Although many people enjoy seeing foxes, the Council recognises that they can be a nuisance and they can sometimes cause damage. As such, we have pulled together some information about urban foxes and how to deter and discourage them.
Foxes are not a protected species as such, but they are protected against abuse and ill-treatment. They are not classified as pest or vermin and local authorities do not have an obligation to act against them.
Tips for deterring foxes
The following tips may help to deter foxes:
- don’t use fertilisers like blood, fish and bone as the smell attracts foxes
- ensure that domestic waste in plastic bags is not stored outside unless the bags are kept in a secure container, and put plastic bags out for removal only on the day of collection
- don’t hand feed foxes or leave food out for them
- use bird feeders on a high bird table or feeder rather than leaving scraps on the ground
- ensure air bricks under your house are in good repair and use weld mesh to proof gaps below garden sheds
- make sure that small pets or chickens are kept in strong hutches or enclosures and that foxes cannot dig their way in
A secure barrier at least 2m high would be required to deter foxes. Ideally the fence should have a 30cm overhang at the top and be buried to a depth of at least 45cm into the ground.
There are a number of commercial animal repellents available from garden centres and hardware stores. These deterrents use smells to encourage foxes to leave the area, however they may need to be used persistently to ensure the foxes vacate their territory.
Only approved products can be legally used and they must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Further advice is available on the fox deterrence helpline provided by The Fox Project. Their telephone number is: 01892 824 111.