How To Keep Foxes Out Of Your Garden
Foxes, while admittedly cute, are often pesky little buggers that’ll screw up your garden. And if you keep pets such as chickens – look out. The phrase, “fox in a henhouse” exists for a reason. Perhaps you’re tired of them digging up areas in your garden, or maybe they’re burying snacks for later and messing up your lawn. Whatever your reasons for wanting to rid yourself of foxes, we’ve got you covered.
The best methods to guard your garden against foxes involve cleanliness and planning. Fences (with spikes), secure enclosures for pets, and removing any snacks they may find are the easiest ways to keep foxes out of your garden.
Keep reading for the best ways to keep foxes out of your garden and lawn in the most humane possible manner. After all, we’re not monsters, are we?
First Steps to Keeping Foxes Out of Your Garden
If you’re concerned that foxes are making your property home, there are several key rules to follow. These all stem from the same basic idea – know your enemy. To rid your garden of foxes, you need to know how they think and work. Luckily, that’s not too hard – so what do I mean by “think like the enemy?”
- Foxes are skittish – This is an important thing to remember – foxes aren’t like wolves or dogs, despite the relation. They won’t try to fight you, and will almost always choose hiding or running over confrontation. This means that putting up things that will spook them (or simply yelling and waving arms when you catch them) will generally make them run.
- Foxes have a great sense of smell – This is a great thing to remember when dealing with foxes. They will smell any animals or food on your property. They also dislike certain smells, but we’ll get to that in time.
- Foxes are crafty – No matter how well you think your garden is enclosed, foxes will do their best to find a way around your best laid plans. So plan ahead and think like a fox – how could you go under or over any protections laid in place?
Now let’s get down to the best ways to keep foxes out of your garden.
1. Clean Your Garden
This seems like it would go without saying, but you’d be surprised. If your garden is cluttered with various pieces of furniture, decoration, and refuse or trash items, foxes will make it their home. Like we said above, they like to hide. This means that they will absolutely find the smallest, most hidden crevices to curl up in.
The solution to this is simple – organize your garden as well as possible. Put tools and materials (like soil/fertiliser or compost) in designated places, and if that happens to be a shed, lock it nightly and make sure there aren’t any ways in.
2. Secure Your Garden
While we’re not trying to make a prison, it’s good to keep a strong fence up around your garden. If you don’t have one, install one! If you do have a fence and they’re still making their way in, consider how it’s constructed. Is it a mesh or link fence? Is it short or tall? Does your entryway have a lower top than the rest of the fence? And are you finding areas dug up under the fence?
These are important questions for one reason – foxes are, as we said earlier, crafty. Anything they can slip between or through (such as loose fencing panels or mesh/chainlink) they will find a way through. If the fence is short and they’re simply hopping it, consider adding spikes to its top. And before you ask, no, most fence spikes won’t harm them, only discourage them from coming over.
And if your gate is short, the best way to keep foxes out of your garden is to raise it to the height of the rest of your fence. The same goes for foxes going under your fence – lay concrete or dig the fence a bit into the ground to deter them from digging.
4. Use Their Sense of Smell Against Them
To keep foxes out of your garden, use their sense of smell against them. This means securing strongly smelling things they may like and either planting things they won’t enjoy or occasionally treating your fences with these items. If you have chickens or rabbits, consider placing dog hair near their enclosure to mask the scent of the animals.
Some of the things that foxes generally dislike the smell of are:
- Anything with capsaicin (cayenne pepper works great here, but any peppers or chillis will do)
- White vinegar (other vinegars work here, but white vinegar is the cheapest usually)
- Urine – I know this isn’t ideal, but if you have a dog or cat, let them urinate near your garden’s borders. You could also do this yourself, though it’s recommended to do so with caution if you don’t have a fence…
3. Hide Food Sources
Foxes are omnivores, meaning they will absolutely eat nuts and berries as well as meat. This step is extra important if you have pets, but it’s nice to know nonetheless. If you’re a fan of feeding birds or other wildlife, be sure to keep their food far away from the reach of foxes, and clean up the remaining food before you retire for the night.
And if you keep chickens or other livestock like rabbits, be absolutely positive that their enclosure is extremely secure. And bury your fencing (or a layer of concrete) deep enough that they can’t easily dig into the enclosure.
This means using strong wire and/or a physical enclosure made of wood – do not use chicken or plastic wire. Foxes will break through it.
Finally, don’t use simple latches. Use a real lock on animal enclosures because foxes are smart and will eventually learn to open the latch.
5. Remove Waste
If foxes are defecating in your garden, go on poop patrol. Removing their waste will make it more difficult for them to find your yard to return. And if you have pets like dogs, consider leaving their waste in strategic areas that foxes may smell – but that you won’t step on or see.
6. Use Electronic Deterrents
These come in a variety of forms. Whether it’s an audio deterrent, one that sprays water, or simply motion-activated lights, these are all good options. It’s important to remember, however, that most of these techniques won’t work alone – so keep your garden clean and fox free, and supplement your work with something like:
- Motion-activated lights will scare away foxes when they get caught. They like to be sneaky, and light ruins that.
- Audio deterrents are often marketed to scare away various pests and work with different degrees of success. They’re worth a shot if nothing else above works.
- Garden sprinklers can be bought and set up to be motion activated as a means to deter pests and nosy neighbours alike (score, a two-for-one!)
Other Tips to Keep Foxes Out Of Your Garden
In no particular order, here are a few extra tips to help you in your efforts:
- If you’ve got dogs, let them roam the garden (supervised) occasionally. Their scent and hair will make foxes less likely to show up.
- Rearranging your garden occasionally can throw off foxes. They don’t like change (who does, right?), so this could make them too uncomfortable to stay.
- Anti-climb fence rollers are a less intimidating look that will achieve the same results as spikes. They roll when touched, stopping anything from climbing over your fence.
While cute, foxes are often a nuisance. The best way to prevent them from showing up is proactive protection and cleaning of your garden, pet enclosures, and yard in general. If you’re too late on that front, using light and sound, as well as smell, can help keep foxes out of your garden.
By following the steps above, you’ll be fox-free in no time. And remember, there’s no need to kill them if not necessary – let them live their lives, just away from your garden.