How to Get Rid of Foxes
The fox population in Quebec has increased in recent years. Unfortunately, foxes can cause a lot of damage by digging burrows in fields, frightening or killing chickens in henhouses, or knocking over garbage cans while looking for food.
It is important to keep foxes away from your house, especially as foxes often carry diseases that can be transmitted to pets.
Extermination methods are highly regulated in Quebec. Trying to kill a fox with a trap or using poison is often both ineffective and cruel. Our extermination service providers recommend that you rely on preventive methods to get rid of this common pest.
What you need to know about foxes
Many species of fox are found in Canada. The red fox, or Vulpes vulpes, is the most common within Quebec. This mammal looks like a small, agile dog, with pointed muzzle and ears, a long, shiny coat and a large, bushy tail.
Red fox size can vary depending on the individual animal and the geographic region. Red foxes living in northern regions tend to be larger. In general, an adult fox weighs between 3.6 kg and 6.8 kg and measures between 90 cm and 112 cm from head to tail, with the tail accounting for roughly a third of its total body length.
Foxes are found in many different environments, including forests, backcountry, rural and urban areas. They are particularly attracted to wetlands because marshes, bogs and rivers offer both shelter and food.
Foxes are essential to Quebec’s ecosystem
Although foxes play a crucial role in the Quebec ecosystem by controlling insect and small mammal populations, they are still considered to be pests.
Their resourcefulness and great adaptability allow them to live close to humans, which is why they are more and more frequently spotted in large urban centres.
While it is tempting to appreciate the presence of a fox in our backyard, it is important to remember that they are wild animals. Bad smells from fox dens, damage to houses, and conflicts with livestock and pets can cause problems.
Ways to get rid of a fox
The best way for getting rid of a fox without killing it is to rely on preventative methods.
Restrict access to food and water
Foxes are opportunistic predators. They are attracted to food-rich habitats such as gardens, farms, food litter and open garbage bags.
Avoid leaving food waste in the open. Put garbage in closed bags and garbage cans with lids. Ideally, store your garbage in a closed room or a shed with a lock.
If you have fruit trees, pick up any fallen fruit and harvest the ripe fruit regularly. Make sure that pet food is sealed in a container so that foxes can’t get at it.
To keep foxes away from your vegetable garden or chicken coop, we suggest installing a fence.
Our pest prevention technicians recommend fencing that is approximately 2 metres (6.5 feet) high with narrow steel mesh. Add an overhang of about 45° to prevent foxes from climbing over the top. Install a wire mesh apron at the base. Burying the apron will guarantee less maintenance and also deter smaller foxes from sneaking underneath it.
A fence should prevent foxes from getting near your home.
Scent repellents are a well-known method for deterring or getting rid of foxes, but you will need to be persistent if you want them to work. A scent must be applied several times before it has any effect. Keep in mind that foxes can resist repellents and even thwart them entirely by marking a territory with their own scent.
Repellents often contain aluminum ammonium sulfate, which repels foxes by mimicking the scent of another animal. Citronella-based products are less effective and can even attract other wildlife such as bears.
Sound and visual repellents
Other tools that can be used to keep foxes away include devices that emit ultrasounds that are inaudible to humans but irritating to foxes. You could also try installing sprinklers or flashing lights that are triggered when a fox approaches.
These tools can be effective, but foxes are intelligent. They can get used to physical repellents and learn how to avoid setting them off. You will have to move them often and pursue a game of wits with the fox if you want these to work. Sound and visual repellents will not replace using the other preventative tips listed above.
Use preventative methods to get rid of a fox
In Quebec, the extermination of foxes is closely regulated. In many cases, you will need to rely on professional help. Do not attempt to capture and relocate a fox, as you could accidentally introduce new diseases to your or others’ environment and potentially contribute to the spread of rabies.
At E.Exterminateur, our professional exterminators focus on preventative methods to keep foxes off your property. Fencing and repellents are the most commonly recommended methods for discouraging foxes from visiting your property.