While many people believe that foxes are cute animals, that doesn’t mean they want them hanging out or denning on their property. Foxes can damage structures and introduce a variety of risks. Fortunately, figuring out how to get rid of foxes under a shed, porch, deck, or house doesn’t have to be difficult.
Several techniques can work well when you need to get rid of foxes. Deterrents like motion-activated lights and sprinklers work well. Similarly, there are scent-based deterrents that are reasonably effective.
- Are Foxes Dangerous?
- What Attracts Foxes to Your Yard?
- How to Get Rid of Foxes Under Shed, Porch, Deck, or House
- 1. Eliminate Food and Water Sources
- 2. Clean Up Your Yard
- 3. Install Barriers
- 4. Motion-Activated Lights
- 5. Motion-Activated Sprinklers
- 6. Noise-Making Devices
- 7. Reflective Streamers
- 8. Spicy Peppers
- 9. Peppermint Oil
- 10. Vinegar
- 11. Citrus Peels
- 12. Used Kitty Litter
- 13. Ammonia
- 14. Commercial Fox Repellents
- 15. Predator Urine
- 16. Contact a Professional
- What Smells Do Foxes Hate?
- Do Coffee Grounds Deter Foxes?
- Will Mothballs Keep Foxes Away?
- Does Bleach Deter Foxes?
- Best Way to Get Rid of Foxes
Are Foxes Dangerous?
Foxes are wild animals, so they can pose a risk to people and pets. They may be hosts for various diseases and parasites, including conditions like rabies, mange, distemper, worms, and leptospirosis. Some of those illnesses are transmittable through saliva, feces, and urine and through fleas the foxes may carry.
While foxes aren’t classically aggressive, that doesn’t mean they won’t attack people or pets. It may lash out if the fox feels threatened – particularly when cornered – or is defending young. Bites and scratches are both possible, and foxes can cause serious harm.
What Attracts Foxes to Your Yard?
Generally, foxes may come to a property if it meets specific needs. Access to food, water, and shelter are typically the biggest motivators, particularly if the property seems safe in the eyes of a fox.
Food sources can include a variety of options. As omnivores, foxes may make a meal out of garden fruits or vegetables, eggs from backyard chickens, poultry raised on the property, insects, and more. Plus, they may get into unsecured garbage cans or compost bins if they smell something that could be a tasty meal or chow down on pet food left outside.
In many cases, foxes favor properties with reliable water sources like ponds, rivers, or streams. However, bird baths, fountains, or containers with standing water may be a suitable substitute for a natural water source.
As for shelter, the space underneath sheds, porches, decks, or homes can be an attractive spot for a den. That’s particularly true for female foxes during breeding season, as those areas can look like a space spot to raise pups.
A large amount of low foliage – such as dense shrubs – may also make a property more attractive to a fox. The plants can serve as cover and not just for foxes. The low foliage may also draw in potential food sources, such as rodents and insects.
How to Get Rid of Foxes Under Shed, Porch, Deck, or House
1. Eliminate Food and Water Sources
One of the simplest and safest ways to make a property less attractive to foxes is to eliminate food and water sources. Make sure that garbage cans and compost bins are secured, using locking lids and other options to prevent access. Fence off any food gardens and pick up dropped food quickly.
Using pest control services to limit bugs is also helpful, as it eliminates a food source. If you have backyard chickens, use predator-proof enclosures to keep them and their eggs inaccessible.
For water, fence off streams, ponds, or other natural water sources. Consider uninstalling birdbaths or fountains, too, as well as dumping out containers with standing water. If you have pets outside, don’t leave food and water dishes outdoors, particularly overnight.
2. Clean Up Your Yard
Cleaning up your yard allows you to address landscaping issues that could attract foxes or their potential food sources. Make sure that shrubs are appropriately trimmed and maintained, ensuring they aren’t providing low-level cover. Also, keep your grass on the shorter side, as long grass can draw in pests and make your property seem safer to move through to foxes.
It’s also wise to get rid of debris piles for similar reasons. Stacked logs, leaf piles, and similar features can bring in pests or provide cover for foxes, so it’s better to clean them up.
