Urban foxes have been with us in towns and cities for over 50 years with an estimated 10,000 in the London area alone, and a very common site in and around Dacorum but are becoming a big problem, we receive calls throughout the year for advice and guidance. The fox will happily dig up your lawn for worms and other grubs, search for small rodents in compost heaps and rubbish. They are incredibly adaptable feeding on a huge variety of food, much of which we humans have thrown out. More often than not we are finding people feeding them on purpose, or excessively feeding the birds, this should be avoided not only for foxes but rats and mice too. They are fascinating to watch but we are noticing they are becoming very brave and are no longer frightened of humans. They will happily go into gardens with people in them and will even sleep in the open in gardens if they feel safe enough.
There are scary press reports of foxes biting very young children, and of foxes entering houses, of course these are very rare instances and I have not heard of anything locally in Hertfordshire. But it would not surprise me as in some areas as foxes are very brave and they know humans are a good source of food. They are not particularly scared of dogs and do not as a rule harm cats.
Foxes do carry diseases one of which is toxocara that can also be carried by cats and dogs. They will probably also carry parasites such as intestinal worms, however it is unlikely these will be passed to humans.
Foxes cannot be poisoned by law, so this leaves only trapping and shooting as possible methods of control, both of course have their problems, shooting in built up areas carries huge risks, live trapping can be expensive as the pest controller will need to visit the trap at least daily. The best solution is to follow these simple rules 1. Deny them an easy source of food, don’t feed, and clear rubbish 2. Deny them territory, make your garden as fox proof as possible which can be done with fencing and other methods. Use fox repellent products on entry points, fencing and at their ‘earths’ (their burrows). Remove fox fouling where they have marked the area 3. Protect your small pets; rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs with strong cages and enclose them at night.
A professional pest control company can assist you to identify the entry points, complete fox proofing, and provide deterrents.
For further advice you can contact www.naturalengland.org.uk
Always check the pest control company you use are insured, trained and are a member of a recognised association such as the NTPA or BPCA. We can deal all of your pest problems.
Andy - First Choice Pest Control Ltd