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Is there any way to deter foxes?

(19 Posts)
LovePGtipsMonkey Fri 27-May-16 21:47:00

Not sure if this should be in Gardening section, but I think there's less activity there.
My neighbour is an old man (widower, whose late wife used to look after their garden well) and although he's nice, he has completely neglected his garden. We have a dividing brick wall and the whole corner next to the wall on his side is hugely overgrown with tall weeds and shrubs. He mows the grass very occasionall in the middle of his garden but never touches the large corner - he would beed to hire someone to get rid of the wilderness there by cutting it all down.
So it was quiet in winter, but in the last few weeks when the shrubs got all the thick foliage back on, there is large fox who seems to have settled there. I've seen a fox last summer in his and in mine garden but only 'visiting' in the daytime. This is different as it gets noisy after midnight rustling in the shrubs righht below my bathroom window! It's very disconcerting, there is narrow path on side of my house by the dividing wall and the bathroom window is facing ther - it's like a person or a largeish animal moving, though I can't actually see it in pitch black through the window. A couple of times now there was unpleasant noise and 'tussle' as if it's killing a bird (I do hope not a cat!) with a bit of squealing though not loud. Also it goes over the wall into my garden to go to the 'toilet' - there's some poo in grass not far from the wall - used to be just neigbouring cats, but I think it's different so assume it's the fox. I've also heard it making a bit of sound in my garden. I haven't got the security lights so can't see it.

Anyway, I gently hinted to the old guy previously that it's time to get rid of those weeds, but he just looks all 'overwhelmed ' by it. In no way I can offer to pay for it - just spent a bit on my own house issues. I think he's just tight and on a small pension - but he has several adult DC who are not local but visit sometimes - surely they could all chip in, it just doesn't bother them. He's got a nice cat who usually is in the garden a lot - I haven't seen it for a while and am worried that it's been killed by the fox! I haven't seen the man since this all happened , but I hope I'll see him soon and will tell him there is a fox. I doubt he'll do anything.

I'm also worried that it could jump on my conservatory roof and break the glass in the night which will be scary if I'm asleep (I'm always security-conscious) and an expense to repair it too. Or it may dig under the wall. I just don't like it - esp the noise!

But I can do anything myself to deter it going into my garden at night? anything to spray that's not going to kill it? What if it breeds there? Would the council get involved, if I ask??

LovePGtipsMonkey Fri 27-May-16 21:50:54

*But can I...

concertplayer Fri 27-May-16 22:04:20

Foxes usually go into gardens when the owner has fed it.
Otherwise it might be an "urban fox" (?)
Give the Rspca or similar a ring and get advice.

pearlylum Fri 27-May-16 22:09:37

Ear plugs?

Foxes are harmless to humans and unlikely to jump on your conservatory roof or dig under your wall.
Foxes are regular welcome visitors to my garden

LovePGtipsMonkey Fri 27-May-16 23:45:02

thanks, pearly - the thing that makes me uncomfortable is that they kill birds or could possibly attack a cat - I don't want remains in my gardeb, and I'd be upset for a cat! I did get dead birds before - had to ask my gardener to deal with that (large pigeons) but this was relatively rare - I worry this will be more frequent. I'm also very worried for the nice cat of the neighbour who is three times smaller than the fox and I haven't seen him for days - but heard that squealy fight.
Plus, my garden isn't really large so I don't want one to come out when I'm there - it might become more brazen in the day. Are yours more like pets that you leave food for? what do they do if tey see you there, if you don't feed them? sorry but these are large foxes and I feel quite scared of them - I certainly wouldn't feel relaxed.

concert, well yes, it's a lrage town - the owner definitely doesn't feed them.

PigletJohn Fri 27-May-16 23:58:34

Foxes start off being shy of people, but soon become acclimatised. If it is living in an overgrown, bushy garden, and you do not leave petfood or bird scraps, it will hopefully still be shy. However it will cheerfully wander through a garden if no people or pets are there. A dog, a cat, even a kitten, will chase a fox away, but the fox is clever enough to know when the pet is indoors and just barking through a window. Foxes generally seem to co-exist peacefully with cats and will happily share the contents of a dustbin, so get secure lids for yours. Urban foxes eat lots of discarded pizza and burgers and seem to be mostly scavengers. I used to see them trawling grassland at dawn, I think eating worms, and ignoring the rabbits.

It is said that foxes dislike the scent of large male carnivores, so if you can get a man to wee round your garden, especially round the borders and the landmarks that a fox likes to mark, he may be discouraged. Scraps of sweaty unwashed vest and socks may also work.

The is (?was?) a product called Renardine which has a strong disinfectant-like odour which is supposed to discourage them.

