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Foxes

The Council's pest control service does not cover foxes. Landowners may take action to deal with foxes on their own land and may wish to take the following information into account.

Foxes are cunning and intelligent and it is very difficult to entice them into a trap, even when filled with an attractive treat. On average it may take up to three weeks to catch a single fox. Furthermore, foxes live in family groups and it is likely that by the time all of the family group have been captured other opportunistic foxes will have moved into the vacant area.

The most effective means of discouraging foxes is removing or controlling the things they find attractive, such as removing all potential food sources. You could also try the following suggestions.

  • Keep all domestic waste in bins or containers with tightly fitting lids. Do not leave refuse just in black plastic bags.
  • If possible only put out waste on the morning of collection.
  • Do not leave food out for other animals such as cats, dogs, and rabbits. Also be careful when feeding wild birds and only use suspended feeders or bird tables.

Foxes may also be attracted to an area because it offers shelter during the day or night. This can be due to overgrown areas or voids beneath buildings such as garden sheds. Voids can be protected by using welded mesh with holes of 50 mm diameter buried to a depth of 30 cm to prevent burrowing. If you have any neglected areas it is advisable to remove any weeds and scrub etc to deter occupation by foxes.

If the above methods prove unsuccessful a number of animal repellents are produced which can be used to discourage foxes. However, there are strict controls over their use. The Pesticides Safety Directorate has supplied the following information about products supplied for the home garden market. They may only legally be used in the situations specified.

 
ProductMAFF no.Active substanceField of UseApproval HolderMarketing CompanySituation(s)Comments
Curb (Garden Pack) M03983 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a home garden animal/bird repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd Edible crop, non-edible crop, non-crop areas  
B&Q Animal Repellent M12191 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a home garden animal/bird repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd B & Q Plc All edible crops, all non edible crops, drive path  
Bio Catapult M07195 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a home garden animal/bird repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd Pan Britannica Industries Ltd Edible crop, non-edible crop, drive, path patio Product can only be used until 28/02/2006 but has been replaced with 'Catapult' below.
Catapult M12090 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a home garden animal/bird repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd pbi Home & Garden Ltd All edible crops, all non edible crops, drive, path  
Johnson's Clear Off M12042 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a home garden animal/bird repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd Johnsons Veterinary Products Ltd All edible crops, all non edible crops, drive, path, patio  
Ready To Use Stay-Off M12099 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a home garden animal/bird repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd Vitax Ltd All edible crops, all non edible crops, drive, path, patio  
Scoot MAPP 13960 aluminium ammonium sulphate for use only as a fox repellent Sphere Laboratories (London) Ltd FoxOlutions Ltd Edible crop and non-edible crop  

 

Should you require additional help it is recommended that you contact the British Pest Control Association on 01332 294288, visit their website, or write to British Pest Control Association, Ground Floor, Gleneagles House, Vermongate, Derby DE1 1UP.

Also whilst the fox is not a protected species it is covered by Wild Mammal Protection Order 1996 and the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960. Not only is it an offence to release foxes back into the wild, urban foxes released into a rural area seldom survive as they are only used to surviving by scavenging, and do not have the skills to hunt for their own food.