The fox is a member of the dog family and closely resembles a small dog. Reddish
brown in colour, the male (dog) is slightly larger than the female (vixen) and
weighs about 7kg.
They are active mainly at night but are often seen during the day, particularly when
they have cubs to feed. Foxes live in earths or dens, sometimes an old rabbit hole
or badger sett but they are happy to live under a shed in the garden or on an allotment.
More of a nuisance than a pest, complaints include barking and screaming, fouling,
raiding rubbish bins and occasionally taking pets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens.
Foxes can carry mange which may be passed to a pet dog, and roundworm, toxocara canis
which may cause blindness in children.
Keep pets securely locked up at night, have rubbish bins with tight fitting lids.
A lot can be done to discourage foxes but it is illegal to use creosote or similar
to repel them, there are commercial repellents which may be used. Fences need to
be 2m tall with a hangover and about 45cm buried in the ground.
Snaring is legal but there is much public opposition, trapping is generally a better
option. Shooting is a possibility in certain circumstances.
Whatever method used to remove foxes from an area will leave an empty territory that
will soon be taken up by other foxes.