How to Deter Foxes from Your Garden
Despite their endearing and intelligent nature, foxes can quickly become a nuisance in your garden, causing damage to plants, stealing food, and even threatening smaller pets. In this article, we'll explore several methods to deter foxes from your garden while considering the reasons behind their presence and discussing common misconceptions about the creatures.
Understanding Foxes and Their Behaviour
Red foxes are the most common species found in the UK. They are adaptable and opportunistic animals - their ability to thrive in both rural and urban environments demonstrates this aptly. Foxes establish territories and dens, usually pursuing food and shelter. They feed on a wide range of sources, including rabbits, rodents, birds, insects, fruits, and discarded waste. Consequently, it is vital to understand that a fox scavenging in your garden may not only be looking for sustenance but exploring an ideal location for a new home.
Methods of Prevention and Deterrence
There are several ways to deter foxes from your garden, and combining multiple techniques will further enhance their effectiveness:
Secure Food Sources
One of the most prominent attractions for foxes is food. Ensure that your bins are securely covered and cannot be easily knocked over by the creatures. Clear away any leftover or fallen fruits and vegetables from your garden, and avoid leaving pet food outdoors overnight.
Maintain the Garden
Foxes are known for digging dens, especially in secluded and overgrown areas. Ensure you regularly maintain your garden, clear debris, and trim bushes. This will create a sense of openness and space, an unappealing environment for a fox seeking safety and comfort.
By installing motion-activated sprinklers around your garden, you can create an unpleasant experience for unwanted visitors. The sudden spray of water will startle the fox, encouraging it to move elsewhere.
Consider installing fencing around your garden, ensuring it is buried at least 30 centimetres deep and extends to two meters in height to prevent foxes from digging under or jumping over. Ensure that there are no openings or weak points near gates or adjacent walls.
Ultrasonic devices emit a high-pitched sound that helps deter various animals, including foxes. Place them in strategic points across your garden to prevent foxes from associating your garden with a constant disturbance.
One misconception is that foxes carry threatening diseases to humans. While it is true that foxes can carry parasites and transmit diseases to other animals, the risk they pose to humans is minimal.
There are also misconceptions around the use of chemical deterrents. These controversial chemicals, while efficient, can also pose a risk to your family and pets. As an alternative, you can use natural repellents such as chilli pepper or diluted ammonia on areas frequently visited by foxes.
It is important to remember that foxes are resourceful creatures, driven by survival instincts. They are easily adaptable, and it may take time and persistence to completely deter them from your garden. By implementing a range of preventative methods and understanding fox behaviour, you can protect your garden while ensuring these fascinating creatures can go about their lives undisturbed. Encourage further discussion and action around fox deterring strategies within your communities, and promote humane methods of coexisting with these wild guests.