What can members of the public do about foxes?

As well as denying foxes a source of food or shelter, there are a few other steps you can take to deal with a fox that is living in your garden. You can use an appropriate animal repellent to discourage the animal (for example a non-toxic chemical such as Scoot, Stay Off, Get Off My Garden or Wash Off and Get Off) Always read the manufacturer's label and follow their instructions before using. 

Success with repellents requires persistence. Foxes will not vacate their territory easily. Problems with scent marking and faeces may get worse before they get better. Foxes will increase their scent marking if their territory is threatened. Successfully deterring foxes will require constant re-application of the repellent, often for weeks, before the foxes give up and move on.

  • Do not be tempted to try to poison foxes as such action puts other animals (pets, wild birds etc) and humans at risk. People who do use poisons illegally can face substantial fines and / or a prison sentence. If you need practical help with foxes you should contact a pest control professional for advice. The British Pest Control Association website is useful for finding a suitable pest control professional. Remember, only trained pest control professionals can kill or trap foxes.
  • British Pest Control Association

Foxes do not, generally, attack humans. However, if you are concerned about leaving young children or babies sleeping or playing inside a room, because foxes have been seen in your area or the street, there are a few common-sense precautions you might take to allay any concerns you have:

  • Do not leave ground-floor windows or those immediately above a flat roof wide open. Instead, leave the windows open just two to three inches.

  • Do not leave French windows or external ground-floor doors open, especially after dark.

  • Do not leave pet-food out in the garden or on a balcony.

  • If foxes are continually disturbing your sleep it is possible to deter them by switching on an external light, or shining a powerful torch beam at them.

  • Never be tempted to use rags soaked in creosote or petrol. This is potentially dangerous and illegal.

  • Clear overgrown gardens (which could provide resting areas for foxes) and make sure there is no food available on compost heaps.

  • Don't use fertilisers containing blood, fish and bone meal as they will attract foxes.

  • If you have foxes living in your garden you can use an animal repellent as mentioned above.

  • If you have a den in your garden or on your land you can block the entrance, but you should only ever use soft soil whilst there are cubs around. You must be sure the den is completely vacated before blocking it with rubble or cement.

  • Consider extending your fence (above and below ground) - before you do, please consult the Planning Team to ensure any changes are approved.

You should not trap foxes inside their den. It is cruel and illegal to do so.