Can you discourage foxes from your home and garden? We provide some advice and guidance on how to keep a fox away.
A fox attack this week in London, involving a baby, has got the nation talking about the merits of the urban red fox. Although a rare occurrence (risk of injury from domestic dogs and cats is very much higher) the fox divides opinion.
Some say that foxes are a menace that needs to be controlled as they live under sheds, make a noise, foul on the lawn, dig up plants and eat everything and anything from dolls to plastic bins that are left outside.
However, others blame humans for encouraging these animals for making the urban environment their home, by leaving out food and destroying hedgerows in the countryside where they normally live and forage.
There are several ways you can discourage foxes from coming on to your property by:
There are several products on the market that you can obtain from a garden centre to deter foxes. The most popular products we sell to customers in our garden centres and online are 'Scoot Fox Repellent' (recommended by The Fox Project) and 'Bayer Cat A Pult Animal Repellent'. Both are safe to foxes, animals, humans, plants and the environment. These products work by basically creating and artificial 'scentmark' within which the problem fox's territory that deters the fox from returning to the area in order to avoid potential conflict. In effect the repellents use the animals own way of marking a territory against it. These products can also be used on and around borders, fruit and vegetable crops, lawns, trees, shrubs and hard surfaces.
To view our chemical fox deterrents Click Here.
Recently we received an email from a customer in Glasgow who had purchased a Vivid Arts life sized fox that she put in her garden. As a result the local fox was discouraged.
"...it is now in the garden in the pouring rain and looks SO!! realistic, so much so, that at lunch time our resident fox appeared and obviously thought it was real, he circled and arched his back at the ornamental fox, but was not brave enough to approach...". Dilys from Glasgow
To see our Fox ornament Click Here.
Make cat, bird or other food unavailable to foxes will make a garden less attractive to foxes or using fertilizers that do not contain fish, bone or blood products will stop foxes from digging in flowerbeds or lawns in search of a non-existent carcass.
If foxes are denning (living in a hole) under your shed, just soak some rags or straw with a deterrent (available from our garden centres) and loosely block all the holes, which are the entrances to the den.
Do not block the holes with bricks as this will prevent the female from getting to the cubs and they will starve to death. Each morning replace the rags and straw in the hole. Once the rags or straw have not been moved for a couple of days, there will be no foxes left under your shed and you can permanently block the holes.
It is important to ensure that all holes around a shed/house are adequately blocked with sturdy materials. Foxes can use holes all year round, but denning with cubs is largely restricted to the period from March to June. As above, it is important to lightly infill holes and to only block holes properly once the infill is not disturbed for a few days. It is important to make doubly sure no foxes are under your shed/house before permanently blocking holes.
The male fox is called a 'dog' or 'tod'. It hunts alone rather than in packs, hence the saying 'on one's tod', meaning going alone.
Regular readers of The Gardener blog will remember the workshop GardenSite supplied to the Gracechurch Shopping Centre in Sutton Coldfield earlier in the year. David Coton now reports that it has now been donated to a local school in Birmingham.
Although from the southern hemisphere, while Santa Claus hails from the North Pole, penguins are essential Christmas characters and Nathan James Dodd explains how to complete your decorations with this quirky flightless bird.
There's still plenty to do in the garden during November, and Nathan James Dodd explains why a visit to our online Autumn Gardening Shop may be very worthwhile.
Robert Hall reflects on the visit by Swedish lighting manufacturers Konstsmide to his garden centre in Sutton Coldfield, to see their Christmas products on display in store and online.