Fox in the garden in broad daylight. Most often it is the red fox (lat. Vulpes vulpes), commonly called fox.
The astonishment is great, if during the day suddenly a fox roams through the garden. Some people immediately want to call the police, the public order office and the fire department to have the dangerous animal chased away.
But is the fox on the property really a real danger for humans and animals?
Annual horror stories about rabid foxes and fox tapeworm have not given the intelligent as well as curious wild dog a good reputation.
Yet, in most cases, the wild animal is harmless and non-confrontational. At the sight of a human, the red fox makes off.
Dog and cat have hardly anything to fear. Rather the fox takes flight. If you have chickens and rabbits, the situation is different.
In the vegetable garden, foxes leave few traces and do little (digging) damage compared to other wild animals.
Some important things should still be considered when dealing with the fox in the garden. Because as cute as it may look, it is and remains a wild animal and should be gently kept away from the property and garden.
In this article, you’ll learn how to do that and I’ll explain what to do when the fox pays you a visit during the day.
Fox near the house during the day
If you see a fox near your house during the day, you can assume that it is curious and wants to explore your garden.
Foxes are constantly on the lookout for food. Especially in big cities, they are often spotted during the day. Do you know why?
Foxes are looking for food to feed their offspring.
Since the urban environment offers a diverse food supply for foxes, they are all the more likely to be found there.
Foxes are shy and peaceful creatures that avoid stressful confrontations. They flee from humans.
Domestic animals such as chickens, guinea pigs and rabbits, they become dangerous only if these are not sufficiently secured by a hutch.
Foxes are smart and weigh very carefully whether the risk is worth it to get to the “food”. More on this later.
Fox is in the garden in the evening
If a fox is in the garden in the evening, this is not unusual at first.
In the warm season, foxes are often spotted in urban gardens.
They are just hungry and need much more food than in the rest of the year to feed their offspring.
Why does the fox come into the garden?
The fox comes to the garden because it is thirsty and hungry. Besides, foxes are curious fellows by nature.
Especially urban gardens offer them interesting and tasty things that inevitably attract them.
Foxes look for a source of water
Swimming pools, fountains or ponds are always visited by foxes to quench their thirst.
Animal food also attracts foxes
If you feed birds, hedgehogs, cats, dogs and co. in your garden, it is quite likely that one or the other fox will also help itself to the animal food at night.
Foxes love hiding places in the garden
Does your garden offer a shed, many bushes, shrubs and is laid out quite wild?
Then the fox will love your garden, because in case of danger there are plenty of places to hide.
Keeping small animals attracts foxes
Do you have a chicken or rabbit warren on your property? Small animals are on the fox’s menu and are preyed upon when needed.
Flower beds and lawns as a source of food
Since foxes like to eat worms and bugs, they are happy to have flowerbeds and larger grassy areas. These provide ideal conditions for them to dig for grubs.
Natural fertilizer attracts foxes
Do you use organic fertilizer that contains bone meal, fish scraps or blood? Wildlife like foxes are inevitably attracted to the delicious smell. They scent a delicious meal.
Clutter in the garden
Rubber boots, children’s toys and garden tools are enormously exciting to fox cubs in particular. They practice hunting on them in the dark and also like to (dis)chew the things lying around.
Adult foxes also like to mark on shoes to mark out their territory.
Signs of foxes in the garden
Foxes are shy and peaceful wild animals that leave minor damage in our gardens.
You should look for the following signs if you are unsure whether a fox is visiting you regularly:
Do you notice grave marks on your lawn or in your flower beds?
Does it suddenly smell pungent and musky on your property?
Do you find droppings on raised areas like stones?
Have the plants in your beds been trampled?
Have your flower beds been dug up?
Do you find holes in your lawn?
Have your garbage cans been tipped over and your household garbage is all over your yard?
Do you find chewed fruit?
Have toys and shoes been chewed on?
Has your fence been damaged?
Does your property look like it was completely plowed because a wild animal was looking for bug larvae?
Is a fox on the property useful?
