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Talkback: Garden foxes

Yes, they're a right pain in the backside - walking over the vegetable plot, seed beds etc. I try to keep them out but to little avail. Wh...

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There was a poster on this forum who complained about foxes in their back garden-she liked to see them so she fed them but just wanted them at the front

Now if people cannot get how silly that attitude is and remove all food sources this will problem will never go away

Any one who watched Top Gear last Sunday will have seen a fox filmed walking across the pitch at 4 in the morning-there is a food source there -why go elsewhere?

We came down a couple of days ago, to find an empty hen's eggshell on the patio between our back door & the bee hives. There was some clear goo nearby, presumably albumen from where it had been cracked open. Where would they get a hen's egg??

Urban foxes in the street aren't so bad but they're a menace in back-to-back terraces of houses, which are normally a safe place for cats.

Silly neighbours had neglected their back garden for years, so a fox made its den there. Now they're trying to sell their house, so they're doing more to make the garden look better and evidently disturbing the fox so much that it's constantly jumping through the gap (which I'd plugged with thorny branches) between our common wall and the trellis above it, to invade my garden.

My poor cat is now terrified of going into her beloved garden unless I'm there to protect her. She tried marking her territory at first but the fox is now so bold that it comes right up to the back windows until I chase it away.

I really need to get this particular fox out of the area but they were protected, last time I looked. Any brilliant ideas - apart from improving the thorny barricade?


Cats Gatehill, a nice big territorial male. My cat Smoky sees em off and they haven't been back for a while. I also have two feral females and they see them off too.

I've seen Smoky chasing one down the road.

He isn't so brave with the seagulls though



Well some very strong opinions here on both sides.

I'm an ex gamekeeper so know more about foxes than most i think. first fences' if you can do this it will work, a single strand of wire that's electrified. foxes hate getting a shock works well on badgers too and does them no harm. to set it at the right height  make fists with both hand one on top of the other and then put up your thumb on the top fist. put you hands on the ground and there's your height for the fence.If you have kids or animals of your own try lion dung tends to work the best. urine works wether your male or female by the way you need be very regular on marking your patch tho. unpleasant tho it is the best way is to fill a tin and make small pin holes in the bottom so the liquid slowly drips out. i take no sides i live and work in the countryside everyday and see and hear both sides of this argument. Hope this helps


We have a fox on our land, but I'm sure it's ( they're ) vegetarian , given the numbers of baby rabbits we have this year.

Katherine W

We live in the middle of a forest, and so far no trouble, although there are many foxes around.... we have fences, although not the whole garden is enclosed. Some are electric fences (because of the ponies). We do the pee trick. Bit of a chore, but you can do it, (and yes, even if you are a female, just takes a bit longer)... nettle tea helps, lol.

We have ducks, but we lock them up at night in a very safe little hut and we have small lights going around the hut at night.

We keep all the rubbish in secure bins (we don't produce much rubbish attractive to foxes anyway)

We have a dog and two cats and they are fairly alert to intruders (my white pussycat Muffin is our best 'watch-dog'... she will warn us of anything from stray cats to wild boars, and she's been known to kill magpies and snakes!). All the feed is in secure bins.

If any foxes did show up, I'd add to the electric fences, and I would consider getting a motion activated water scarecrow. And a goose.

I understand that in towns their populations escalated to unhealthy numbers and they have become parasites, but in the countryside they are part of the ecosystem and while I do protect my garden and pets as best I can, I don't think we have a right to exterminate predators... they were here before I came, and I knew they were. They belong here more than I do. If the foxes were gone we'd hve a plague of rats rabbits which are even more difficult to exclude.




Katherine you seem to have it pretty well nailed. i consider rats much more of a problem than foxes. if nothing is really working give them a food source. foxes are lazy if they can get food easily it will stop them pillaging your bins. learn to live with them because if you have them in your area every time you get rid of a fox another will move in. if you can get one you can get along with they will keep other foxes away. Its a case of if at first you don't succeed try try try again. 

Katherine W

Thank you Bushman, but in fact we are fine here, so far no trouble (in part because we have always been very careful in preventing it... this is our new garden, but our old garden was 300 m down the road in the same bit of forest, so we are familiar with the beasties here, we respect them, and so far they respect us... the only "problem" I have had with foxes so far is their "banshee screams" at night! I didn't know the sound at all when I moved here, and it gave me a few good creepy scares before I figured out what on earth it was!!!


Haha yes the vixens are really vocal december jan feb but at this time of year its the cubs. Sometimes sounds like a crying baby especially if they are really distressed. You should hear red dear theyre calls are really high pitched especially the hinds scared the life out of me when i first heard them.

Katherine W

We have the small roe deers (? here they are called chevreuil) barking and whoofffing all around us.... our first nights here had a certain Jurassic Park atmosphere, before we figured out what's what!


We have foxes here too and I have to say I like them. But I don't keep chickens. If I did then my attitude would be very different. Also, if they were diseased I wouldn't be very keen to have them around. But a young, lithe, healthy fox is a delightful thing to watch.Our pets don't form part of the fan club but I think it's the foxes' smell that they find offensive.


lovely deer they're small like mutjak. its amazing how the woods come alive at night and early morning. My favourite time of day is just as the sun is rising and everything is quiet, superb time to be out and about. 

We have foxes too, but the biggest problem is the deer. They eat just about everything. Around my new rockery/flowerbed, after they had eaten all of my Lupins, and Asters, I read that white vinegar is a good deterrent. So I took some old yogurt pots, filled them with the vinegar and although there have been tracks, everything survived, perhaps the smell was enough.

It might work with the foxes, as it has also kept my cats off that part of the garden too.



I'm trying chilli powder on the worst-affected areas first, because the worst of this invasion is having ever more bits of the recently-cut lawn grubbed up and fouled. (Avoiding that is clearly another reason for letting the grass grow long in a drought, but it looked SO messy...!) Buying it by the kilo is reasonably cheap in the local Turkish supermarket.

As I don't own the relevant fence and haven't any easy way to get electric power down to that end of the garden, an electric fence would be much harder to achieve - and it would hurt far more cats than foxes. I very much doubt that electrified fences are allowed in inner-city areas anyway; I've never heard of anyone installing one around a London garden.

Katherine W

Diana, I don't know how large is the part you need to fence, but You can easily feed an electric fence with small batteries. They sell such kits for dogs, and I know they worked beacasue I used one when I was travelling with my horse. To keep the horse in, not to keep foxes out

You might want to ask of course, but I doubt you would have trouble with the authorities, these are not prison fences, you won't get electrocuted by it, they just "pinch". I have electric fances all over the place for my ponies (solar powered), and the cats don't mind

I envy you for the cheap by kilo chilli powder... I love spicy food!


Thanks, but I'm not convinced. I accidentally encountered one of those fences (intended to keep in sheep) once, while out walking in the Highlands, and the "pinch" was unnerving even for an adult human.

While I've no objection to annoying the fox - although it's apparently illegal to cause the creatures suffering, as opposed to just killing them cleanly - I'd be bothered about hurting anything else that kind of size, which is just as likely to be my own, already beleaguered, cat as an intruding animal.

Katherine W

Oooooh, these fences can be put on different "pinching levels" and the sheep pinch is the toughest, because the wool is such a good insulator so you need to zap them good or they won't even notice... ouch for you! It's a much lower voltage for horses and assorted beasties!