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One of the first things that worries humans when wild animals get too close is the threat of disease, and in North America, one of the biggest disease threats is rabies. Although there are quite a few disease commonly associated with this cunning and bushy-tailed beast, rabies is the one that comes with the biggest fear factor, a disease that requires vaccination in pets, and treatment BEFORE symptoms arise in the case of both animals and humans.
Seeing nocturnal animals during the day has been known for years to be a surefire way of telling whether or not an animal is rabid and, therefore, infected with rabies. In this day and age, however, it is not unusual to see a great number of nocturnal animals out and about during the daylight hours. In some ways, it's a kind of evolution. They have learned to stay awake at the best times to find food. Humans mean food, because humans are seriously messy. Everywhere you will find humans, you will find nuisance wildlife and scavengers.
Coyotes out in the wild would be more active during the day than during the night, but as they have been forced to move closer to humans, they have changed up their patterns too. They are starting to come out more and more at night, choosing to keep their heads down and sleep during the day. It's the same kind of thing with foxes — evolution of the animal to ensure its survival. It's just the other way around. It all amounts to the same thing. These animals are doing whatever they need to do in order to survive. Wouldn't you be the same?
Seeing a fox out during the day is not normally considered to be a cause for concern, but that doesn't mean you should get too close. Just because the fox doesn't look rabid or infected, doesn't mean that it is perfectly healthy. Rabies is the kind of infection that can actually lie dormant or pretty quiet for a while before it pops up with nasty symptoms. A fox can be infected with rabies, and have been that way for many weeks, without showing any signs of it. If a human were to interact with that fox, it might look as if the fox were just relatively tame. The closer the two get, the higher the chances of conflict, and the increased risk of the rabies virus spreading.
With wild animals, you just don't know the full story. You don't know the why’s, what’s, and where's, and that’s what makes dealing them with rather difficult. We do not suggest getting up close and personal with a fox that you have found wandering around the street, but just because you do see one, doesn't mean that it will be rabid or sick.
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.