3. Install Barriers
In many cases, foxes enjoy denning under sheds, porches, decks, and homes because they provide shelter. However, they can only do so if there’s a way for them to gain entry to the space.
Exclusion is a popular pest control technique that helps ensure wildlife or pests can’t enter the areas beneath sheds, decks, porches, or homes. Essentially, you create physical barriers that block the entry points to make them inaccessible.
Which exclusion methods are best may depend on the size of any openings and how accessible you need the space to be for your purposes. Boarding up holes and fox-proof chicken wire or netting may be an option. You could also install lockable doors if you need to be able to gain entry but want to keep foxes out.
4. Motion-Activated LightsFoxes are primarily nocturnal, so motion-activated lights can work well as a deterrent. When the light comes on, it’s startling to foxes. As a result, they may feel that your property is unsafe, causing them to leave.
However, foxes can get used to the position of motion-activated lights, which can occur if a fox is raising pups on your property and is reluctant to relocate them. As a result, you may want to use battery-operated or solar-powered versions that you can easily move around. Then, you can change their position every few days, making them more effective.
5. Motion-Activated SprinklersSimilar to motion-activated lights, motion-activated sprinklers work as a deterrent by surprising the fox and making it think the property isn’t safe. But the spritz of water is harmless, making this a solid choice if you don’t want to hurt the fox or other wildlife. Plus, it won’t cause flashes of light that could annoy neighbors, so it’s a solid choice if you’re in an urban or tighter suburban neighborhood.
As with the lights, you may need to relocate motion-activated sprinklers regularly to ensure they’re effective. Otherwise, a fox may become aware of their position and steer clear when crossing your property.
6. Noise-Making DevicesLoud sounds can scare off a lot of different types of wildlife, including foxes. Since that’s the case, getting motion-activated sound generators can work as a deterrent. However, these may bother you, other household members, pets, or neighbors, so keep that in mind.
Ultrasonic repellers are another option. These produce a bothersome sound to many animals but isn’t detectable by people. Just be aware that it may also annoy pets and other wildlife, so it may not be ideal if animals live in your home or some you want to have on your property.
7. Reflective Streamerscause unpredictable light patterns, which foxes may interpret as potential danger. Generally, these need to be in the path of a light source to work. However, if the area where the foxes are is near a porch or patio with a light, that light source could work well.
As with many different deterrents, reflective streamers may also keep other types of wildlife away. But this option is also completely harmless and won’t typically bother neighboring properties, which can make it a solid choice.
8. Spicy PeppersCapsaicin – the chemical in peppers that makes them spicy – is an irritant, allowing spicy peppers to function as a deterrent. Along with bothering animals with strong senses of smell, like foxes, skin contact can cause an unpleasant sensation.
However, capsaicin can be harmful to certain beneficial insects. If you want to ensure that bees or similar beneficial insects can safely visit your garden, then it may be best to choose an alternative.
How you use the spicy peppers can vary. You may want to chop some up and sprinkle them in spots you want foxes to avoid. Alternatively, you can create a spray by adding chopped-up peppers to water in a pan, simmering it for about 15 minutes, and letting it cool. Then, pour it into a spray bottle, add a tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable glycerin, and you have an effective spray.
9. Peppermint OilPeppermint oil has a strong odor that deters many types of wildlife and pests. It’s also generally safe to use around people, barring those allergic to it.
Typically, you can create a simple spray by adding 10 drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Then, you can spray the structure or other areas you want foxes to avoid. Just make sure to reapply regularly, particularly after it rains.
However, peppermint oil can harm the respiratory systems of some animals, and it is toxic to many types of wildlife and pets, including cats and dogs. As a result, this deterrent isn’t ideal if you have pets in your home.
Vinegar has a potent odor, so it can help you eliminate foxes under a shed, porch, deck, or house. Usually, you can create a spray that’s 50-50 white vinegar and water. Then, apply it to the spots you want foxes to avoid.
Just be aware that vinegar is bothersome to other types of wildlife. Additionally, it can damage plants, so you don’t want to spray it on your landscaping or food garden.
