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Wildlife Proofing - Foxes
In Ontario, since 1989, the MNR has
maintained a good rabies wildlife control program to limit the number of
wildlife that develop rabies through air drop baits, hand dropped baits
and through Trap, Vaccinate, Release (TVR) programs.
In short these efforts have prevented
wildlife rabies from grabbing an uncontrolled foothold in the province.
These efforts can be disrupted if individuals engage in trapping and
releasing wildlife outside the area they originated in.
The Ministry advises that the removal of
foxes from one area will open up territory for unvaccinated foxes to
move in and potentially reintroduce the
Foxes are generally territorial and
competing for space will sometimes force them to den in residential
areas. As long as no one disturbs them they will exist there
Their home range is an area about 4 km sq.
They breed from Jan-Mar and have a litter
on average of six kits with the gestation period being 52 days.
Their lifespan is about 4 years in urban
Both mom and pop raise the kits and wean
them at about five weeks of age.
They will be mostly active at dusk and
dawn, but can be seen sunning themselves in the daytime. Kits can be
active throughout the day, engaged in play.
The kits strike off on their own in the
Their natural diet consists of small
rodents (making them good natural pest control predators) and they will
also eat insects, grass, vegetables, fruits, amphibians.
If natural foods are scarce they will
sometimes go after small domestic animals such as cats and rabbits.
They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and vegetable matter.
Normal habitat for them are along lakes,
wooded streams, and ravine areas but if forced into residential areas
they will take advantage of sheds, under decks and brush piles.
Keeping Safe Around Foxes
Foxes have never attacked a human being, the
only recorded case of an unprovoked attack was a single rabid fox many years
Foxes that live in close proximity to humans
are not afraid of them and may come close to people while out foraging.
Should a fox approach you and is acting
strangely, trying to attack people or inanimate objects or other animals,
call your local animal control or SPCA for assistance.
You can deter them by making loud noises and
spraying them with water.
Bear in mind that a fox that is protecting her
youngsters, will act strangely to keep them safe from you! It wouldn’t be
unusual for her to growl at you as a warning for you to keep your distance.
Feeding your birds will also attract squirrels
which foxes will prey on as well as mice (who are attracted to the
Keep your small pets and children supervised
when outdoors, better yet, keep your pets indoors, especially your cats!
Be sure it’s a fox den. You’ll see signs of
fur at the entrance and food remains nearby.
Make that site as unwelcoming as you can.
Dig up the entrance to the den
At the entrance, place a radio tuned to a talk
radio station and turn it up loud.
Some people have had success by placing dog
hair and/or human urine soaked rags around the den and at the entrance.
Alternatively place rags in empty margarine
containers, dampen them with ammonia and place the covers back on them and
punch holes in them for the odour to escape. Place those at the entrance to
the den and around the den.
Place a bright light at the entrance (use a
flashlight if you can’t get power to the area)
Use a combination of all three things…light,
sound and smell as humane harassment and persistently continue to do this
for 3-4 days until they move out.
Once you’re sure they have moved out fill the
den in and follow the steps for putting up security barriers to prevent
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