Foxes are an iconic presence in British nature (and gardens!), but is your garden going to be safe if they show up? Learn everything you need to know in our Beginner’s Guide to Foxes.
Foxes are beautiful creatures and one of the most British sights in our garden wildlife. With more and more of their wild habitats disappearing, we think they deserve humble home gardens that are safe and comfortable when they need them.
That’s why we’ve collected a few dos and don’ts to make your garden fox-friendly.
DO: Protect your fruits and vegetables
Foxes are omnivores so not only will they eat fruit and vegetables, but they also love the taste of worms in fertile soil. So, if you love the sight of foxes in your garden, but not the mess they can leave behind in your precious garden, make sure to protect fruit and vegetable crops with fencing or solid weld-mesh.
Avoid using netting and make sure your mesh is at least 4cm to reduce the risk of foxes, or other wildlife, getting tangled up in it.
DO: Secure your bins
Another reason foxes are often seen as pests is that they can and will look through any bins with leftover food inside. Unless you want to wake up to yesterday’s rubbish all over your garden, make sure these are secured or even stored in a shed or garage overnight.
Give your neighbours a heads up, too, because the more prepared everyone is for the negatives of fox appearances, the more we can enjoy their nightly visits.
DO: Feed your pets inside
If there’s one thing that attracts foxes to your garden, it’s leftover food, and this includes the food you put out for your dogs, cats, or any other pets.
By feeding your pets indoors or removing any leftover food before the evening, you won’t have any unexpected visitors trying to take what’s left. Of course, it’s okay to put out food for foxes if you want to help them out, but keep in mind that doing this too often may see all the local foxes making your garden their go-to restaurant.
DON’T: Forget to secure hutches and cages for outdoor pets
If you have rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, or any pet that you keep in a cage or hutch in the garden, make sure it’s locked up safe and fox-proof before you go to bed each night.
Alternatively, if you’d like to deter foxes from your garden in a safe, humane way, you can:
- Block any entrances to your garden where foxes may be getting in.
- Gather any loose items in your garden before night—these are like toys to fox pups!
- Cover any sources of water.
- Remove leftover pet food.
- Secure or hide your bins.
- Use plant-based fertilisers as they are less enticing than those with blood, fish, or bonemeal.
- Have a radio playing in your shed to deter foxes and their cubs.
- Use commercial repellents that are not harmful to foxes or other garden wildlife.
DON’T: Bury your pets in the garden
Ideally, we’d recommend not burying pets in the garden as foxes can sniff these out and will likely dig them up to eat. It’s nothing personal, we promise. It’s just another source of food.
If you are going to bury pets in the garden, you’ll want to dig a deep hole to make it more difficult for a fox to smell, and it’s recommended that you place a big paving stone on top of the burial area to make it almost impossible for them to dig into.
DON’T: Try to feed foxes from your hand
Foxes are cute, so we understand wanting to feed them from your hand, but they’re still wild animals. If you want to feed your favourite nighttime guests, put out some food and then watch from a safe distance. The foxes will likely feel safer, too!
Get to know your garden wildlife!
For everything you need to know about the beautiful creatures that may wander into your garden, head to our Beginner’s Guide to Garden Wildlife, where we’ll be talking about all the things you should and shouldn’t do to create a safe space for them.
You might also be interested in our Beginner’s Guide to Hedgehogs.