How to Get Rid Of Foxes in Your Yard: 6 Humane & Natural Methods

The question, how to get rid of foxes has numerous answers. Some of them include using motion sensors, wired fences, and many natural alternatives.  Find out more below.
By
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: December 23, 2022
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If you are reading this, then you are probably suffering from fox infestation, or at least you know someone who is. Also, if you don’t know how to get rid of foxes without killing them, keep reading. First and foremost, you cannot kill foxes. Not that you cannot but you are not allowed to. For instance, the United Kingdom government and policy for wildlife protection state that foxes should not be poisoned, gassed, asphyxiated, maimed, stabbed, impaled, drowned, clubbed, or snared. That’s not all. The law continues that anyone caught or found guilty of the above-mentioned is liable to 6 months imprisonment and a 5,000 euros fine per fox.

That’s why you need this guide. Luckily, this guide will begin with a brief overview of foxes and what they are about. Then, you will learn the reasons foxes could be attracted to your yard in the first instance. These are all the things you’ll learn while also gathering how to get rid of foxes in your yard the right way (without killing them).

An Overview of Foxes

When it comes to the topic of pests, you would likely think of rodents, bugs, and things of such nature. But what about foxes? Foxes are a major disturbance for homeowners that live close to the woods. In North America alone, there are five (5) fox species. They include the red, kit, gray, swift, and arctic fox. Truly, there are other species of foxes that might not be common to urban cities but they still exist. They are fennec fox, crab-eating fox, silver fox, Tibetan fox (that can almost be mistaken for a stripeless tiger), dusicyon cultigens (similar to a hyena), and so much more. Though these foxes are easily recognizable with their physical differences, it might still be a hassle to tell them apart.

The red fox adapts easily to any environment and so makes it the most popular of them all; especially in big cities and homes with the woods as a neighbor.

Though foxes are naturally shy of humans, they like to feed on small farm animals like lambs, piglets, birds, turkeys, and chickens.

For this reason, farmers and homeowners with pets and farm animals are liable to a fox visit. Besides that foxes feed on small-sized farm animals and animal offspring, they are also carriers of rabies. Therefore, their bite (in any situation; accidental or not), is poisonous to humans. For these reasons, you need to know how to get rid of foxes around the house away from your farm animals, yard, and decking.

How can you tell if there is a fox in your yard?

One notable characteristic about foxes is that they are naturally shy. This means that even if they come out to play during the day, it is difficult (to an extent) to spot them. So if it is generally challenging to find a fox, how can you tell if there’s one in your backyard? Luckily, just like pests, foxes leave behind ‘fingerprints’ of their presence. So when you see these telltale signs, you would be able to detect whether or not you have a fox (or some foxes) around your house.

  1. They scream at night: With the other features accustomed to a fox, their scream is another staple. The popular fox scream is an unsettling noise that usually happens at night. Hard to miss, it is a method of communication for foxes and vixens. The males scream to protect their territory. The females scream to attract a mate during the breeding season. If you happen to hear a scream in the night, foxes are around.
  2. Their musky smell: If you have a sensitive sense of smell, you might be able to detect their presence from the scent alone. Foxes have a musky smell and if it seems like you have a different fragrance around your home and within your yard, you most likely have a fox around.
  3. Fox droppings: Another surefire way to know whether or not foxes have visited your yard is through their droppings. Similar to their night scream, foxes use droppings to mark their territory.
  4. Messy yard: Finally, if you come across a messy yard, then foxes might have had something to do with it (, especially when in conjunction with any or all of the previous points). Foxes can either dig up your lawn and bore holes in it,  scatter trash cans, or trample on plants and crops

What attracts foxes in your backyard?

How to Get Rid Of Foxes in Your Yard: 6 Humane & Natural Methods

It’s simple – small animals. If you own a farm with chickens, birds, rabbits, and other small-sized animals, you will likely attract foxes to your backyard. This is because these intelligent but shy wild animals love to feed on helpless animals that are easy to hunt. But aside from having numerous small animals roaming around, here are other things that can attract foxes into your backyard;

  1. Food: Foxes are attracted to food scraps laying around in your yard. If you throw food on the ground for your pets to feed on or you have pet food littering every corner of your home, you might be luring foxes in.
  2. Water: If foxes have found that your home is a source of water for them, they’ll keep visiting. This is especially possible when you have an uncovered pond or an open drainage (or irrigation) system that exposes a large volume of water.
  3. Sweet-smelling fertilizer: Some fertilizers are made from bone and other animal-based products. The ingredients, therefore, make the fertilizer have a scent that attracts the foxes to your lawn, deceiving them of multiple prey to hunt.
  4. Buried pet: Speaking of scent, the scent of a dead animal rings a bell for a fox. Naturally, foxes bury their foods only to chew on them later again (just like dogs). So they can pick the scent of the carcass – even the one buried underground.
  5. Flowerbed patches:  If you recently opened flowerbed patches that resulted in the accumulation of dirt, you could be calling in the foxes.

