Pest control - Foxes

1. How can I identify a fox?Fox cub

The red fox is a wild member of the dog family. Its colour varies from yellow/orange to dark red/brown and it stands just over 1 foot high at the shoulder, being about the size of a lightly built terrier and slightly heavier than a cat.

2. Does Harlow Council provide a service to treat for foxes?

No. Harlow Council does not treat for foxes.

3. How can I deter foxes from my coming into my garden?

  • Use bird feeders or a high bird table rather than putting food on the ground, and clear up any fallen scraps.
  • Cover compost heaps or use bins, as compost is a good source of insects and other food.
  • Store rubbish securely before putting it out for collection, and use bins with secure lids rather than plastic bags.
  • Clear overgrown areas and accumulations of rubbish or rubble as these provide cover for foxes and may encourage them to remain in your garden.
  • Stop using bone meal or similar fertilisers as the smell often attracts foxes.
  • Block access under sheds. This can be done with weld mesh secured to the bottom of the shed and dug into the soil to a depth of 1 foot.
  • Ensure that airbricks leading under your house are in good repair.
  • Secure fencing and block any gaps.
  • If foxes are visiting your vegetable patch, fruit canes or bushes, fence these off with netting. Chicken wire just under the soil can be used to protect bulbs.
  • Keep pets in secure hutches made from weld mesh rather than chicken wire, with locks that cannot be knocked open.
  • Bring toys, shoes, etc. inside at night as cubs like to chew these items and may take them away to play with.

If foxes are digging or making an earth in your garden, discourage them at the first signs of activity. First make certain that the holes are not occupied. Research has shown that non-toxic chemical repellents are sometimes effective in reducing nuisance from foxes when they are used correctly. Scent neutralisers can discourage foxes from fouling specific areas. All repellents must be renewed regularly, especially in hot weather and after heavy rain. All repellents must be used according to the manufacturers' safety instruction.