Yes, a fox on the property is useful. Mice and rats do not stand a chance in his presence. Foxes prey on rodents.
Is it necessary to report a fox in the garden?
No, you do not have to report a fox in the garden.
How to keep foxes away from the property?
Keeping foxes away from the property or garden is not difficult. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
Secure pet food and water points.
Do you have cat, dog or other pet food sitting open in your yard?
Put away the pet food (also bird food like tit dumplings!)! Water sources should always be covered in the evening.
Clear away fallen fruit in the garden
Especially in summer, there is often fallen fruit from fruit trees on your property. These are welcome treats for foxes. Regularly (preferably daily) remove the fallen fruit.
Do not dispose of food or meat scraps in the compost
If you have an open compost pile in your yard, never throw food scraps or fallen fruit on it.
Food of any kind – with a preference for meat scraps – is eaten by foxes. As omnivores, they find food everywhere and are thus not choosy. Even carrion is utilized by foxes.
Close garbage cans tightly
If you have unlocked garbage cans, you should definitely change this from now on.
It is easy for a fox to open them. Weigh down the lids of the garbage cans with a large stone or close them with a garbage can latch*.
No candles in the garden
Paradoxical as it may seem, foxes are addicted to candle wax with kerosene oils. If such candles stand on your garden table, foxes are magically attracted to them. It is better to do without them! Use modern LED candles in your garden instead.
Secure the property boundary
Take a close look at your garden fence and walk the garden boundary several times. This way you will be able to determine where exactly the fox has the opportunity to enter your garden.
If you secure the entrances and gaps in the fence, the fox will have fewer opportunities to enter your property.
Collect objects lying around
Toys, garden tools, and shoes should be put away after dusk.
If you have been using fertilizers that contain animal ingredients, switch to plant-based fertilizers.
Secure pet graves
If you have buried a pet in the garden, secure the grave with paving stones so that the fox does not tamper with the carrion.
Is it allowed to feed foxes in the garden?
No, you should not feed foxes in your garden.
4 reasons why you should not feed foxes in your garden:
- fox discards shyness towards humans.
If you feed foxes regularly, they will get used to your proximity. They will no longer be afraid of humans.
However, humans are dangerous to the fox. Their shyness towards humans is their life insurance. Not all people mean well to wild animals.
- rats, raccoons and mice are also fed
If you start feeding foxes regularly, other uninvited guests will soon visit your garden.
- carrion in the garden
Foxes create emergency camps. They regularly bury their prey in holes in the ground for a rainy day.
- foxes unlearn to take care of themselves
Eventually, foxes become dependent on your feeding and forget to hunt. However, this poses a real threat to their survival.
Their ability to forage for themselves ensures their existence.
Danger from foxes in the garden?
Yes, there is a danger from foxes in the garden. Although (healthy and adult) cats, dogs and humans are avoided, foxes are disease carriers.
They often carry the deadly fox tapeworm. If fox tapeworm eggs are transmitted to pets or humans, it can be life-threatening.
In addition, foxes are often carriers of other parasites. Distemper and mange are also common in foxes.
This is especially dangerous for pets, as they can easily become infected with it.
Does a fox attack cats?
A fox does not normally attack cats. Cats usually outnumber foxes and wildlife are aware of this. Rather, cats regularly beat foxes into flight. That is why foxes avoid confrontation with cats.
Exceptions are kittens and old, sick or weakened cats. These fall into the prey pattern of the fox.
More about this topic you can find in my article: Cat bitten by fox.
Do foxes attack dogs?
Foxes attack only small breeds of dogs. To these the fox is physically superior.
Therefore, small dogs should not be left alone in the garden when foxes are around.
Otherwise, foxes avoid confrontation with dogs, because they lose out. Foxes fall into the prey pattern of many medium and large dog breeds.
More on this topic can be found in my article: Are foxes dangerous for dogs?.
Does the fox also fetch chickens during the day?
Yes, the fox also fetches chickens during the day. Especially in the rearing period of its young (March to July) the fox usually has a high energy demand.
