The fox is generally a nocturnal animal, but they may often be seen sunning themselves at any hour of the day. During the winter months, they may forage for food during the day beacuse of the difficulty in finding an adequate food source. The fox is a predator whose food usually consists of small rodents, birds, eggs and rabbits. The fox also eats fruits, nuts and berries.
Baby foxes (called kits) are usually born in March or April. A den, at this time of year, will generally consist of the kits and both parents. Both the adult male and female fox share the responsibility of raising the young. The kits mature quickly and may be seen coming out of the den as early as 3-4 weeks after birth. The kits are often moved to different dens one or more times during the rearing process. Juvenile fox usually leave the parents in early fall and disperse.
Note: Human presence or activity will usually scare the fox away.
Foxes on the Premises
- Be sure to eliminate all food sources, such as pet food, birdseed, etc., at night. If your pets must be fed outside, then remove all food at night.
- Use metal or heavy plastic trash containers. Keep the lids securely fastened to prevent odors from escaping. If needed, secure lids with bungee cords, ropes, etc. that have been soaked in Tabasco sauce ® or the commercial repellant Ropel ®, available at garden, hardware, pet or feed stores. If they still get in, you can pour about one cup of ammonia in the trash can every week, after the trash has been picked up. You should always try to store trash in a garage or a shed.
- Keep BBQ grills clean and stored in a secure place.
- Light the area with floodlights or motion detector lights. Motion detector lights usually work the best.
- When you see a fox in the yard turn on the lights, run outside yelling and swinging a broom and scaring them off.
- Foxes will not attack dogs or children, but sometimes, if the fox is hungry enough, it may go after cats.
Foxes in a Den
- Roll rags into a tight ball and tie with twine. These should be the size of a tennis ball. Soak them in ammonia and throw the ammonia balls in the entrance hole of the den.
- Bang a shovel on top of the den, making as much noise as possible.
- Place a radio, tuned to an all talk station, at the entrance hole.
- Slowly, over a period of days, destroy the den in increments.
Foxes Living Under House or Structure
- Human activity in the area will make the fox feel uncomfortable and they will usually leave.
- Any of the methods described under Foxes in Den (above), can be used. Ammonia rags and a radio is the most pratical way of humanely evicting them.
Note: A fox living under a house or structure will usually only occur during the spring. It will usually be a fox with kits.
Foxes in a Chicken Coop
- Build a Secure Cage for Your Fowl. This will keep them safe from any predator, including domestic dogs and cats, and not just the fox.
- Use heavy gauge, welded wire or fencing. Be sure to sink the wire/fencing at least 1 foot into the ground. Foxes are very good diggers.
- Be sure that the top is enclosed, as foxes are very athletic.
- Use an electric fence. Stay with high voltage, low amperage, so that it is safe for your fowl, pets and other wildlife. We recommend the Fido Shock® electric fence. It comes in a kit with everything you need and is very versatile and easy to set up. It is available at many pet or hardware stores.
Foxes Teasing Dogs
- Keep your dog in the house or garage at night and in the early morning for a few days. The fox will lose interest and will leave.
- Foxes seem to have quite a sense of humor. They might enjoy watching your dog running back and forth and barking.
Reprinted with permission by Urban Wildlife Rescue