How To Repel Red Foxes From Your Property

Although they are wild animals, foxes live amongst us; in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. They are skilled and cunning predators. There are many ways that you can repel foxes to keep your property and animals safe, including chemical deterrents, electronic devices, fencing, and guard animals.

This article lists all the ways in which you can keep foxes away from you and your property and provides information about the damage wild foxes can cause and how to prevent it.

How Can I Repel Red Foxes From My Property?

The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true fox species and the most widespread, living throughout the entire Northern Hemisphere, including Asia, Europe, and North America.

It is an intelligent and adaptive hunter and it can potentially prey on many domestic animals such as livestock (chickens, calves, guinea pigs, sheep, rabbits, piglets) as well as your pets like cats, kittens, birds, and small dogs.

There are many ways that you can repel red foxes from your property. The most popular methods fall into the following categories:

Keep Foxes Out With Fencing

Strong and secure fencing is a great way to keep foxes from your property. However, foxes are great diggers and they can easily dig under a normal fence.

For the best results, you need to make sure to have an L-shaped fence and bury the footer around the outer perimeter of the area. This way, even if the fox tries to dig, it won’t be able to get past the fence.

Another option is electric fencing. Although this type of barrier cannot be used on its own, it’s a great way to strengthen your conventional fencing.

The easiest way is to install a single strand of electrified fencing about four inches off the ground and a foot or so in front of the normal fence.

Just make sure you check your local laws before you go ahead, as electric fences can be restricted in some locations.

Repel Foxes Using Electronic Devices

Electronic devices can be an efficient and humane way to prevent foxes from coming onto your property and there are several different types:

Ultrasonic Repellants

These types of repellants emit high-frequency noises that foxes hate. As a result, they will actively avoid the area. Although these devices tend to take a few weeks to work, many are solar-powered and therefore require very little maintenance. (Here’s one from amazon.)

For those of you who prefer to avoid chemicals, they are a great option. And the best part is that the sound frequency cannot be heard by humans.

Water jet repellants

These devices are programmed to spray a jet of water when the fox triggers the sensor. Although they great way to keep the fox from your lawn, they are only effective for six to 10 feet and they can easily be triggered by your family cat or dog!

Light repellants

Foxes are shy animals that like the cover of darkness to roam throughout the neighborhood. With a motion-activated sensor light, a bright burst of light is a great way to startle the fox and scare it away.

Repellant scents

These scents, which are usually a combination of ammonium or citronella, mimic the smell of another animal and make the fox think that the area has already been claimed as their territory.

There are many types of scents that you can use so be sure to use one that is safe to be around people, pets, and any edible plants including fruits and vegetables.

Scare Foxes Away

Foxes are smart and adaptable but they are also cautious and shy, which means that they can be scared away from your property. This tactic is particularly effective if you find the den and there are young foxes in the area. You can:

  1. Disturb the foxes by putting leaves, soil, or mulch around the den opening.
  2. Place smelly items around the den, including urine-soaked kitty litter, smelly socks, or old sneakers.
  3. Hang bright and shiny ribbons or balloons around the den’s entrance.
  4. Spread a capsicum-based granular repellant.

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Wild Foxes

You should not feed wild foxes because this will encourage them to stay in the area. If there is no food for them, they will likely leave to find food elsewhere.

This also encourages foxes to become bold and aggressive around the food, which can cause conflict with local wildlife and your livestock and pets.

What Damage Do Wild Foxes Do To Gardens, Livestock, and Your Neighborhood?

Damage Caused to Gardens By Foxes

Foxes and their cubs can trample and kill plants, dig up your lawn and eat the fish in your pond.

They will also make a mess of your property and damage your outdoor furniture, shoes, and toys.

Foxes are also smelly and they tend to leave their droppings in one specific area known as a ‘fox latrine’. And when they urinate, they leave behind a musky, pungent smell.

Fox Dangers Caused to Livestock

Foxes can hunt and eat small livestock such as chickens, rabbits, birds, lambs, and calves. They can also agitate and harass adult animals.

Foxes can also carry diseases that are dangerous to livestock including mange, distemper, and rabies.

Damage Caused By Foxes to the Neighborhood

Foxes are messy and they tend to leave a wave of destruction as they move through the neighborhood. They mark their territory with their urine and leave their droppings in fox latrines. They can also raid garbage and compost bins and damage gardens and lawns looking for food.

How Do I Know If Foxes Are On My Property?

There are several ways that you can tell whether foxes are on your property:

  1. Your plants are trampled.
  2. You can see fox droppings in places such as on your shoes and on outdoor garden furniture.
  3. There is a pungent and musky smell.
  4. Your shoes and toys are chewed up.
  5. There is half-eaten fruit below your fruit trees.
  6. There is damage to your fences and hose pipes.
  7. Your bins are overturned and the garbage is strewn about.
  8. Your garden has been dug up by foxes looking for underground grubs.

Should I Report Foxes Roaming In My Neighborhood?

Foxes are common in most urban areas and you do not usually need to report them. However, the fox is dangerous if it is infected with rabies. If you see a fox that is infected, you should report a fox sighting.

There are several ways to tell if a fox has rabies: it is listless or paralyzed, disoriented, or acts aggressively without being provoked.

What’s The Most Effective Method For Repelling Foxes?

The most effective way to repel foxes is to prevent them from accessing your property in the first place. Your best is a strong and sturdy wire mesh fence with an L-shaped underground component.

If you are determined to keep foxes away, employ a combination of methods, including fencing, sonic deterrents, and scent repellants.

Methods For Repelling Foxes But Not Cats and Dogs?

For many people, conventional fox deterrents are scary because of the danger that they might harm their pets.  

This can be true for most sonic repellants, so a good option is to use non-toxic smells like hot peppers, white vinegar, cat and dog urine, garlic, mint, and even your own old smelly clothes!

How To Keep Foxes From My Chicken Coop?

There are several ways to keep foxes away from your chicken coop, including using hardwire mesh to enclose your chickens at night, and burying the fencing underground so that even when the fox tries to dig under the coop, they cannot get past the hardwire mesh.

It is also a great idea to make your garden as unappealing as possible. This means getting rid of any household garbage such as food waste and keeping all your chicken food sealed in bins. You should also clear all grass and plant growth around the coop so that the fox doesn’t have anywhere to hide.

The other option is to employ an animal guard such as a dog, rooster, or guinea fowl.

Roosters

A rooster is your best bet if you want to protect your chickens because it will lay down its life for the flock. And while it might not be able to protect your hens from a fox, it’s a great lookout and will let you know if there is danger nearby.

Dogs

Man’s best friend is a great guard for your chickens, you just need to train them from an early age. The best breed for this task is a Tibetan Mastiff, Kangal, Pyrenean Mastiff, or Maremma.

Guinea fowl

Guinea fowl are naturally aggressive and territorial and will challenge anything that is a threat to their authority. They are also noisy and will make a loud sound to let you know that danger is near.

Donkeys

Donkeys might not come to mind when you think of protective animals but they’re a great protector because they are large, can kick a predator away, and have a loud bray to alert others of danger.

How To Keep Foxes From Digging In My Yard?

The best way to keep foxes from digging in your yard is to stop them from getting there in the first place! Make sure your fences are secure and that the foxes have no way to dig underneath.

You can also use ultrasonic repellants, motion-activated jet sprats, or scent repellants.