Home > Garden Mammals > What to do About Foxes in Your Garden

What to do About Foxes in Your Garden

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 5 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Foxes In Garden Urban Fox Fox Myths Fox

Many people mistakenly believe that the presence of a fox in the garden can be dangerous to both humans and other pets that are living there but this is rarely the case. It is extremely rare for a fox to attack a cat and it will never take on a dog. Even rabbits and smaller animals are usually quite safe as long as their hutch is secured. They may be more vulnerable in late spring/early summer when foxes are rearing their cubs but providing the hutch is built sturdily and is completely secured you shouldn’t have a problem. In fact, you might want to keep the hutch in a secure garage, shed or even bring it indoors if you’re that concerned. In fact, the reality is that the most damage caused by the presence of foxes in your garden is likely to be on your ears and nose! Their mating calls, usually between December and February, can resemble a screaming sound which will keep you awake long into the night. They can also dig up the garden looking for worms and their excretions to mark their territories are often highly pungent. For some wildlife enthusiasts, however, having foxes in the garden can be a privilege.

How to Keep Foxes Away From Your Garden
First and foremost, it’s important to state that the law prevents the use of any form of inhumane and poisonous control methods and any chemical you might choose to use must be covered by the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986. The best course of action, however, is to remove the attraction in the first place which is likely to be food and or shelter.

Taking Action
Refuse bags which have simply been tied up and left outside in your garden are an open invitation to a fox to tear them up and rummage through them. They can scent food from a great distance. You should dispose of all your food waste in a domestic wheelie bin with the lid firmly closed and remove possible sources of other food such as compost heap scraps. If you have dogs or cats, don’t feed them outside and make sure that any food you leave out for the birds is only accessible to the birds and no other creatures.

If you suspect shelter is more the reason for their presence you might need to resort to using some kind of approved animal repellent to remove the attraction and, in a worse case scenario, you may even have to resort to using thick wire mesh securely fixed to make a protective shield around the perimeter of your garden.

The Myth of the Fox Attack
Contrary to popular belief, a fox will not usually openly attack a human, be it an adult or a child nor will it attack another dog. The recent event in London where twin babies were attacked, is thought to have been a fox cub attracted by the smell of the babies' nappies. The fox seems to have to tried to drag the nappies through the bars of the cot and viewed the babies as opponents trying to prevent it. Experts say this kind of attack is extremely rare, but it's wise to keep an eye on youngsters and keep doors closed in the evenings when foxes are out looking for food.

Most cats will also prove too much of a threat to a fox. However, if found in a shed or cornered elsewhere, a fox, like many other frightened animal, may try to bite in self-defence so you should not try to corner or capture a trapped fox but allow it an escape route and it will leave as soon as it knows it’s safe to do so.

For fox enthusiasts, however, the presence of foxes in the garden can mean incredible hours of wildlife observation at its finest and they will also help to keep mice and rats away.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Angel - Your Question:
Hi I have just noticed in the last week or two I have had a fox coming into my garden in the evening.obviously it’s difficult to let my dog out in the garden.it seems it has made its home at the house that’s backs on to me!.as they leave rubbish bags and furniture all in the garden.the fox has already ruined my gate trying to get in my garden.is there anything I could use to keep the fox out of my garden?thankyou Angel

Our Response:
There is a lot of information on deterring foxes such as this advice on Lewisham's website. Foxes will generally ignore your dog, so don't feel you should have to keep it inside.
WildlifeGardener - 5-Dec-17 @ 3:16 PM
Hi I have just noticed in the last week or two I have had a fox coming into my garden in the evening.....obviously it’s difficult to let my dog out in the garden......it seems it has made its home at the house that’s backs on to me!....as they leave rubbish bags and furniture all in the garden.....the fox has already ruined my gate trying to get in my garden....is there anything I could use to keep the fox out of my garden?.....thankyou Angel
Angel - 5-Dec-17 @ 12:28 AM
Elliott - Your Question:
Me and my wife have just seen a fox at the bottom of our garden 5 mins ago is there a chance it has made a den at the bottom of the garden? There are trees and brambles at the bottom, if it has made a den I will put up some reed fencing purely to keep the fox safe as we have a dog. It was nice to see it looked fairly big and healthy could that also be why my cats don't go out at night and my dog growls at the back door in the evening the fox has sat by our back door one night, what food can I put out for it?