11. Citrus Peels
Many animals dislike citrus scents, making citrus peels a viable deterrent. You can take orange, lemon, or grapefruit peels, cut them into pieces, and place them in areas you want foxes to bypass.
Alternatively, you can use citrus essential oils to create a spray. Orange, lemon, and grapefruit are solid choices in this direction. Add 10 drops of your chosen oil to a spray bottle filled with water and apply regularly.
12. Used Kitty LitterIn some cases, used kitty litter may help keep foxes away, particularly if the fox is looking for a safe place to raise pups. Cats may not be larger than some foxes, but they do outside the pups, which can make them a threat.
However, foxes can also pose a danger to cats. As a result, this method isn’t ideal if you allow your cat to spend time outdoors, particularly when foxes are active. It could functionally put the fox on alert, which may make an attack more likely.
13. AmmoniaAmmonia has an incredibly strong odor, and the smell is often similar to urine. As a result, it can work as a fox deterrent, either purely due to the strength of the smell or because they may worry that a predator is in the area.
Generally, people use ammonia-soaked rags when using this type of deterrent. However, this option is riskier than many alternatives. Ammonia is corrosive, toxic, and an irritant, and it can harm people, pets, and wildlife. As a result, it’s best to use this strategy with extreme caution.
14. Commercial Fox Repellents
Commercial fox repellents feature ingredients that are selected due to their ability to deter foxes. Precisely, what’s in the mix does vary by manufacturer. Similarly, the application methods and associated risks may differ.
Still, this is a straightforward option for keeping foxes away. Just read the manufacturer’s directions and safety information before proceeding.
15. Predator UrinePredator urine deters foxes by making it seem like an animal that’s a risk to them resides in the area. For this approach to be effective, selecting a predator urine product that aligns with the animals in your region is critical.
For example, wolf urine may work if wolves live in your area. However, if wolves aren’t part of your local ecosystem, foxes may not know what to associate the scent with, causing it to be less effective.
16. Contact a Professional
If a fox has taken up residence under your shed, porch, deck, or home, calling a professional for assistance is always an option. Along with safely removing the fox, they can make sure that any pups – if they are present – are also successfully caught and relocated.
Additionally, professionals can recommend ongoing deterrents or exclusion methods based on your specific situation. As a result, they’re a valuable source of guidance if you aren’t certain which strategies will work best on your property.
What Smells Do Foxes Hate?
Several scents work well as fox deterrents. White vinegar produces a strong odor unpleasant to many types of wildlife, including foxes. Spicy peppers are another option, as well as citrus.
Peppermint oil is another smell that keeps various animals and pests away. Ammonia and predator urine not only have strong odors but may also be interpreted as signs of danger by foxes, which also discourages foxes from sticking around.
Do Coffee Grounds Deter Foxes?
Coffee grounds are often placed around garden plants as a scent-based deterrent and an option for potentially improving aeration and drainage. However, coffee grounds aren’t particularly effective in keeping foxes away from your property. Since that’s the case, choosing another option is better if you’re looking for a scent-based deterrent.
Will Mothballs Keep Foxes Away?
Mothballs produce a potent odor, which may deter some wildlife. However, mothballs are toxic. They can contaminate food and water sources and poison people, pets, and other wildlife.
Additionally, many cities, counties, and municipalities have restrictions on the use of mothballs. Mothballs are technically a pesticide, and improper use can trigger legal penalties. As a result, if using them in a manner other than what’s listed on the label is necessary to deter the foxes, placing the mothballs could violate the law.
Does Bleach Deter Foxes?
Bleach may temporarily mask scent markers made by foxes, and it has a strong odor. However, bleach isn’t the best deterrent for foxes.
The scent of bleach isn’t long-lasting, so using it as a scent-based deterrent is typically cumbersome, as reapplying often is usually necessary. Additionally, bleach isn’t the safest chemical to use. It can harm people, pets, and plants, so it’s typically better to focus on other solutions.
Best Way to Get Rid of Foxes
Generally, deterrents and exclusion are the best way to get rid of foxes that are trying to take up residence on your property. Eliminate food and water sources, as well as potential shelters. Then, apply scent-based deterrents or use motion-activated ones, and consider calling a professional if the situation doesn’t resolve.
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