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There are more humane ways to deal with a fox problem than by killing it right in your yard, and there are a lot of circumstances that could actually make this process a very dangerous one. There are actually plenty of other options open to you when it comes to wild animal and nuisance wildlife removal.
Body grip traps can work well at killing foxes in the yard, when they are placed correctly, baited appropriately, checked regularly, and moved if necessary. Trapping these creatures is actually much harder than you’d think. It's almost as if a wild animal doesn't want to be forced to crawl into a tiny metal cage …
As much as the body grip trap can be an effective solution to your fox problem, the outcome is not usually as clean-cut as you would like to think. To start with, you can’t guarantee that you will actually catch the fox. You could have days upon days of nothing in the trap at all, and then, when you do catch something, it's might not be a fox in the trap at all. If you're putting traps around on your land, you must be prepared for the other animals that may just find themselves stuck in them. This could include neighborhood pets, such as cats and dogs, as well as strays, and even other animals — rabbits, raccoons, opossums, etc.
If you have children that regularly run around in the same area as the trap, they will be in danger. Even if you don't have traps around your back yard, foxes alone there can be dangerous enough. These little beasts can carry and transmit the rabies virus to both humans and animals alike, and there are other diseases, as well as parasites, that you need to contend with. The longer you leave the fox running around on your property, the higher the chances that you will come into contact with a potentially lethal disease. Failed trapping missions just waste time. (And money.)
If you decide against body grip traps, instead choosing a live cage trap option, you then need to kill the creature yourself. There’s a very big difference between using a trap to kill an animal, without the need to use your own hands (as such), and killing an animal yourself. Many property owners are not going to relish the job, and nor should they. It's not a pleasant job. The kind of euthanasia where the animal nicely falls asleep can only happen when the fox is taken to a vet or similar animal expert, who will then be lawfully permitted to perform the euthanasia. These services will often be more expensive than just hiring in a wildlife removal expert at the beginning of your quest, and you wouldn't have spent your cash on traps, bait, and other things too.
You could look at shooting the fox, but there are obvious laws that you will need to take into consideration. It is NOT a smart idea to randomly start discharging a firearm, especially in this day and age, and if you live in an area with lots of other people, you should probably give them a heads-up that you're about to go a little military-operation-style with your best weapons. The noise can scare small children. It can also scare other animals, and pets too.
Your aim will need to be very good to make sure this job is done quickly and humanely. The idea is to kill the creature without causing any harm to the animal, yourself, and anyone or anything around you. Highly-populated areas is not a good backdrop for this kind of fox-removal. It’s slightly easier in more rural settings.
Of course, once you have shot the animal, you will then need to find a way to dispose of that body in the right ways. You can't just leave it where it is. If it has rabies, the virus can still be spread through infected body matter after the animal has died. If another animal were to feast in the infected body matter, they could then contract the rabies virus, and pass it on also. This even applies to domesticated pets that have not been vaccinated against the disease. This is also why it is very important to get your pets vaccinated against the disease.
Poison is NOT a recognized way to kill a fox in the yard. There is no registered poison that you can easily buy to kill a fox in the yard. It is not safe, nor is it humane. In many cases, it doesn't even work. What the poison does do, however, is contaminate soil, plant matter, food, water sources, and more. It has the potential to kill tends, hundreds, and maybe even thousands of other animals, and secondary poisoning is a very big concern. If you poison an animal, such as a rat, and then your pet cat were to feast on that rat, your cat could suffer with secondary poisoning. In some cases, this can be fatal. We do not suggest you use poison as a way to deal with any nuisance wildlife. It doesn't even work that well for rats and mice.
Killing a fox also doesn’t solve the problem, which is something very important that you will also need to remember. The holes that allowed that fox to get into your home or onto your land are still there, so another fox could come right back in and take its place. That will mean all of your hard work will have been nothing, and if it was a particularly long or traumatic experience for you, we're sure you wouldn't wish to repeat it.
What you should do, rather than looking at ways to kill a fox in the yard, is to look at ways that you can make your property look less attractive to the average passing wild critter, and also make it very difficult for them to get whatever it is they want. They can only jump so high, so high fences can help you to protect your land. This fence must reach underground, however, because foxes can dig. We recommend an extension, of sorts, of hardware cloth or chicken wire. By doing that, even if the fox does attempt to dig under the newly-erected fence, it’ll be met with another physical barrier.
You can use the same approach to secure and protect other areas too. You could have an entire fence around your property, using the underground barrier that we have suggested, and then add an additional set of fencing or barriers around trees that seem to be hardest hit from animal attacks, or patches of flowers or fruit and veg growing. The aim of the game is to take away all of the things that are making this animal want to take a closer look. When you have nothing that the fox is looking for, or the fox finds it far too difficult to get to, it will soon give up and move along. You just need to install the right obstacles and barriers, as well as cleaning up after yourself, to make sure this happens.
Read aboutHow to get rid of fox
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:How To Guide: Who should I hire?
- What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.How To Guide: do it yourself!
- Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost?
- Analysis of wildlife control prices.Animals in the attic
- read about the common species.Noises in the attic
- how to identify critters by their sounds.