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Fox den in front garden

(26 Posts)
speckledpig Sat 23-Feb-13 16:31:31

My neighbouR has just pointed out that we probably have a foxes den in the only bush in our front garden. We have only been here a few months so I am guessing he knew the old owner had the same prob?
Anyone it does look like one. We live in London so its obviously urban foxes and have seen and heard them alot around here.
Our front garden is pretty tiny and we have two very young kids. My eldest one often goes out there to play.
I grew up in the countryside where we had foxes but don't know anything about urban foxes. Guess they must be pretty tame to be making a den under our frontroom window?
Should we do anything?
Can we do anything?

ElectricSheep Sat 23-Feb-13 18:12:07

I keep chickens and last year a fox got all my flock, at which point I found out quite a lot about them.

If they are in your front garden they must have become incredibly used to people and lost all their natural wariness. For that reason I'd be very concerned to have them living so close, given your very young children. Although they are territorial, so that if you clear the foxes out other foxes will move in to their territory, I think my aim would still be to get them out of the garden.

One way would be to simply capture them and take then right out of the area. Not sure if the local borough council would do that - or kill them. Another might be to fill their hole, mixing the soil with dog poo so that the foxes think their territory has been taken over. Also adult male human urine is supposed to achieve the same thing.

Obviously make sure there is no food around that they could eat - but as there are a lot of people who still think it's a good idea to feed them that will be a of limited effect.

The only sure way to get rid is of course to kill them.

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 23-Feb-13 18:14:39

Oh, im very envy I assume your children don't play out the front?

NotADragonOfSoup Sat 23-Feb-13 18:31:18

I would hate have a fox den that close to my house. Their poo and urine absolutely reeks. it's bad enough with the local population and they just pass through my garden.

speckledpig Sat 23-Feb-13 18:44:04

I am baffled as well, but have just seen one poke his nose through the fence in the back garden. They are so tame and come so near to the houses now.
Yes, my dd does play out there with her friend from next door and obviously we are in and out of the front door all the time.
I wish I could post a picture of it. I only noticed it when he told me this pm and have noticed the mess also around the front garden where something has been digging.
I have read up on it a little and the council don't seem to do much about it.
You are not allowed to block the entrance or kill them so what does one do?

Maybe thats why the guy sold his house before the winter when they started that horrible breeding noise they make! sad

speckledpig Sat 23-Feb-13 18:47:35

What does it smell like exactly notadragon?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 23-Feb-13 18:54:52

London boroughs don't take action against foxes, although Boris had recently been suggesting there should be a cull.

I am trying to deter fovxes from entering my London garden by burying mothballs around the place - they allegedly don't like the smell - but whether that would be enough to make them leave a den, I don't know. My biggest bugbear is neighbours who leave rubbish out in bags, because that provides so much food for them. Ugh.

speckledpig Sat 23-Feb-13 19:03:25

Comeinto, They need it don't they?
Our neighbours are pretty good here and we all have lots of wheelie bins, but this neighbour did say some people feed them!
I imagine that this has been a den at least once before and they are returning and probably do every year. I don't know.
It baffles me how the council are not prepared to do anything about it though when they are becoming so so tame and putting animals and even kids in danger. They are still a wild animal and are becoming more unpredictable as they grow so tame I imagine.

NotADragonOfSoup Sat 23-Feb-13 19:43:37


It has a distinctive smell - I know when my dog has been nosing abut near fox urine.

speckledpig Sat 23-Feb-13 20:44:16


ElectricSheep Sat 23-Feb-13 22:28:55

You are not allowed to block the entrance or kill them so what does one do?

I'd do that anyway. Given that the only thing stopping a cull In London atm is the expense, I don't think anything would happen. And would anyone know anyway? YOu could feed a poisoned food.

MousyMouse Sat 23-Feb-13 22:36:56

we had a fox trying to dig a den in our garden.
it was a nice stand off for a few weeks: fox dug a hole during the night and I filled it back in in the morning.
- mixing vile male morning urine with the soil (=no effect whatsoever)
- mixing in chilli powder (= worked for about a week)
- orange peel and a bottle of undiluted nasty cheap squash (= about a week)
- small bottle of valerian bath oil from the back of the cupboard (= not been back since)

I'm a bit afraid of the foxes, they are so brazen. they don't even flinch when you shoo at them and many don't look very healthy.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 23-Feb-13 22:37:06

But setting aside the question of legality, what would you do with the fox corpses if you killed them? Disposing of the bodies would be vile.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 23-Feb-13 22:38:49

Just seen MousyMouse's post. Do they not like valerian? I have it growing in the garden. Maybe I should grow more of it.

LilQueenie Sat 23-Feb-13 22:39:45

I'd do that anyway. Given that the only thing stopping a cull In London atm is the expense, I don't think anything would happen. And would anyone know anyway? YOu could feed a poisoned food.

yes people would know. Why do you think you have any right to do that?

speckledpig Sun 24-Feb-13 07:31:36

We live in a close so it is quite open here. I wouldn't be able to dispose of the dead foxes without people knowing. I had thought it was probably to do with expense though, there are so many of them, it would take an awful lot of time and affort to get a cull going.
I will try with some of the other stuff suggested but after reading up on foxes it seems it is quite difficult to get them out of a den, especially if they have been there years before.
I wonder if they are very have cubs though they could get nasty. I think they leave the den when the cubs are a couple of months old.
Well, this was something we hadn't bargained for when we bought the house! sad

speckledpig Sun 24-Feb-13 07:33:17

Off to chemist to buy valerian

NotADragonOfSoup Sun 24-Feb-13 08:19:07

It is not illegal to block a fox den.

It is illegal to block a fox in it's den so you must be certain the den is empty before you can fill it with rubble or cement. You can fill it with soft soil - this is especially important if there may be cubs.

It is illegal to block a badger sett though.

ElectricSheep Sun 24-Feb-13 18:49:40

here LilQueenie that's what would give OP the right.

Foxes are dangerous in the confined, high-stress environment of inner-city London. It's sad they are not in the country where at least it's quieter at night, but in a garden they are too near for comfort.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 24-Feb-13 23:59:48

But as has been pointed out, killing the foxes would be illegal and would leave OP open to prosecution. And even that's assuming she could find some way of killing them and disposing of the cadavers. There's a world of difference between Boris recommending a cull and people taking matters into their own hands.

Selks Mon 25-Feb-13 00:06:26

Can't believe someone on here is suggesting putting down poisoned food!!angry
Please don't do that OP. it's a very cruel way to kill an animal and is also a massive risk to cats or dogs who might also eat it.
Honestly some people! Grrr.

NotADragonOfSoup Mon 25-Feb-13 07:05:00

I don't think killing them is illegal but you can only a) shoot them or b) cage and have them put down by lethal injection. Or run them over.

Disposing of the bodies is easy - just leave them in a road.

NotADragonOfSoup Mon 25-Feb-13 07:05:38

I am absolutely not advocating killing them though!

LaurieFairyCake Mon 25-Feb-13 07:13:51

Another one saying don't put down poisoned food!

A child might eat it! (Or birds, dogs, cats)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 25-Feb-13 10:06:36

Useful information from the RSPCA on the Wildlife and Countryside Act

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