How To: Get Rid of Foxes
Do you have a fox in the henhouse or the yard? Keep reading to learn how to get rid of foxes in your chicken coop, garden, or home.
Foxes are stealthy, opportunistic hunters who can be the bane of farmers and suburban homeowners. Getting rid of foxes is easier when you limit their access to food sources, so keeping rodent infestations down and chicken coops in good condition are necessary. Deter foxes from building a nest or returning to pilfer chickens by scaring them away with a variety of repellents or having a professional trap and remove them from the area. Below is a list of the top ways for how to get rid of foxes for good.
Time required: 1 day to 3 weeks
Estimated cost: $20 to $400
Before You Begin…
There are a number of options you can try for how to get rid of foxes, ranging from fencing your property to scaring the fox off. Properly securing your property is the first step to prevent foxes from putting your house on a regular food rotation. Foxes don’t present a danger to humans, but they are stealthy and smart so trapping them can be challenging and is best left to a professional.
Tips for How to Get Rid of Foxes
- Repair any holes or broken doors that lead to food or small animals.
- Store garbage in locked, air-tight containers and wash them out frequently.
- Keep compost in bins rather than exposed on the ground.
- Install fencing and bury chicken wire in the ground at least 1 foot down.
- Wear safety gear when working with tools.
- Avoid cornering a fox in a shed.
STEP 1: Identify any damage or dens.
Missing poultry or eggs, pilfered garbage, eaten fruit, and trampled gardens are common signs of foxes, though they could also be confused for a raccoon depending on your region. A major difference is that foxes leave behind a foul ammonia smell to mark their territory. Foxes usually create dens to birth their kits in March or April, and they prefer well-hidden areas they can dig out and create multiple access points. Heavy vegetation near a home’s foundation is appealing for den-making.
STEP 2: Remove food and shelters from the property.
Human food, animal food, and garbage are all enticing to a fox if it has easy access to them. Be sure to store food in enclosed containers so foxes can’t get in. Small animals, including rabbits and chickens, are appealing to foxes if they can access their cages. Be sure to keep the doors locked at night, and repair any holes or gaps as they appear. Foxes will hide in brush piles or woodpiles for cover, so clean up any excess vegetation, and fence in any areas that could attract or hide a fox.
STEP 3: Control any rodents, if they’re present.
Limiting an infestation of any mice, voles, snakes, or frogs can help prevent opportunistic foxes from thinking your property provides bountiful food. If the prey isn’t around, the predator won’t be around, either. If mice are a problem for those who live in rural areas, employ a rodent control company to help reduce the mice or vole population if using a rodent spray hasn’t proven to be effective.
STEP 4: Disturb foxes with mild, inexpensive methods.
Shiny Mylar balloons or iridescent tape (usually used to keep large birds away) can be placed near any possible access points that foxes use. Placing them near a freshly made den can keep foxes from returning. Using a fox repellent spray can be effective to keep foxes from investigating a food source. If repellent sprays are used frequently or improperly, however, a fox could become used to the smell, so it’s best to use more than one method or resort to professional application.
STEP 5: Use automated electronic repellents.
If you have multiple areas that a fox is attracted to, an electronic repellent might be the best choice. It’s a motion-activated sensor that will trigger the sprinkler system, emit a sharp sound, or turn on a light to startle the fox. Place a few of these electronic repellents near a garden, shed, coop, or den.
STEP 6: Fence in a garden.
If fencing the entire property is not an option, installing a small fence around a garden could be just as effective at keeping foxes from eating accessible food. Chicken wire or strong netting can create a fence at least a few feet high. The openings in the netting should be less than 3 inches. Since foxes are adept at digging, you’ll need to bury the fence at least 1 foot down. Adding a netting roof that doesn’t impact sunlight on your garden is also an option to prevent foxes from jumping into the garden; however, installing a single electric fence wire on the top of the fence should also be sufficient to deter a fox.
STEP 7: Contact a professional.
Trapping a fox is another option for humanely removing a fox and its family from your property. Foxes are clever and are not easily fooled by a trap, even when it’s disguised. In some states, it’s illegal to trap a fox, too. A wildlife control expert will be able to answer your questions about how to get rid of foxes. They’ll also be able to determine the best location to set a trap, monitor it, and safely relocate any foxes.
Foxes can be damaging to a yard and dangerous to small pets. If you suspect foxes on your property, prevent them from returning and potentially nesting. Keep access to any food or small animals secure and free from damage or holes. If you’re unable to deter foxes using fox repellent spray, electronic repellents, or other simple devices, qualified professionals can remove a rodent infestation or a den of foxes to help resolve a fox infestation quickly.