How to Keep Foxes Away from House? (7 Effective Ways)

How to Keep Foxes Away

Foxes remind me of that one annoying ex who keeps trying to come back into your life no matter how many times you attempt to get them to leave you alone. Foxes are curious, relentless animals that require you to relay the message that they’re unwelcome multiple times until they finally understand and leave you be.

Using these different methods to keep foxes away from your house:

  • Make Your Area Less Attractive.
  • Optimise Scare Devices.
  • Build a Fence.
  • Consider Trapping.
  • Incorporate Household Pets.
  • Whip out the repellent.
  • Use your sprinklers.

Throughout this article, I cover a variety of methods you can easily try to successfully keep foxes away from your home and other areas surrounding your property. As well as learning how to keep a fox away, I briefly mention fun facts and other interesting knowledge about foxes.

Trapping Foxes: A Step-By-Step Guide

Choose and Set Up Your Trap

The first step is selecting and preparing a suitable fox trap:

Live traps – These cage-like traps capture foxes alive and unharmed. They are humane but require relocating the fox afterward.

Body grip traps are spring-loaded devices that kill foxes quickly. Make sure these traps are legal in your area.

Foothold traps – Metal traps that catch foxes by the foot. Use padding to prevent injury. Check and release non-targets.

Once you’ve selected a trap, set it up in an area foxes frequent like:

  • Near dens
  • Along fences
  • In veggie gardens

Make sure to:

  • Place traps on flat ground so they don’t wobble
  • Secure traps so they don’t tip over
  • Mask human scents around traps

Bait the Trap

You need bait to lure foxes into the trap. Good bait options include:

  • Meat scraps
  • Pet food
  • Fish or chicken eggs
  • Cheese or peanut butter

Put the bait behind the trigger plate, so the fox steps on it while attempting to reach the food. You can also make a “bait trail” leading up to the trap.

Check and Maintain Traps

Check traps at least once a day. When you catch a fox:

  • Cover traps with a towel to calm the fox.
  • Carefully release non-target animals like dogs or cats.
  • In the case of lethal traps, verify that the fox is dead before you remove it.
  • For live traps, firmly secure doors before transport.
  • Relocate live-caught foxes at least 10 miles away.

Also, ensure you:

Re-mask human scents after checking

Re-lure traps with fresh bait as needed

Repelling Foxes With Scents

Choosing a Scent Repellent

There are many commercial scent-based fox repellents, but you can also make your own at home. Here are some effective options:

Predator urine from sources like coyotes, wolves, lions, and bears can trick foxes, making them believe predators are nearby.

The strong smells of garlic, chili, or black pepper oils irritate the sensitive noses of foxes.

Use moth balls or flakes, especially those based on naphthalene, as their unpleasant odor repels foxes.

Using vinegar or ammonia, which are strong-smelling substances, creates an environment that foxes dislike.

Citrus fruits – Zest or peels from lemons, oranges, etc. contain oils foxes dislike.

Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus can be mixed with water and sprayed to repel foxes.

Applying Scent Repellents

Follow these tips when using scent repellents:

  • Apply around the perimeter of your yard to establish a smell boundary.
  • Reapply after heavy rain or every 2-3 weeks as smells fade.
  • Use multiple smells to increase effectiveness.
  • Directly spray areas you want to protect like gardens.
  • Soak tennis balls in smells and hide near dens.
  • Spray repellents on cardboard and place them near dens or entry points.

Disturbing Foxes With Loud Noises

Noise Option

Here are some loud sound ideas to repel foxes:

Motion-activated sprinklers repel foxes by combining loud noise with bursts of water.

Sonic or ultrasonic devices emit high or low-frequency sounds that are barely audible to humans.

Banging pots and pans – Loud, random noises will startle foxes.

Whistles and horns – High pitched and sudden sounds are unpleasant to foxes.

Music or talk radio – Turn up the volume to drive foxes away.

Tips for Effectiveness:

  • Use a variety of random sounds to stop foxes from becoming accustomed to a specific noise.
  • Regularly move the devices to different locations to prevent foxes from identifying safe areas.
  • Set up near dens and entry points foxes use.
  • Use noise overnight when foxes are actively seeking food.

Repelling Foxes With Motion Sensor Lights

Choosing and Installing Lights

Pick lights designed specifically to repel pests. Key features to look for:

Choose lights with sensitive motion sensors that can detect movement up to 70 feet away.

Select lights that offer wide coverage, preferably with beam spans between 120 to 150 degrees.

Brightness – Pick ultra-bright spotlights or floodlights.

Ideally install:

  • Along fences and property borders – Establish a perimeter of light.
  • Near gardens and compost piles – Protect food sources.
  • Around sheds and coops – Safeguard outdoor structures.
  • On multiple sides of your home – Cover all possible entry points.

