Foxes in Bexley
The Council does not provide a service for the removal of foxes, although it does provide advice about how to deter them from your garden.
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 one foot high at the shoulder, being about the size of a lightly built terrier and slightly heavier than a cat.
Foxes live in family groups which may include additional non-breeding vixens helping to rear the cubs. The family group will often stay together until the cubs leave in the autumn. Foxes hold territories of varying sizes and are generally nocturnal, although they can often be seen in daylight
Foxes are extremely adaptable and are very well suited to urban environments. Often they are perceived to be colonising new areas when they are simply continuing to inhabit existing territories while development proceeds around them.
In suburbia, foxes tend to prefer areas of low density housing with large, relatively undisturbed gardens. Overgrowth may provide cover during the day but the most common breeding sites are under garden sheds.
Urban foxes have a varied diet which may include earthworms, insects, small mammals, birds and household scraps which are often deliberately provided by householders. They often bury food to prevent other animals from taking it and to conserve it for use when food is scarce.
If you are certain that your problems are being caused by foxes it is usually possible to reduce the level of nuisance by taking some simple steps to make your property less attractive to them.
- 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 bonemeal 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 one foot
- Ensure that air bricks 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 - having made sure that the holes are not occupied
Discouraging foxes - repellents
You can discourage foxes with repellents soaked onto pieces of wood or rags placed in the holes and/or soaked onto 'sharp' (builders') sand around the entrance.
After a few days lightly block the entrance with soil which can easily be pushed out if the earth is occupied. When you are certain that the holes are not occupied, fill with bricks or heavy materials that will be difficult to dig out.
If you think you may have an established earth in your garden, or you suspect that the foxes may be suffering from disease, it may be advisable to seek advice from a private pest control company.
'Scoot' is a repellent which can be used to deter foxes from digging and fouling on lawns. It should be diluted and sprayed onto the lawn where the problem is occurring.
'Get Off My Garden' is a solid repellent and can be used to deter repeated digging or fouling in specific areas. It should be placed in the holes which foxes are digging, or in other areas to which foxes pay particular attention.
'Wash Off' is a scent neutraliser and can be used to discourage repeated fouling and urinating on hard surfaces by removing the fox's scent so that it cannot mark the area successfully.
All repellents must be used according to the manufacturers' safety instructions.
The repellents listed above are generally available in garden centres and hardware stores. The inclusion of these products on this site is for information only and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of them by the London Borough of Bexley.
Report a dead fox
If you find a dead fox please contact the London Borough of Bexley on 020 8303 7777 Option 1.
- Foxes - Public Protection Full details for Foxes - Public Protection