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Protecting your property from foxes is very much a simple case of making sure you have left nothing out for the fox to be attracted by. In many cases, these creatures will come on to your land for food, but there are other instances that encourage them to take a closer look. A mother might look for a den to raise her youngsters, or a male fox might look for somewhere to shelter when there are bigger predators close by.
In the majority of cases, it is actually food that brings nuisance wildlife to your land, and this is the first place you start when it comes to getting rid of the animals.
Do you leave food outside for your pets?
That bowl of food that you leave on the porch for your pooch is the first thing that will bring the wild critters closer. The same can be said for bowls or water, and also those milky drinks you leave for the cats too. It’s time to move your pet food bowls inside the home, and definitely don't leave anything outside. If it's outside, it’s fair game to ANY animal that happens to be wandering past. You can't be surprised when you wake up to coyote in your yard, or even others critters — raccoons, opossums, stray cats and dogs, etc.
Do you leave food outside for other animals?
We know that you want to help the hedgehogs, but leaving food out for them really isn't the best idea. As much as you shouldn't leave pet food out for your pets, you shouldn't leave any food out for any animal. It’s there for the taking, it will be taken. Nine times out of ten, the animal you intended to leave the food out for doesn’t see the food at all.
Do you leave garbage bags outside so that that they can be ripped open?
If you do, you’re leaving them in the line of fire for a number of wild critters, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, opossums, rats, mice, and more. You should put your garbage bags into a large, metal garbage can, with a lid. Raccoons can get into the lids, and are often noted knocking trash cans over to get to the goodies inside, but you can tie the lid down for the most problematic critters. Bungee cords can be used, and although some of the nuisance wildlife will be able to chew through the material, it will take them a while. That gives you plenty of time to spot the damage, and then repair it. As a side note, plastic trash cans can be chewed through in no time at all when rats and other rodents join the party.
Do you have a bird feeder that constantly leaves debris all on the floor?
Again, opossums and raccoons are the worst for this, as well as squirrels, but foxes will often go after smaller mammals if they think they stand a chance of being able to subdue it. The food that falls down from your bird feeder will be attractive to ALL wild animal species that pass by, but you can buy modified feeders to stop animals other than birds from getting to it. Cleaning up regularly will also avoid a problem.
Do you have fruit trees?
Another culprit in many a back yard, fruit trees are attractive because they are sweet. These sweet treats bring in the insects, ad a number of wildlife, pest animals included, chase after the insects. Foxes are omnivores, and this means that they eat a mixture of plant and animal matter. They will lap up those fruits that have fallen form the tree onto the floor, and some of them may even attempt to get to the fruit still on the branches. If the fox doesn’t five it a shot, another critter will, such as a squirrel or rodent.
Cleaning up your garden is important, not just around the bird feeder, but also around other plant life in your yard. You can even go as far as to protect certain areas with fencing for overall nuisance wildlife protection.
Do you leave toys outside?
Believe it or not, young foxes, known as cubs, like to play with toys designed for kids and other pets — cats and dogs, for example. If you leave toys out, there's a good chance young foxes will want to play with them, and their parents will follow suit. Before you know it, those parents will have found food or a cosy spot to build a den and then you'll never get rid of them.
Following the same lines as toys, don't leave footwear outside either. Some of them can give off a pungent scent, the animal will come to investigate, and if it's play-with-able, it will play with it.
Do you have a swimming pool or paddling pool uncovered?
Animals love paddling and swimming pools, beautifully shown by the wonders of social media. When the weather gets hot, make sure these watery areas are covered (as best as you can) to ensure that animals are not drawn in by them. Many animals eat frogs, coyotes included, so when the frogs come closer (which they likely will), so will other creatures — those that prey on the smaller ones.
You could look at using repellents to keep out foxes and other wild animals, but these come with varying degrees of success. Usually, they DON’T have the best success rates. You will also find that constantly and continually using repellents or deterrents will also come with added cost. Solutions will need to be reapplied, and you will need to buy more of the stuff to make sure it's still working. Electronic devices will need power, and this can come in the form of batteries or mains-operated. You will need to think about the extra drain on your energy bill, or the cost of buying replacement batteries all the time. The long-term costs of using repellents are what make them a pointless option.
You will need to seal holes or erect fences around your property, or parts of your property, if you find yourself constantly under attack from one or more nuisance animals. You must remember that foxes (as well as other wild animals) can often burrow and dig beneath the ground, which means you’ll need to add protection both above and below the surface. This can come in the form of a fence with an underground wire panel affixed.
Read aboutHow to get rid of fox
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
Animals in the attic - read about the common species.
Noises in the attic - how to identify critters by their sounds.