If you find yourself ticking one or more of the boxes above, then you are in for a surprise. Prepare yourself by knowing how to get rid of foxes in your backyard fast. One way is by knowing what repels them.

What are foxes afraid of?

Though adult foxes have no natural predators (especially in Britain), smaller foxes can be prey to eagles and larger birds. Yet both adults and kits are afraid of four (4) things. These elements are people, flashy light, sudden movement, and loud noise.

  1. People: Since foxes are naturally shy, they hide from humans. Therefore, it can be pretty difficult to find them in the cities or populated areas. But if you live in a suburb or close to the woods, finding numerous people to walk around every time is almost impossible. Therefore, you could mount scarecrows that look like people to trick the foxes. But this can only last for a while and the foxes will soon figure you out.
  2. Flashy light: Foxes are blinded by light and so they don’t like very bright areas. So if you are looking for how to get rid of foxes naturally, keeping your lawn or backyard well-lit even at night is a great step.
  3. Sudden movement: Foxes can easily be startled and when there are unpredictable and sudden movements repeatedly, the wild animals would be scared off easily.
  4. Loud noise: While foxes don’t like loud noise, so do humans. That’s why ultrasonic devices are recommended for homeowners. These devices emit a sound that only animals can hear. The sound is disturbing and prominent ensuring to repeal the foxes.

How to Get Rid Of Foxes in Your Yard: 6 Humane & Natural Methods

How to Get Rid of Foxes

Here are three points on how to get rid of foxes without killing them. 

Wired Fence

Foxes are not great climbers, so if you have a fence – they will likely not try to climb through. But this is not guaranteed. However, a wired fence carefully placed across all the ends of your home or yard will ensure they stay out for good. Simply make sure that you check the fence regularly for any breaches if any.

Motion Activated Alarm

Recall that foxes don’t like sudden movements, this is why motion sensor alarms are the best. What this sensor triggers, is up to you. You can decide whether it turns on the lights, releases noise, or sprinkles water. Either of these results of the alarm should scare them off after one or two-time encounters.

How to Get Rid of Foxes Naturally

You can also use things around your home (or even nothing at all) to repel foxes. If you want to know how to get rid of foxes from chickens and your other farm animals, see below.

White Vinegar

How to Get Rid Of Foxes in Your Yard: 6 Humane & Natural Methods

White vinegar is a natural repellent for foxes and hence great for how to get rid of foxes under a shed. Simply pour some amount of white vinegar into a bowl and place them around your shed and yard.

Removal of Trigger Attractions

Things that attract foxes are food litter/scatters, an open water source, animal scent, and piled dirt. Therefore, if you can keep food from being scattered all over the place, find a way to securely close your water source, or even mask the scent of dead pet/animal-based fertilizer, then you might make the foxes disinterested in visiting.

Urine

A weird but true fact is that just like dogs, foxes tag pee with territory markings. Before a fox or a dog urinates, they smell the ground. When there is a scent of urine on the ground, the fox assumes that the territory has been claimed by another and will find somewhere else to ease itself. In that case, spread human or dog urine around your house and that should do it- – naturally.

Garlic

How to Get Rid Of Foxes in Your Yard: 6 Humane & Natural Methods

Garlic scent is another natural repellent for foxes and hence, you can use garlic cloves to make a DIY repellent spray. Simply grind some cloves and mix them with a small amount of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and use it in areas you suspect the foxes usually visit.

FAQ

Are foxes dangerous?

Foxes may not be directly harmful to humans because they don’t hunt humans. But they can be disturbing and unhealthy to have around. Foxes target small-sized animals and pets and also carry rabies. Hence, it is best to know how to get rid of foxes to keep your farm animals safe and also protect yourself against fox rabies.

Will human urine deter foxes?

As was said before, human and dog urine deter foxes. Foxes are similar to dogs because they sniff the ground before taking a piss. If there is a prevalent urine smell on the ground, the fox will assume that the territory has been marked by another creature and will leave.

Final Thoughts

This guide began with an overview of foxes where the general features and characteristics of foxes were established. Foxes are shy and scared of numerous things but they are also smart. In your attempt to get rid of them, you need to know what scares them and what attracts them. While foxes are called in by the food, water, smell, and dirt, they can be scared off by sudden movements, lights, humans, and loud noise. Nonetheless, if you have followed the guide closely, there are natural ways and not-so-natural ways in tackling how to get rid of foxes. Getting a wired fence or a motion-activated alarm can help you send the foxes off for good. But you can also use natural repellent like white vinegar, urine, and garlic.

References

1.
Creepy Animal Noises
The spookiest sounds on Halloween are made by creatures of the night.
2.
What Do Foxes Eat? And More Fox Facts Woodland Trust
Whether we live in the countryside or a bustling city, most of us have seen a fox. But how much do you know about one of our most iconic animals?
3.
Fox problems FAQ
Humane fox management service
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