It is no secret that many homeowners have been plagued by foxes, who are well known for chewing, digging, and leaving their particularly bad-smelling excrement on garden lawns.
It’s important, first of all, to clarify that there are measures you can take to repel and deter foxes from your garden, but that these measures are not 100% effective 100% of the time.
This is because foxes are incredibly smart, patient and territorial animals – it takes a lot to convince one that your garden is no longer a place it wants to be, though it’s not impossible.
Our guide looks at the methods for repelling and deterring foxes, including how much different repellents, deterrents and pest control options cost, what affects the cost of repellents and deterrents, ways you can save money and how to hire a pest controller.
How Much Do Fox Repellents Cost?
There are various types of fox repellents available, and the table below breaks down the estimated cost of fox repellents by type.
|Repellent Type||Estimated Cost|
|Natural repellents (chillies, garlic, and vinegar)||£0.50-£2|
|Chemical repellents||£5-£10 per pack|
|Sound emitting (acoustic) repellents||£20-£35|
|Light emitting (optical) repellents||£15-£25|
|Water spraying devices||£20-£25|
In all cases, humane options for ridding your garden of foxes should be undertaken first. There are several acts, such as the Protection of Animals Act (1911) and The Wild Mammal (Protection) Act (1996) that make it illegal to cause ‘unnecessary suffering’ to an animal.
Acts such as poison, beating, stoning, dragging, suffocating, gassing, stabbing, impaling, beating, burning and crushing foxes are illegal in the UK.
You can be jailed and fined up to £20,000 for causing unnecessary suffering to a fox.
The last resort should be hiring a pest company to trap and kill a fox. It is illegal to trap and relocate foxes – they cannot be moved from an urban area to the countryside, for example – and so any fox that is trapped must be put down.
Humane repellents can be applied to your property by a pest control company for £75. In the past, some strong-smelling chemicals such as turpentine, diesel and paraffin have been used to repel foxes, but the evidence supporting their usage was low and it is now illegal to spray most of these chemicals.
Instead, chemical repellents such as ‘Scoot’ and ‘Get Off’ are safe and humane repellents, that have been shown to work alongside other necessary measures, which are covered later in the guide.
Trapping and killing a fox will likely cost from £200. Live shooting of a fox, which is illegal in urban areas, will cost from £170 plus a £50 survey that is required beforehand.
Using HouseholdQuotes is a great way to find a professional pest control company to help you with any fox difficulties you may be facing!
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What Affects the Cost of Fox Repellents?
A few different factors will affect the cost of fox repellents. The most common factors impacting price are broken down below.
Choice of Repellent
You can begin to introduce strong tastes to your garden that will condition the fox to link the negative taste to your garden and steer it from entering. Taste aversion can be carried out with chilli, curry powder and garlic which range from £0.50-£2 depending on the store.
Chemical repellents, that have been approved by the UK, will cost you more at £5-£10 depending on the pack.
Repellents that rely on audio or optics are likely to be the most expensive form of repellent ranging from £15-£35.
Size of Your Garden
A larger garden is going to require more repellent than a smaller sized garden.
Foxes are very patient and determined animals. Even if you suspect they are only using one form of entry, placing the repellent on that singular patch does not mean the fox will not try to find or create another entry point into your garden.
For the best chance of success, the entire garden will need to be secured against the fox. Once they have claimed the territory as their own, it takes a lot to deter them.
Whether You Need Re-Application
With both natural and chemical repellents, the process will not be an overnight fix. You should therefore be prepared to make multiple purchases of whatever repellent you have chosen.
Consistency in approach is key in deterring a fox from your garden, as they can be very patient animals who will simply wait and see if you have installed a short- or long-term measure.
You may therefore find that your total price of purchases will increase, but the commitment to finding a solution, and consistency in that solution, is your best bet against a fox.
How Can I Save Money When Deterring Foxes?
There are some simple measures you can take that won’t cost you a penny. Make sure you securely clear away leftover food – foxes can claw and dig, so secure the wastage in bins that cannot be scratched at – tidy away any items left in the garden that may be an attraction, such as shoes, and if you have trees in your garden that produce fruit, make sure you collect and dispose of the fruit.
Foxes don’t like white vinegar, which can be bought from £3-£6 and placed in small bowls around your garden. The scent should deter them from entering the property.
As mentioned above, consistency in approach may seem like it could cost you more with multiple purchases, but it will save you money in the long run.
