Many of us are familiar with the theft of wildlife from our gardens, usually any number of birds and deer are to blame. However, in some areas of the country, the name of the outlaw is – the fox. Let’s learn more about how to prevent foxes in the garden.
While some people find foxes quite endearing, fox pest control can be serious business in the garden. Foxes are often an introduced, non-native species that can disrupt the delicate balance of an ecosystem. Over time, fugitives introduced for the purpose of hunting foxes and raising fur roamed free and comfortably settled in coastal and valley ecosystems. The fox’s prey is rodents, rabbits, reptiles, bird eggs, insects, waterfowl, and other ground-nesting birds, and they do not make any differentiation between endangered species.
There are several types of foxes: the swift fox, the kit fox, the arctic fox, the gray fox, and the red fox – the latter is often the one that causes problems. The red fox is the most widely distributed carnivore in the world, easily adapting to a variety of habitats.
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Why prevent foxes in the garden
Keeping foxes out of gardens can be important for safety and tax reasons. Although the fox is a solitary animal and tends to eat small mammals and birds, piglets, children, lambs, and poultry that move and search in the garden are just as tempting, especially when it may seem like a fairly easy meal to eat. these opportunists. Replacing chicken coop occupants over time can be expensive.
Rabies, while declining, is also a concern and can potentially affect humans, domestic livestock, and wildlife. Not forgetting, of course, the effect a fox in the garden will have on the waking songbirds.
Getting rid of foxes in the garden
Getting rid of foxes in your yard can be accomplished with the simplicity of fencing. A net-wire fence with openings of 3 cm or less and buried to a depth of 1 or 2 feet with a net-wire apron that extends one foot out from the bottom is definitely a deterrent for foxes. You can go one step further and include a wire netting roof as well. Additionally, an electric fence, spaced 6, 12, and 18 cm above the ground will also repel foxes or a combination of both, the net wire and the electric fence.
With repetition, foxes adapt to loud noises, even temporarily. Noise-making devices can deter fox activity, as can flashing lights (strobes). Collectively, at irregular intervals, they are satisfactorily effective in the short term. The barking of the family dog will also be of some help in getting rid of the foxes.
Lastly, if you really can’t make progress in removing foxes from the garden, call in an expert who can safely catch and remove the animal.
Additional control of fox pests
Foxes in the little house garden are really a nuisance and the above solutions will probably solve the problem. There are other more deadly options that are not necessarily recommended for a home gardener. They are typically used by commercial livestock and poultry producers, whose livelihoods are directly affected by fox predation.
These methods include shooting, gas cartridge fumigation, sodium cyanide poisoning, entrapment, and burrow hunting. Most states allow the capture of foxes to protect private property, but check with your state’s wildlife agency for regulations.
Recommendable time for fox control
In territories where you foresee a plague of voles or rabbits, it is not advisable to control foxes. The presence of the fox, which in these circumstances will only eat voles, will always be preferable to the presence of poison to control the plague.
In the months of December to February, depending on the place, the heat comes and mating takes place. They are not as monogamous as we thought, as dominant females also mate with different males from the family and from neighboring groups. After 53 days of gestation, the cubs are born around March and April.
After three months they leave the burrow. It seems that in fox populations all the procreative hormones are regulated by the environmental conditions of that territory and the social conditions of their group, which depend on food resources and the density of the population. The years that the plague of voles threatens, surely that “compensatory reproduction” of which we spoke in the previous point is caused, because food is assured. It is to be expected this year that the vole will rebound in Castilla y León. The year after the plague it is necessary to control the fox overpopulation, which will surely occur this year.
The most effective time to control the fox population is to do it during the months of January to March, since the elimination of any female in that stage will not be replaced by a new reproductive one, since the heat will have already passed and this is not repeated. season.
When it comes to repelling any type of pest from your property, you have to keep in mind that the first step to take is to reduce the chances of the pest finding food or shelter on your property. Since foxes are opportunistic hunters, be sure to cover your garbage cans thoroughly, or even lock them up if they are in your yard. Make sure to clean them regularly as well, to prevent strong odors from attracting foxes. You’ll also need to clear your yard of weeds, woodpiles, and anything else that might offer shelter to these animals, as they easily build their den in a messy yard. Keeping your property open-plan, pruning bushes and shrubs, and collecting ripe fruit that has fallen to the ground will make your home less attractive to foxes, as it will not offer them any source of food or shelter. If you also have a pond or any other kind of standing water, from water from an old tire to a bucket, it’s best to get rid of it.
Once these attractions for foxes have been removed from your property, if you still suspect their presence, you will need to confirm it before taking any action. The best way to confirm the presence of foxes is by identifying the possible damage they cause to your property.
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