Especially in the early evening hours between 17:30 – 19:00 o’clock you can expect a fox attack on your chickens.
You can find more on this topic in my article: Fox or marten in the chicken coop?.
Do foxes dig up dead dogs and cats?
Yes, foxes can dig up buried dogs, cats and other pets. Foxes are omnivores, so they also eat carrion.
If you have buried a pet in your garden and have not secured the grave sufficiently, this can have traumatic consequences for you.
Foxes have an excellent sense of smell. No matter how deep you bury your pet in the ground, foxes are sure to detect it.
If you bury your beloved pet in the garden, bury it as deep as possible and weigh down the carcass with paving stones. This will prevent foxes from getting to the carrion.
Does the fox bring the fox tapeworm to the property?
Yes, the fox brings the fox tapeworm to the property. The eggs of the fox tapeworm are found in the feces of wild animals. Since foxes mark their territory with urine and feces, your property will also be affected by fox tapeworm.
What does fox droppings look like?
Fox droppings are sausage-shaped and pointed. It also has a very unpleasant odor. Its color varies from brown to gray to black. Fox droppings are about 3-8 cm long and have a diameter of about 2 cm. It is noticeable that animal remains such as hair or plant remains such as seeds and seeds as well as insect parts are visible.
Picture fox excrement
Is there a danger from fox tapeworm with a fox on the property?
Yes, there is a danger from fox tapeworm with a fox on the property. Not only can feces contain fox tapeworm eggs, but fruits such as berries that are growing in the garden should be washed off thoroughly before eating.
Wind can transfer the eggs found in fox droppings to all fruits and vegetables.
In addition to washing thoroughly, heating fruits and vegetables at temperatures of 70 degrees has proven effective.
Where does the fox tapeworm occur?
The fox tapeworm is only found in the northern hemisphere.
In Europe, the south (Bavaria) is most commonly affected by fox tapeworm.
Besides Switzerland, Austria and France, the fox tapeworm also occurs in China, Japan and Siberia.
If you have implemented all prevention measures in the garden and the fox still roams through the garden, then it is time to use measures to repel foxes.
Are you afraid for your chickens, rabbits or kittens?
Then you should actively drive the fox out of the garden. It is best to control your fox repellent measures with a wildlife camera.
Only if you actively control whether your defense measures are effective, you can be sure that the fox has looked for another territory.
Maybe the fox no longer comes during the day, but exclusively at night?
In the following section I will introduce you to the best means of chasing away foxes. After that I will show you the 3 best home remedies against foxes. Let’s go!
Gently chase foxes out of the garden
Foxes react to light, sounds, sound waves and smells. You should take advantage of these properties to gently chase the fox out of your garden.
Ultrasound against foxes
With an ultrasonic repeller, which you position in your garden, you scare off the fox.
Ultrasonic emitters emit waves in the ultrasonic range, which are not perceptible to you.
The fox, however, hears them and feels massively disturbed.
If you have a large property, buy several devices and change the position regularly, so that your entire garden is “sonicated”.
With the best conscience I can recommend the VOSS.sonic 2000 ultrasonic repellent* with solar operation. I also use this in my garden.
The device is powered by an integrated solar cell.
Place it, switch it on, done.
Light reflections scare the red fox
LED lights that randomly emit blue light are also highly effective.
Blue light does not occur in nature and therefore deters wildlife.
The deterrent effect has been scientifically confirmed, according to the manufacturer.
Isotronic game deterrents* are a suitable product for preventive fox deterrence.
Scents against the fox on the property
Relatively new are so-called game deterrents based on granules, which drive away foxes by means of biological scents and active substances.
If the fox perceives the smell of the granules, the primal fear of humans is triggered in him. This smell will make any fox flee.
Control the deterrence measures with a photo trap.
You haven’t seen the fox on your property for a long time and you don’t find any fox tracks in your garden anymore.
Don’t be hasty and don’t rejoice too soon about your supposed success, but check whether your eviction measures were effective.
With the help of a game camera you can check whether you were able to drive the fox away for good.
