21 March 2023

Why have foxes become a pest in some areas, and what can you do to deter them?

If you live in the UK, you’ve undoubtedly spotted a fox out and about on its travels. Foxes are a beautiful and important part of our ecosystem, however in recent years their numbers have exploded, leading them to become a pest, particularly in urban areas such as cities and towns.

Part of the canine family, foxes are extremely adaptable and will change their behaviour depending on the environment in which they live. As a result, thousands now call our urban and suburban environments their home, living alongside humans and causing many issues for homeowners and business owners. At Shield Pest Control, we are experts in dealing with a wide range of pests, including mammals such as foxes. Here we’ll be exploring the reasons why foxes have become a pest and what can be done to prevent them causing issues on your property and surrounding area.

Why have foxes become a pest?

One of the main reasons that foxes have become a pest in the UK is that they are highly adaptable and opportunistic animals. As omnivores, they will eat anything and everything, and their diet ranges from small rodents and insects to fruit and vegetables, as well as scavenging from bins and compost heaps. 

This means that they can thrive in a wide range of environments, from rural farmland to urban parks and gardens. Unfortunately this adaptability has led to some significant problems for humans – particularly because humans have a tendency to leave mess and rubbish to build up, attracting even more foxes into our urban environments.

Why have foxes become a pest

What problems do they cause?

Foxes cause a vast range of problems, and one of the most significant issues is that foxes can cause damage to gardens and property. They are notorious for digging up lawns, flowerbeds, and vegetable patches in search of food – not ideal if you are a keen gardener!

They can cause and create dangerous issues within buildings and properties as they are also known to chew through electric wires and cables. Believe it or not, they have also been known to cause structural damage by digging under foundations and causing subsidence. This could be an extremely serious problem, posing a risk to the public’s health.

Foxes, what problems do they cause

Another problem associated with foxes is disease. Foxes are known carriers of a range of diseases, including rabies, mange, and toxoplasmosis. These diseases in the UK are rare, however they can pose a serious risk to humans and pets if they are transmitted through bites or scratches.

Additionally, if you have small pets, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, or you keep chickens in your garden, you’ll be well aware of the risk foxes pose to these animals. Although they are pets to us, for foxes they are a readily available food source. Sadly the consequences can be devastating for pet owners, whilst causing massive issues for farmers who keep livestock.

In rare cases, foxes have even been known to attack larger animals such as sheep and lambs.

What can I do to try and prevent foxes?

One of the most effective ways to deter foxes from entering your property is to make sure that all potential food sources are secured. This means ensuring that all bins are securely closed, compost heaps are covered, and any pet food is brought inside at night. Foxes are always on the lookout for an easy meal, so if they spot food scraps lying around, they’ll return time and time again until it is cleared up.

Another option is to install fencing or netting around your property to prevent foxes from gaining access. This can be effective, but it can also be expensive and may not be practical in all situations.

Ultimately, the best way to prevent foxes from becoming a pest in the UK is to promote responsible and sustainable management of urban and suburban environments. This means reducing the availability of food sources, promoting responsible pet ownership, and encouraging the development of green spaces that provide habitats for a wide range of wildlife.

It is imperative never turn to illegal methods of fox pest control, such as chemical deterrents, poisons or dangerous traps. The use of poison to kill foxes can also affect other forms of wildlife and pets, and can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly. They could even be harmful to human health, so should never be used under any circumstances.

What can I do to try and prevent foxes

I have a fox pest problem – what can I do?

Another form of deterrent is the use of high-frequency sounds to repel birds and scare them away. These sounds are

If you do need to remove foxes from your property, it is important to do so in a humane and responsible way. This means using methods that do not cause unnecessary harm to the animal, and releasing them in a safe and appropriate location.

Although there are some DIY methods for getting rid of foxes, sometimes it is best to call in the experts who can handle the issue quickly and efficiently.

I have a fox pest problem – what can I do?

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