It’s also a good idea to try a combination of repellents. For example, you can buy garden fence spikes from £6-£25 that won’t kill or seriously harm the fox but will be uncomfortable for it should it try to jump your fence.
If you combine the garden fence spikes with natural or chemical repellent, you have more of a chance of successfully deterring the fox from your garden.
You could also pair an acoustic deterrent, such as an ultrasonic alarm, with an optical deterrent, such as a motion sensor light. Both of these deterrents are likely to cost between £15-£30.
Make sure you also get your neighbours on board! If a fox is plaguing your garden and you’re taking every measure to prevent it from entering your property, your hard work could be completely scuppered if one of your neighbours is consistently feeding the fox and therefore encouraging it.
Finally, use HouseholdQuotes to easily compare quotes from local pest control companies who can come and assess your fox situation and help you deter the fox from your garden.
Why Do Foxes Keep Fouling My Garden?
Foxes use their faeces to mark their property in conspicuous places where it will be easily smelt or seen by other animals.
If you try to remove fox droppings, it’s likely to cause the problem to deteriorate as the fox will simply leave more the following night. Instead, a small amount of sawdust or sand that has been soaked in natural or chemical repellent should be placed next to the droppings, or directly on top of them, if possible.
Most fox communication is done through scent, and so scent-marking a garden lets other foxes know what territory has been claimed and what hasn’t. The scent of a fox’s faeces is very individual to each fox and is a method of communication for them regarding what space they have claimed as their own.
How Else Can I Discourage Foxes From Coming into My Garden?
Your best bet is to first try natural and chemical repellents and possibly combine these with the other measures we have discussed in the guide.
However, you could also:
- Tidy your garden. Foxes can be attracted to all kinds of things from shoes to disused flowerpots, so keeping your garden as tidy as possible limits the number of things that could attract them.
- Stop them from getting into your rubbish. Make sure any rubbish waste is securely put away and not left outside your home in bags that foxes can easily claw into.
- Remove fox scents. If you notice fox droppings on your lawn, it is best to cover them with a chemical or natural repellent to hide and confuse the scent; simply removing the droppings will not deter the fox and will likely encourage it to return and leave more droppings!
- If you have chicken coops or rabbit hutches, these enclosures need to be secured at night when foxes are the most active. These enclosures must include secure frames and sturdy wire, with a secure floor or wire buried into the ground to prevent foxes from simply unlocking a twist catch or digging under the enclosure to find an entry point.
- Foxes have been widely found to use the underneath of garden sheds to dig their burrows and have their cubs. If you use concrete for any shed base or garage, a fox will be unable to dig underneath.
- Lastly, don’t feed them! Foxes are most likely coming into your garden to look for food and providing it to them will only encourage them to return and comfortably assert your garden as their territory.
How Do I Find and Hire a Pest Control Company to Help Deter Foxes?
Try and seek recommendations from your friends or family who have had a problem with foxes in the past and may have sought the help of a pest control company to deal with the problem.
Use HouseholdQuotes to find a qualified pest control company that can help you deter foxes from your garden or property!
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
To make sure you’ve found the best person for the job, we recommend you ask them for the below:
- For a written quote. Make sure to find out if they will be using humane methods or intend to capture and kill the fox.
- For their experience.
- For their references. If they’re able to provide you with references you can be sure of their ability and may even be able to see some photos of their previous work.
- If they and their tools are insured. This can protect you from lawsuits if they or your property is damaged when they come to your home.
Use the checklist below to make sure you know the best steps to take when it comes to repelling foxes from your garden:
- Firstly, try to deter the fox in humane ways from entering your garden using one of the above methods.
- Seek the advice of a professional pest control company to help with your problem.
- Use HouseholdQuotes to easily compare pest control company quotes and find the right company to help you.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
What Are the Laws on Foxes in the UK?
The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) means that it is illegal to trap foxes in all but free-running snares and there are conditions to snare use. The snares must be checked every 24 hours so that the fox is not left to suffer unduly, and the fox must be humanely killed after it has been caught.
The Pesticides Act (1998) means that no poison can be legally used on foxes and anyone found doing so will be persecuted for their actions.
Are Foxes Considered Vermin?
They are still considered to be vermin, however, by some of the general population.
Can I Use a Pest Control Service to Remove Foxes?
If you are having persistent problems with foxes, once all avenues have been tried, contact a wildlife or pest control service to assess your problem and help you deter and repel any foxes.