I recommend the Secacam Wild Vision HD* with European customer support. The camera is test winner of the “Deutsche Jagdzeitung”. I am absolutely satisfied with the camera.
Conclusion for fox defense in the garden
It is especially effective to use different means in combination and in alternation to drive a fox out of your garden. The more varied the expulsion measures are, the more successful they will be.
Foxes are intelligent animals and quickly get used to defensive measures. That is why you should not limit yourself to only one defense variant.
You will make it too easy for the fox.
Home remedies against foxes
Home remedies against foxes are simple means from the household, with which you can try to drive the fox from the property and from the garden.
It should be mentioned here that conventional means, that is, means specifically designed to repel foxes, are more effective.
However, the inexpensive home remedies are always worth a try.
Perhaps the fox will then look for a quieter plot of land.
You can use the following home remedies to repel foxes:
Neem oil against foxes
Neem oil is a biological means of plant protection. It is made from the seeds of the Indian neem tree.
Neem oil has a pungent odor, which really stinks to wild animals.
Spray neem oil near the garden fence and create a sort of scent wall. The smell might help keep the fox off your property.
Periodically – especially after rainfall – you should reapply the neem oil.
Here you can find neem oil ready to use * and ready mixed as a biological means of pest control.
Loud music against foxes
Since foxes are sensitive to noise, they avoid it. Turn up your stereo with your favorite music or leave the radio on when the fox is in the garden or on your property.
Spray the fox with a hose
Using a water hose can also prove effective. If you spray the fox with water, it will run away.
Catching a fox with a live trap – Is it allowed?
Private individuals are expressly prohibited from catching foxes with a live trap. Only hunters or professionals working on the orders of public authorities are allowed to catch foxes alive.
There is a good reason for this: once the fox is caught, you must release it.
When transporting the fox in a live trap, not only the fox but also you run the risk of getting hurt.
In the worst case you touch the fox and get bitten.
Killing foxes with poison baits – Is it allowed?
No, you are not allowed to kill foxes with poison baits. It is strictly forbidden!
However, there are some unteachable people who try it anyway.
Keep in mind that children and pets such as dogs and cats can also ingest the bait.
Fox makes a pile in the vegetable patch
If the fox makes a pile in the vegetable patch, it marks its territory. In addition, foxes also eat the vegetables in the beds.
To avoid damage to your beds, you can cover them with branches and plant netting.
How to recognize a fox den in the garden?
You can recognize a fox burrow in the garden by the fact that burrows are dug with preference under sheds and garden sheds.
Especially in the summer months, barking, squeaking and whining sounds are often heard in the evening and night hours. These are sounds made by fox cubs.
If you hear them at regular intervals, you can be sure that there is a fox den in your yard.
Fox with cubs on the property – What to do?
If there is a fox with cubs on your property, you should be lenient.
If you need help, inform the local forestry office. The nature conservation organization is also available to give you advice and support.
Sick fox in the garden – How to help?
If you have a sick fox in your garden, inform a wildlife station that knows about foxes. It does not matter how far away this wildlife station is from you.
Via Whatsapp or SMS/MMS it is possible to exchange videos and camera photos in order to assess the situation of the fox.
Under the following link you will find a directory of wildlife stations.
In the further course, the wildlife station will get in contact with expert persons in your area to be able to help the fox in the best possible way.
However, if the fox is badly injured with no chance of recovery, call the nearest forestry office or the police so that the animal can be rescued as soon as possible.
Dead fox in the garden – What to do?
If you find a dead fox in your garden, inform the hunter in charge. The hunter can determine on the spot whether the fox has died of a disease that is contagious.
The district office or the police can also be informed. The authorities will then contact the hunter.
What damage do foxes leave in the garden?
Foxes mainly leave damage to lawns and flower beds. Due to the fact that they dig passionately for insects, the property quickly looks desolate.
Their droppings in the form of feces and urine also smell extremely unpleasant.
Unlocked garbage cans in particular are regularly tipped over and emptied, so that all the garbage is spread around the property.