Our Response:
It's not advisable to put food out, most foxes are very capable of finding food. If you keep a watch out, you might find out whether there isden nearby.
WildlifeGardener - 14-Nov-17 @ 11:06 AM
Me and my wife have just seen a fox at the bottom of our garden 5 mins ago is there a chance it has made a den at the bottom of the garden? There are trees and brambles at the bottom, if it has made a den I will put up some reed fencing purely to keep the fox safe as we have a dog. It was nice to see it looked fairly big and healthy could that also be why my cats don't go out at night and my dog growls at the back door in the evening the fox has sat by our back door one night, what food can I put out for it?
Elliott - 12-Nov-17 @ 9:45 AM
hi the 2 foxes iv had in my garden for about a year now seem realy very healthy and have the most amazing coats n tails no signe of mange or any thing you usualky see on a fox which is great as i absolutly love that i am so privaliged to be able to watch them when ever i want and i havent provided shelter for them as you said it would only make tgem reliant on humans which for a wild animal woukdny be a good thing so thanks for that advice only woukd it be ok during the winter to throw them some food and if it is what woukd you advise? can you please let me kniw thank you so much Sharon.
nonehi the - 26-Oct-17 @ 8:54 PM
To all those who would rather not have foxes in their gardens:Whilst I love them, and have lived with them for about 15 years plus, if you dont want them have you tried contacting The Fox Project ? Address Broadwater Forrest Wildlife Hospital in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, T. 01892 824111 they are a charity also providing fox advice deterrent advice.They are online.As is The Fox Website run by Bristol University who have run a long term study about urban foxes in Bristol
snowdrops - 29-Sep-17 @ 1:40 AM
@ Lazy Gardener.I have been lucky enough to have had foxes at the back of my garden for around 15 years. There are numerous dens along the boundary wall! maybe some interconnect I dont know.Re your question about not wanting to disturb them, I agree that the clearing you want to do should be done now. and then leave the area where they are alone. It is said, and I have experienced that the Vixen is most sensitive after her kits are born in March, and will move them if they are small enough to carry (they will surely have tunnelled out another den somewhere else).If you want to keep them in your garden I wouldn't go anywhere near the den between February and May if possible.After May they will start popping above ground to play in the sun, gorgeous!I always place fresh water nearby for them.As they grow bigger they will begin play hunting and fighting in the garden and I advise not too many delicate plants, they love doing things like chasing through long grassesor any tall plants, so make sure they are tough plants.Shrubsare also an option including fruiting shrubs.Wish you much happy watching, sometimes they can act so much like domesticated dogs esp in mating season when I've seen the males play with balls like domesticated dogs in the dawn - all for the benefit of the female!
snowdrops - 29-Sep-17 @ 1:21 AM
Lazygardener - Your Question:
I’ve recently moved to Walthamstow and have 2 foxes living in my back garden, currently the garden is overgrown and wild but I plan to clear it etc next spring\early summer. Will that be a problem if the foxes have young? I like having them in the garden but don’t want to be setting up for problems in the future. I have not fed them.Should I try to encourage them to leave now to avoid problems for them next year? Please advise. I do not mind if they stay but I do need to make the garden less wild and overgrown so that I can use it in the summer.