Usage Tips

Follow these guidelines to maximize effectiveness:

  • Ensure the lights remain active throughout the night, which is when foxes typically roam and hunt.
  • Position lights to avoid blind spots in coverage areas.
  • Trim any plants that could block the motion sensors’ detection zones.
  • Use multiple lights with overlapping zones for full coverage.
  • Combine the lights with additional deterrents such as sound and scent repellents for enhanced effectiveness.

Keeping Foxes Out With Fencing

Fence Design Tips

Foxes are adept diggers and climbers, so fences must be built to stop both those entry methods.

To prevent foxes from digging underneath, bury the base of the fences 1 to 2 feet underground.

Opt for fences with small hole spacing because foxes can squeeze through surprisingly small gaps.

Make sure the fences are at least 6 feet high, as this height deters foxes from leaping over.

Install overhangs at the tops of fences to prevent foxes from climbing over.

Electric fences provide non-lethal but uncomfortable shocks to foxes that touch wires.

Construct a double layer of fencing with a gap between them, as it makes it more difficult for foxes to pass through.

Recommended Fencing Materials

The strongest fox-proof fences use these durable materials:

  • Brick/cement/stone – Solid barriers foxes cannot penetrate.
  • Woven wire – Small openings and buried base prevent passage.
  • Wood privacy – Sturdy and can add overhangs along the top edge.
  • Chain link – Use privacy slats and dig a barrier underground.
  • Use metal mesh made from low gauge wire, which has small openings that foxes cannot penetrate.

Areas to Focus On

Be sure to thoroughly fence:

  • Chicken coops – Protect poultry from foxes.
  • Gardens/compost – Keep foxes from raiding ripe fruits and vegetables.
  • Around pet areas – Let dogs and cats play safely outside.

Removing Fox Food Sources From Your Yard

A highly effective method to keep foxes away is by removing all food sources in your yard that attract them.

Common Food Attractants

Pet food bowls – Never leave food out overnight. Feed pets indoors.

Secure your compost piles, as foxes often dig through them for scraps. Using enclosed bins and regularly turning the piles can help deter them.

To deter foxes, regularly clean up any seeds that fall from bird feeders and consider hanging the feeders on poles.

Trash cans – Secure lids tightly and place cans in garages or sheds.

Fruit trees/gardens – Pick ripe produce promptly and cover plants with netting.

Reinforce your chicken coops to prevent foxes from getting in and avoid letting chickens roam freely, as this can attract foxes.

Grills – Clean thoroughly after each use. Don’t leave any leftover food scraps.

Yard Cleanup

Do a thorough sweep to remove any other potential food items:

  • Regularly collect any fruits or vegetables that have fallen from trees or in your garden.
  • Clear away any spilled bird seed, shells, or pet food.
  • Remove food bowls, bones, and treats left outside by pets.
  • Clean up grease drippings or food bits after grilling.
  • Take away anything edible from compost piles.

Maintaining a Food-Free Yard

  • Keep up vigilance with these habits:
  • Conduct checks every night to ensure there is no food debris left in your yard.
  • Keep trash bins sealed tight and locked up.
  • Feed your pets according to a schedule and promptly remove their bowls afterward to avoid attracting foxes.
  • Pick produce from gardens promptly when ripe.

Getting Professional Help with Fox Problems

If you continue to have fox problems despite trying DIY solutions, consider hiring a wildlife control professional.

When to Call the Pros

Consider contacting professional wildlife control services if:

  • Foxes are repeatedly returning despite deterrents.
  • If foxes are in areas such as attics or under decks and need to be removed, professional services can help.
  • Fox numbers are very high or they’ve become aggressive.
  • Local laws prohibit certain removal techniques.

Many wildlife control companies offer:

Humane fox trapping – Capture and release away from your property.

Fox-proofing involves sealing entry holes and identifying things that attract foxes.

Emergency services – Extract foxes trapped in window wells, basements, etc.

What to Expect

You can expect the following process when you engage professionals:

  • The professional will conduct an inspection to identify fox entry points, travel routes, dens, and attractants.
  • Trapping – Set humane traps to capture foxes alive. May take a few days to get the entire family group.
  • Cleaning – Remove any residual fox smells and sanitize dens.
  • Exclusion involves releasing trapped foxes offsite and then permanently blocking their re-entry.
  • Follow up – Confirm fox removal was successful and no animals returned.

Can You Tame a Fox?

Different areas throughout North America have different rules regarding foxes, therefore it’s important you do your research around your state laws prior. Considering you live in a state where it is legal to care for a fox, you can indeed tame a fox.

In saying that, however, a fox can be difficult to tame to begin with as they’re generally afraid of humans. Unless you’re adopting a domestic fox from a VET, you should be cautious if trying to tame a wild fox (as they’re known for being more aggressive).

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