- Red foxes are commonly seen in urban areas.
- Encounters between animals and people increase during the breeding season (April-May) when dens are in close proximity to human-use areas.
- Red foxes have a rusty coat and a white-tipped tail.
- They are mostly active during the evening and early morning, but can often be seen during the day as they can modify their schedule depending on available food sources.
- 3-8 (with an average of 4-5) young are born in April-May.
- They usually eat small mammals, insects, fruits, acorns, birds, and eggs.
- They can squeeze through holes no less than 4-inch x 4-inch. They are good climbers as well.
- Foxes don't eat cats or dogs, and will actively avoid both.
- It's rare for foxes to have rabies. You're much more likely to encounter a rabid raccoon, skunk, or bat than a fox.
- Dogs can catch a disease called Mange from foxes, however it is easily treatable in dogs. The disease is fatal in foxes
IS THERE A PROBLEM? HOMEOWNER SHOULD ACCEPT NORMAL, UNOBTRUSIVE BEHAVIOR.
Refer to SELF-HELP if:
- The fox is confined and unable to leave on its own.
- The animal is being fed by the homeowner or by the neighbours.
- The homeowner fears for their pets. (Includes small dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, and rodents).
- The homeowner has fruiting trees, bird feeders, or anything else that would attract foxes into their yard.
- The fox is repeating the behaviour.
Refer to PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE if:
- The fox is confined and unable to leave without hands-on assistance.
- The animal is sick or injured.
- The animal has repeatedly killed domestic animals.
- A bite has occurred.
- Homeowner is unable or unwilling to exercise self-help options.
If the fox is confined but could leave on its own, open a gate or door to allow the animal to leave. Patch-up entryways in fences, gates, and foundations. If the fox continues to stay, try spraying it with a garden hose.
Removal of Attractants
- Remove fallen fruit, berries, nuts, etc. from the area.
- Keep all pet food inside.
- Contain garbage in cans with tight fitting lids. Foxes will get into anything to which they have access.
- To eliminate possible den sites: remove rocks and woodpiles, securely close off entry under or into sheds, outbuildings, porches, etc.
- Regularly pick up eggs that chickens lay in the yard.
Habitat Modification & Exclusion
- Fence the yard to deny access and repair holes in fences and gates.
- Close gates or entryways onto property.
- Keep the yard free of tall grasses and trim shrubbery up from the ground regularly to deny the fox cover.
- Keep domestic birds, rabbits, etc. in secured, roofed enclosures, especially at night.
- Scare off with loud noises or with a squirt from the hose.
- If the animal is inside a building, turn on a loud radio as well as a bright light.
- Ammonia-soaked rags placed in frequently visited areas of the yard work well.
- Critter Ridder® may be suggested since it targets animals that use their noses for navigation. However, its effectiveness on foxes has not been proven.
This is not recommended. Never advise the homeowner to catch or handle a fox.
This is suggested when all other measures have been taken and it is determined that the fox may need to be removed from the property.
- Humane Wildlife Control (514-395-4555)
- In the case of a bite: If a domestic pet has been bitten, bring the pet immediately to the vet. In off-hours, emergency cases can be brought to DMV, a 24-hour veterinary service. However, this clinic, though extremely thorough and knowledgeable, is also quite expensive. If a human has been bitten, bring them directly to a hospital.