6 Tips And Tricks To Keep Foxes Out Of Your Yard

Foxes often conjure up thoughts of wildlife in forests and rural areas. However, these omnivores live anywhere that they can access food easily, including rural areas as well as cities and suburbs. Foxes aren't necessarily dangerous, and they tend to be afraid of humans and will likely run away if you encounter them.

In most cases, seeing a fox in your yard isn't a cause for concern. In fact, the Humane Society also notes that foxes often cross through people's yards while they are searching for food. This may be a potential problem, however, if the foxes are hunting for food in your outdoor spaces. If you continuously provide sources of food for foxes, they may keep visiting your yard and could even create dens around your home. Rather than attempting to trap foxes (this is often prohibited by law), you may be able to deter them from hanging out in your yard in the first place.

Before utilizing DIY fox-repelling tricks, it's also important to recognize if you need professional pest assistance. If you have a fox problem that has posed a danger to pets or fowl on your property, it may be time to call a professional for help to humanely address the issue while keeping you and your family safe.

Get rid of potential food sources

Foxes don't pose inherent dangers to humans. If you see them in your yard, however, chances are they are looking for food. They're more likely to come on your property if they have easy access to a quick meal. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, common examples include open trash cans, fallen fruit, and pet food left outdoors. Bird seed can also attract foxes because bird feeders often attract rats and other rodents foxes may use as a key food source. Foxes can also be attracted to small animals you may have on your property such as chickens, ducks, and rabbits.

One of the best ways to prevent foxes from hunting for food in your yard is to either remove or secure potential food sources as best as you can. Keep garbage cans secure with lids completely on them, and pick up any fallen fruit from trees and bushes. Avoid leaving pet food outside, and consider feeding your pets indoors only. Store pet food and bird seed in airtight containers, preferably in an enclosed location such as a pantry, garage, or a shed. If you have a bird feeder, get in the habit of cleaning up bird seed on the ground every day to help deter rodents and subsequent foxes. Also, if you have a chicken coop or rabbits you keep outdoors, make sure their habitats are fully secure.

Install fencing to help keep foxes out

If you're concerned about foxes and other wildlife entering your yard, you may consider building a fence. While this may not keep all animals and pests out completely, fencing is effective in deterring creatures like foxes because they will have to work harder to enter your property. 

Before installing a fence, you'll want to consider the height and the best type of paneling. A tall fence is best, as foxes are known to be able to leap up to 6 feet in the air. You'll also want to make sure there aren't any gaps underneath the fence or between panels, as foxes can also squeeze through narrow spaces. If you already have a fence, you can work with the existing materials by adding extra protective measures, such as mesh underneath and a trellis over the top. Also, avoid electric fencing at all costs. Not only is this not a humane solution to keep foxes out of your yard, but this method can also harm pets and children. 

Use natural fox-repelling scents around your yard

You may be aware that some pests have aversions to different scents, and foxes are no exception. In particular, these small mammals don't care for things that are spicy. Examples include a variety of peppers and garlic, among other spice-like scents.

Red pepper flakes are a natural fox repellent, which foxes reportedly don't like because of their capsaicin content. You can try sprinkling pepper flakes around the yard, or use the flakes in areas that foxes might frequent. If they come into contact with these spicy peppers, they will likely avoid coming back. You can also use other household ingredients which may work to repel foxes. Try using white vinegar and garlic as other repellants against foxes. You can mix any of the above ingredients with water and create your own fox-repelling spray to have on hand for easy use. Consider trying these before using another solution which may be harmful to foxes.

Try a noise-making device

Aside from spicy smells, foxes may also have an aversion to loud noises. Normally, foxes can be scared off simply by hearing humans. However, some foxes may be less scared of being near humans if people have fed them. If you are in a situation where a fox isn't scared of your mere presence, you can try loud noises. 

You have two main options when it comes to noise and foxes. First, you can try a noise-making device, such as a whistle. Another option is to yell and make loud noises yourself to scare them away from your yard. By consistently scaring foxes away from your property, chances are they will eventually stop trying to come into your yard. While it may feel strange to make loud noises to scare these critters at first, know that this is a humane method that will ultimately benefit you both.

Scare foxes away with water

You may have heard about using motion-sensor sprinklers to help keep squirrels out of your yard. It turns out that a similar tactic may also humanely scare foxes away and deter them from staying on your property. Once they've been scared by water, they are less likely to come back. This is especially effective if a fox tries to enter your yard multiple yards and gets sprayed with water.

Motion-activated sprinklers work by turning on any time a pest enters the perimeter of your yard, including foxes, squirrels, and other wildlife you're trying to keep out. The idea is to set a large enough perimeter so foxes and other wildlife will get sprayed while still at a safe distance. They will then likely run away before getting close to your pets and loved ones. You also don't necessarily have to spend money on a new sprinkler system if you don't have one. Other water options can scare foxes, too. You can try spraying foxes with garden hoses or using water guns as other effective deterrents. 

Make sure any crawl spaces are sealed off to prevent dens

Openings under your home's porch or deck, as well as sheds, could potentially invite foxes to create dens. Foxes are known to dig these dens primarily in the winter months to help protect themselves from severe weather and to also prepare for the birth of their kits. If you don't want to house a family of foxes, then it's important to inspect your home often, possibly even encapsulating your crawl space.

However, it may pose some complications if you find foxes or kits already living in your shed or crawl space. The Humane Society of the United States recommends that you try to let them stay until the kits are old enough to leave and hunt with their parents. Most kits are born in the early spring months and can begin leaving their den at about nine weeks old. After this point, you may be able to use some of the other aforementioned methods to help keep foxes from coming back, such as loud noises and water sprinklers.