livestock or other valuable assets to protect, consider running an electrified fence around the target area. Electrified fences are proven to be extremely effective against foxes, and will likely eliminate your problem entirely. They’re an expensive investment, so it may not be in the average homeowner’s best interest to install an electric fence solely to keep out foxes.


If you suspect a fox has made a den in or near your property, a more direct approach will be needed. The best solution is to use a live trap of at least 40 x 15 inches, to make sure there is enough space for a fox to be comfortable walking inside. When you’re looking to catch a fox, you need to be tactical.

Once you have the trap you need to place it in the area of most frequent activity, and for a fox, this is most likely the den. Depending on the property the entrance to the den could be obvious or a little harder to find, so be on the lookout. Foxes are smart and often suspicious of new objects in their vicinity, so you will need to camouflage the trap effectively with leaf matter and other natural debris.

A common mistake that people make when trapping animals is to set the trap immediately. This can often provide disappointing results, as the target animal remains suspicious, and often decides that the risk outweighs the reward. However, if you place food around the unset trap first, the fox will become more comfortable with eating around the trap. Then, with the trap still unset, you place food inside the trap so the fox can get comfortable going further inside. 

Fox Removal Tips

At this point, you can finally set the trap and put food inside once again. Using this method, you are much more likely to make a catch. Make sure to check the trap regularly to prevent the fox from being confined for long periods of time. A fox can easily die of exhaustion or starvation if neglected inside a live trap.

Calling an Expert

Lastly, if you are having problems with foxes invading your property and you’re unsure of how to proceed, the best thing you can do is call an expert in wildlife control. This will likely save you time and money in the long run by getting rid of the problem efficiently. If you’re set on approaching the problem yourself, always make sure to observe the laws and restrictions on removal and relocation of animals.

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