Our Response:
Foxes really aren't that easy to get rid of, you may be better to start clearing the garden now before the young arrive then the foxes will not have to deal with this change in their environment whilst trying to rear their young.
WildlifeGardener - 19-Sep-17 @ 11:42 AM
I’ve recently moved to Walthamstow and have 2 foxes living in my back garden, currently the garden is overgrown and wild but I plan to clear it etc next spring\early summer. Will that be a problem if the foxes have young? I like having them in the garden but don’t want to be setting up for problems in the future. I have not fed them. Should I try to encourage them to leave now to avoid problems for them next year? Please advise. I do not mind if they stay but I do need to make the garden less wild and overgrown so that I can use it in the summer.
Lazygardener - 17-Sep-17 @ 2:44 PM
Have a fox that keep digging under our new fence how do I stop them
Stella - 16-Sep-17 @ 9:13 AM
Hi I was feeding a fox for two years, it came same time at night winter and summer and waited patiently until I left out its food.... for past week it has been missing and I wonder is it dead?... or just moved on... it is August. If anyone can enlighten me I would appreciate it. Thank you
Lulu - 2-Sep-17 @ 7:18 PM
Please help, I'm sure that I have a fix under my shed but I can't block off its access as it's inaccessible. It's causing a problem as I have 2 dogs and one being a basset hound that barks repeatedly around the shed. I also have rabbits and he has managed to get hold of one. I'm unable to move rabbits to a secured location. What can I do to get the fox out from under my shed and not return?
Smudge - 30-Aug-17 @ 4:25 AM
I have a fox regularly in my garden but this morning at 5am I was woken by a mating call. Went downstairs to see 3 small sized foxes all lay on the grass,heads bowed calling to each other. Then - a cat, brazen as hell walked straight through the middle of the foxes. They looked up for a second and then carried on their calling. Initially I thought the cat was going to 'get it' but no. It was like some big happy family ...
Kes - 22-Aug-17 @ 1:41 PM
nonesory - Your Question:
Sory dont mean to be a pest but is there any form of houseing I could put in my garden for the 2 foxes who seem to be liveing in an overgrown patch of my garden? I feel for then especially in bad weather

Our Response:
It's not really advisable to make/provide accommodation for foxes. They are by nature, wild animals and know how to fend for themselves. By providing them with artificial housing, you are making them more dependent on humans.
WildlifeGardener - 21-Aug-17 @ 10:29 AM
sory dont mean to be a pest but is there any form of houseing i could put in my garden for the 2 foxes who seem to be liveing in an overgrown patch of my garden? i feel for then especially in bad weather
nonesory - 17-Aug-17 @ 5:45 AM
what food could i leave out for the 2 foxes in my garden? and for any one who may be woried the familys at either side of me also love foxes and are not up set by me feeding the foxes either they are just a joy to watch from my kitchen i never go too close as i do not wish to frighten them and im not sure if they have cubs with them as the part of my garden they have chosrn to live in if they are liveing there as i see them daily is well over grown so they have good shelter and they are also coverd by an overgrown blackberry bushe i took a video of them and they seemd happy for me to do so also they have let me take photoesand their coats look thick and lush so i hope they are healthy i adire to watch them am i doing wrong?
none - 17-Aug-17 @ 2:51 AM
iv 3 weeks ago noticed 2 amazinly beautiful foxes in my garden i threw 2 breasts of chicken out for them but they scatterd they came back but do you think they will find and eat the chicken? i think they are gorgeous and my 2 little dogs ignore them and they never bother my 2 dogs would they be actually liveing in my garden as i see them every day and do you tbink they have cubs with them?
none - 17-Aug-17 @ 2:40 AM
i have just this past 3 weeks seen a couple of amazingly beautiful foxes in my garden and im probably bad but i threw 2 breasts of chicken out for them but they scatterd they came back but i wonder would they have eaten their chicken i gave them i think they are gorgeous my 2 little dogs ignore them and they never bother my dogs arrr
none - 17-Aug-17 @ 2:34 AM
Arun - Your Question:
We have two foxes roaming in our garden day and nights makin mass and pooing Everywhere? Any remedy to get rid of them? We are desperate?

