Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests
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Although related to dogs, foxes are wild animals and can be found all over the world. The red fox is the most common and is often seen in cities and the countryside alike. They aren’t the worst of intruders, generally keeping themselves to themselves. In fact, some people take delight in spotting a visiting fox stalk across their plot at night. But, these pests can be susceptible to digging up gardens, overturning trash cans, and preying on species as they scavenge for food. And some, unfortunately, are rabid, which can put you and your pets at risk.
Intelligent and adaptable, foxes are among the species best suited to the anthropocene era (now, when humans live), thriving in both rural and urban environments.
Unafraid to colonise new areas, foxes will roam across huge areas in search of food: country foxes will move into urban areas and vice-versa.
Foxes breed between December and February, and in autumn cubs will move into new territories. This is the period where many inexperienced foxes will be hit by cars.
Despite commonly held beliefs, foxes are omnivores and will eat nearly anything.
Gardeners who prefer to keep their plot fox-free, these tips on how to get rid of foxes are sure to come in handy.
1. Try an ultrasonic fox repellent
Ultrasonic repellers work by emitting ultrasound, which is inaudible to humans, but painful to foxes, causing them to leave the area. Ultrasound is preferred as it functions as a permanent deterrent to foxes, and causes no inconvenience to humans.
Pol Bishop, a gardening expert working for Fantastic Gardeners said: “These motion-activated devices emit a series of ultrasonic sounds (which humans can’t hear) and sometimes flashing lights, which can startle foxes in your yard so they’ll run away.
“You can find solar-powered ones for extra convenience but ones that are mains powered are generally more effective. Each product has unique features and is more or less effective at what they do, so I recommend thoroughly investigating each product and what they offer.”
Gardening experts at Primrose agreed with this method and claimed that their latest model of this device is fitted with a sensor and will only activate in the presence of a fox.
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They said: “This ensures that a fox will associate its presence with the noise. Our device also emits at random-timing intervals in a wide range of frequencies, which ensures the noise is as disconcerting as possible, making it impossible for a fox to get used to the noise. We are so confident of its effectiveness, we are willing to offer a money-back guarantee.”
2. Install a fence
According to Samantha Jones of MyJobQuote.co.uk, installing a secure fence is “one of the most effective ways” to deter foxes from gardens.
She said: “When installing a fence, you need to make sure there are no spaces as foxes typically take advantage of small gaps and may also dig to gain access to entry and exit points.
“To prevent foxes from digging, you should add a layer or two of concrete onto the ground before installing fencing or walls.” Alternatively, bend the bottom of the fence into an L-shape before burying it beneath the ground.
The expert added: “The majority of foxes can jump up to three feet high, so you may want to consider installing taller fencing and gates that are higher than three feet.”
3. Add lights to your garden
Pol noted that one thing that scares foxes are lights. He said: “Foxes hate light. They will often get spooked and run away if any sudden lighting appears.”
Gardeners could invest in some good garden lighting ideas, but there is an alternative option that is more likely to startle foxes – a motion-activated light.
The expert said: “I strongly recommend investing in a sensitive motion sensor light and attaching it close to where the fox often goes. It’s a very effective way to deter them from your garden.”
4. Use prickle strips
Do you know about prickle strips? These flexible, weather-proof-plastic meshes are covered in small spikes which are uncomfortable underfoot.
They’re useful for stopping foxes, other pests, and pets from digging up areas of your garden, whilst still allowing plants to grow.
They’re not harmful to the animals, but will deter them. Plus, installation is simple – just place them slightly below ground level, spikes facing upwards, and cover lightly with soil.
Pol urged: “Make sure you wear shoes if you decide to install those in your garden.” These strips are also useful for getting rid of squirrels in the garden.
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