Unless you keep chickens an urban fox is unlikely to do you any harm, but they do smell a bit. They are an intelligent animal and part of our wildlife heritage. They usually carry fleas and may get mange, you will see the tail and hindquarters going grey and bald. This is a terrible disease for a fox. It is a mite. Beware of people offering vials of pure water homeopathic remedy which they claim can treat it.

pearlylum Sat 28-May-16 07:04:22

* so if you can get a man to wee round your garden, especially round the borders *


wowfudge Sat 28-May-16 08:03:33

The screaming fight you heard was probably just a couple of foxes - it's sounds horrendous and can go on for a long time. I have film of three fox cubs playing in our old garden early one morning. They climbed the fences to get in and out.

dudsville Sat 28-May-16 11:57:38

I live in a very foxy neighbourhood. We don't feed them. They can be deterred by human male wee. If you have access to any human males willing to wee for you this might be an option. We haven't bothered as they only pass through. I hear them during mating season and in the middle of the night when they seem to gather near my bedroom window and breath funny. They won't be keen to walk on top of your conservatory unless they are left with no other option. They are interested but shy and run off the instant you head their way.

dudsville Sat 28-May-16 11:58:15

Sorry, hadn't updated thread before posting - I see you already know about the wee.

LovePGtipsMonkey Mon 30-May-16 18:53:56

hahaha, not quite what I was expecting!
So it's either the foxes, or the garden reeking of wee and/or sweaty socks!

Especially hilarious as I'm single and would literally have to ask just any man - I can imagine my gardener's face if I ask ha!

What about the garlic-smelling cat&dog repellent they sell in Wilko? It seemed to deter the neighbouring cat for a bit (who also likes a lawn as a toilet).

Thank you anyway for the comedy element!

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 31-May-16 10:35:50

well I've now seen them, just before it was getting down the TWO of hten running around his garden! So far I've only heard them nin pitch black so they are already getting brave. He just hasn't stepped a foot in the garden for a few weeks and it's all drowning in foliage! The foxes aer young - explains the fact there was a lot of noise, maybe they were mating - so now of course there could be cubs at some point, and then what? the whole family of then living there, and they will jump over into my garden too the more confident htey get! Also much harder to chase them out if there's two plus cubs! Pesky neighbour - not sure if he's away or ill but it's irresponsible to get it to a jungle state, no sign on the cat. Poor thing will be scared to go out now, being outnumbered.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 31-May-16 10:36:12

*getting dark (not 'down'!)

roarfeckingroar Tue 31-May-16 10:46:24

I'm struggling to see what the issue is OP. It's a fox... It won't harm you or the cat. Are you usually very anxious around animals?

DPotter Tue 31-May-16 10:48:38

Try leaving citrus peel around the garden, especially in key locations. We had a fox who would pee on our front door- no that's a small you don't want in the house. So I left citrus peel - we eat a lot of oranges for a while. And it was either co-incidence or the peel worked as the fox stopped pee-ing on the door.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 31-May-16 12:07:07

roar, I like cats and dogs but not comfortable in close proximity of foxes - I just don't want them in my garden. For one, there is quite a bit of poo there now, around the conservatory exit to the garden - I think they come to my garden as it's more of a lawn and his is over-grown. Secondly, they aer noisy at night which is creepy with all the rustle and noises, also they kill birds and I had a couple of dead birds in my garden though can't be sure if that was a cat. And I know they can harm cats but ok, not all do. They look dirty too, urban foxes. I don't mind them at a distance and I don't want to harm them, but I don't enjoy or feel relaxed with the thought they are in my garden.
If they absolutely stayed in the neighbours garden, I wouldn't mind so much though I can hear all the night-time squeals there of course but at least it's usually brief.

DP will try - it's definitely more pleasant than the garlic-smelling cat-repellent, but I think garlic may be more effective.

PigletJohn Tue 31-May-16 13:20:41

Foxes can kill a goose and eat everything but the beak, so if you find a dead bird, it is much more likely killed by a cat.

They are territorial so the youngsters will move away as they become adults (though I did have two young sisters once who stayed together).

If you look out at dawn or dusk you are more likely to see them, especially youngsters playing.

LovePGtipsMonkey Wed 01-Jun-16 13:28:52

PJ I didn't mean cubs - these two are just young foxes as opposed to an old one who was seen last year and was solitary. I was saying they aer probably a young couple and will have cubs in his (not very large garden)which isn't great. I did see then at dusk, othewise it's noise in the night.
Have seen the cat which is arelief but he was perched at the little front garden by the door, and looked midearble - when he used to always lie around in the back garden - I'm pretty sure he's been booted out or just feels like he doesn't want to share with foxes.

LovePGtipsMonkey Wed 01-Jun-16 13:29:53

*miserable (sorry for all the typos)

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