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Please note that the Council run Pest Control service came to an end on Friday 3rd August 2018. We are currently looking into alternative arrangements to provide this service in the future.

Pest Control - Foxes

Note: We do not offer a service to deal with foxes, this page is to offer advice and information only

About foxes

Fox

The adaptable nature of the fox has made it a very successful resident of many British towns.

Foxes usually shelter and breed below ground in an earth.

In urban areas they also live underneath sheds and outbuildings.

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Lifecycle of foxes

Foxes breed once a year with most cubs being born in March.

Cubs will remain with the vixen (female fox) until the autumn.

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Problems foxes can cause

The digging and bin raiding habits of foxes can cause considerable nuisance and disturbance in urban areas.

Given the opportunity foxes will kill small domestic pets and livestock such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens.

Unlike many predators foxes will kill more than they need to eat immediately.

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Control methods

Foxes have limited protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1987 but are protected from abuse and ill-treatment by the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996.

Chemical repellents, which have an unpleasant odour or taste, making an area unattractive to foxes, are available. The efficiency of a repellent depends on how much a fox wants to enter the treated area.

Poisoning and gassing is illegal in the control of foxes.

Shooting is not practicable in an urban area.

Cage trapping can be effective but to comply with legislation the trap must be checked at least once a day and any caught foxes humanly destroyed. To comply with legislative requirements it is recommended this form of control is carried out by a professional, whose details may be found in local telephone directories.

Research has shown that the culling of foxes in an urban environment is only a short term solution as any vacant territory will quickly be repopulated.

Proofing the home and garden and deterring foxes from the property are more effective.

Deterrence advice is available on the internet.

See also: Advisory booklet produced by Bristol City Council and adopted by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) which contains useful information about foxes, their lifestyles and what you can do to prevent and deter them:

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