How to Stop Foxes Coming in Your Garden

Posted by Tony Goldstone on

People often want to know how to stop foxes from coming into their gardens, or more specifically, how to stop foxes pooing in the garden. In this post we share some practical, safe and effective ways to deter foxes from your garden.

Foxes are naturally inquisitive, omnivorous scavengers, attracted to any potential food source. They are not dangerous and don’t attack humans, but they can be a nuisance, especially when they rummage through bins in search of food. Gardens can also be spoiled by foxes when they dig for invertebrates, bury food or establish an earth. Another common fox-related complaint is the way they scream at night during the mating season, between December and February.

But its important to know that although foxes, like most mammals, can carry a range of parasites and diseases there is very little evidence that foxes are an actual source of human infection in the UK. Pet dogs and cats actually present a far great risk to humans than foxes.

Foxes have now become established residents in many urban areas so its not unusual to discover evidence of them visiting a garden. They eat a wide variety of foods including small mammals, birds, worms, insects, fruit, vegetables and more. But in urban areas around a third of their diet is scavenged food. They often store their food, usually by burying it in the ground, which can be a nuisance for gardeners. 

Deterring foxes from coming into your garden involves paying attention to the reasons why they are visiting you. This is generally due to the availability of food, but they can also be attracted by places to establish an earth or den or simply a space in which to safely rest.

Don’t Provide Fox Food from Your Garden

Compost, pet food, bird food, food waste in bins, fruit and vegetables can all attract foxes to a garden. Removing or securing these potential food sources will immediately make your garden far less attractive to foxes. Keep pet food indoors and take care to clean up your garden space. Its also important not leave food waste in unsecured bins.

Use a Safe Fox Repellent

Foxes don’t like strong aromas such as white vinegar and cayenne pepper. Chillies and garlic are also known to repel foxes. Gardeners World have previously recommended creating a home made fox repellent spray by boiling chillies and garlic together in water and using the filtered, infused water in spray bottle. Squirting this around the areas where foxes enter a garden is reported to be very effective. Placing bowls of white vinegar around a garden, in locations where foxes are coming in, can also be effective.

Other animal repellent sprays are available on the market but its always important to make certain these are safe for other animals before using them.

Enhance Human Aromas

As noted, foxes are very sensitive to smells so it can be beneficial to enhance the human aromas around your garden. This can be achieved by distributing hair clippings and urine around the areas in your garden where foxes like to enter.

Keep Your Garden Clean and Tidy

Foxes can be attracted by safe, secure areas where they can rest or potentially establish their dens. Overgrown hedges and piles of garden waste can be attractive to them so as well as ensuring their are no food sources its also a good idea to keep a garden clean and tidy. If there are areas of a garden in which foxes are regularly resting, block them or make them less appealing with some repellent smells.

But when cleaning and tidying a garden its always important to consider other animals, such as hedgehogs and insects, that may have already established their homes.

Protect Your Plants

As noted, foxes are attracted by food sources including fruit trees and bushes - as well as vegetables. Always clean up any fallen fruit from the ground and consider using fruit cages to protect your plants. These will not only prevent damage from foxes but will also protect your plants from other hungry creatures.

Install Motion Sensitive Lighting

Motion triggered security lights are not only good at deterring burglars they can also deter foxes. Foxes are primarily nocturnal and will often be startled and run away if they suddenly encounter a bright light. Sensitive motion triggered security lighting can be a highly effective and totally safe way to keep foxes out of a garden.

Install Fence or Wall Spikes

Identifying the routes used by foxes to gain entry into your garden and taking steps to make them less appealing can be very effective. Installing safe fence or wall spikes along fence and wall tops makes these areas uncomfortable for foxes to walk on them, so they will tend to shy away. 

Be Aware of Other Wildlife

As noted, when taking steps to keep foxes out of a garden its important to remain aware of other creatures that live their, including birds, hedgehogs and insects. High pitched acoustic animal repellents that can’t be heard by humans, for example, can be very effective in deterring foxes but they are known to cause distress to many animals, including pets.