Our Response:
Really the only advice is that included in the above article and also this Guide from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
WildlifeGardener - 9-Aug-17 @ 2:42 PM
I have seen a fox in my garden today i have only ever seen one on the occation at night but never in the day. It was just sitting in the middle of my lawn having a good scrach. It did not look in very good condidtion very scruffy fur and thin.
Cat lover - 9-Aug-17 @ 2:10 PM
We have two foxes roaming in our garden day and nights makin mass and pooing Everywhere? Any remedy to get rid of them? We are desperate?
Arun - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:50 PM
coxy - Your Question:
Our garden backs on to fields so we get all sorts of wildlife in our garden. One of my cats rarely ventures out but she was accidently shut out last night. I heard her at 5ish this morning, she was on the patio, and to my surprise and delight she was sitting on the step with the most beautiful fox, who was sitting with her, both of them seemed quite happy and I think the fox would have also popped in, had allowed it (of course - I wouldn't) but she was absolutely beautiful, she just wandered off to the field when I let the cat in.

Our Response:
How lovely, thanks for sharing!
WildlifeGardener - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:16 AM
Our garden backs on to fields so we get all sorts of wildlife in our garden. One of my cats rarely ventures out but she was accidently shut out last night. I heard her at 5ish this morning, she was on the patio, and to my surprise and delight she was sitting on the step with the most beautiful fox, who was sitting with her, both of them seemed quite happy and I think the fox would have also popped in, had allowed it (of course - I wouldn't) but she was absolutely beautiful, she just wandered off to the field when I let the cat in.
coxy - 5-Aug-17 @ 5:54 AM
I was very excited to see a pair of young foxes in my garden playing that was sunday morning I watched them for 30 mins till they left. Then this morning one of them was back. I'm not putting food out they just turned it was great to see.
Corra - 25-Jul-17 @ 6:50 AM
Hi I've recently discovered that I've got foxes in my garden. It's a densely bushed area,so I'm unaware of exactly where they are coming from.there are two and they seem quite young and very skinny.they seem to come out in the early mornings like four am and sniff around for something to eat. I've read the comments and the replies,however none seem to be a solution. For one I like the garden the way it is and secondly it's costly to wire the garden. I don't think I should pay anyways because I'm surrounded by neighbours on all sides.they can each pay.ha. I'll just leave it and hopefully they'll find somewhere else to go
Ruthy - 22-Jul-17 @ 6:20 AM
Hi! I feel sorry for foxes. Today i saw one sleep in my garden early morning. Though if they feel you're too close they'll just run of and relocate to a different spot Lol! How do i interact with a ferral fox? I want to establsih a relationship with the species.
sullyx - 10-Jul-17 @ 6:22 AM
Lizzie - Your Question:
HiI have just had a young for come in through the conservatory into the kitchen, I think it may have been attracted to my cats foodMy cat then saw it and chased it out but my question is will the Fox be ok? It seamed quite young and I'm worried it's on its own as I have never seen any other foxes with it

Our Response:
It will probably be fine. It's clearly plucky enough to be popping into your house to find food!
WildlifeGardener - 5-Jul-17 @ 11:28 AM
Hi I have just had a young for come in through the conservatory into the kitchen, I think it may have been attracted to my cats food My cat then saw it and chased it out but my question is will the Fox be ok? It seamed quite young and I'm worried it's on its own as I have never seen any other foxes with it
Lizzie - 4-Jul-17 @ 2:27 PM
Becky - Your Question:
Hi we have fox and possibly two cubs living under our shed which in itself doesn't bother me but recently they have been coming in to our garden during the day. We have 9month old kittens so still quite small, we keep them in at night but now the foxes are coming out in the day, the adult chased the kitten. We are afraid for our kittens, what can we do?

Our Response:
The easiest thing to do is to try and deter them using the suggestions in the article. Here too,is a really useful document from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health that we've linked to in a comment below
WildlifeGardener - 6-Jun-17 @ 10:48 AM
Hi my partner has a fox in his garden and he came home from work to put his bike in the hut when the fox came and lay down in front of him then when he tried to talk to it it left but came back with her litter they've gone again but I have the video of it lying down and just sitting there it's so cute but I wondered if it is asking for help ??
Sheshe - 5-Jun-17 @ 8:03 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the WildlifeGardener website. Please read our Disclaimer.