- Important Notice Regarding Foxes -
Before You Call, Trap Or Relocate
Each year we receive hundreds of calls about foxes like the one seen in the photos below - alleged scrawny, skinny foxes and fox families living in town. Many callers have the fox's best interests at heart and want them trapped and relocated to a place where they think they will be better off.
However, there is nothing wrong with 99% the foxes people call about; they are not skinny, that is in fact the way foxes look to people accustomed to seeing plum, overweight pet dogs.
Mange Like Appearance
We receive an incredible number of calls about foxes with mange needing to be trapped and relocated so they can be treated for mange. Once again, once treated for mange, the fox would be relocated into a coyote's territory, which could be fatal. There are ways that foxes can be treated for mange without the trauma of trapping them.
Urban, City & Suburban Fox Problems
If you feed them, they will come! Most encounters with foxes, wolves, bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions happen when they are looking for a quick and easy way to obtain food.
The fox in the below photo was spotted in a fenced in suburban back yard, leaving a rabbit carcass behind that it had just eaten.
Home owner associations frequently call about wanting coyotes and foxes trapped and killed, but should the HOA be responsible for the homeowners who are attracting the coyotes and foxes?
Seeing sunbathing foxes in your back yard should not be alarming. Just because they are out in the daylight does not mean something is wrong. Leave them alone if they seem energetic and healthy. It is totally normal to be able to get within a few feet of them– don’t. Leave them alone. Even though all foxes look scrawny and skinny, they do not typically eat small children! They are typically living nearby or just passing through.
Feral cats and tons of rats and mice– that is what is on a fox’s dinner menu. Having foxes is good, it means that you do not have coyotes.
Just because you see one during the day does not mean that it is rabid and that is going to attack your pets and children.
Foxes live all over in urban areas and can be seen walking down your street in town in broad daylight.
Pet food and bird feeders provide birds for the foxes and also the rodents we attract. If you were to open the belly on any given fox, bobcat or coyote, you would certainly find mice, rats, birds, squirrels and perhaps a few feral cats. Most people say the fox is skinny and looks malnourished or rabid. Most of the time, they are well-fed and just fine health-wise.
The city fox is an urban legend that just happens to be true. Foxes have survived and adapted for many years and will continue to do so, including inside rural, urban and suburban environments. The photos below were taken by the Wildlife Whisperer of a family of foxes, including mother and kits, living successfully at a very busy city intersection and a fox den in the middle of a large city amusement park.
There is typically no reason to worry about foxes or fox babies unless they are orphaned. Their dens can sometimes be in inappropriate places, but for the most part they are not a nuisance.
Should you live in Cape Coral or surrounding areas, don't hesitate to call us. We have solutions for your fox problems.
Things That Can Attract Foxes To Your Area
Pets such as dogs or cats that are fed outdoors. Re-train them to eat all of their food in five minutes or feed your pets indoors. Fox encounters occur motley when your pet is in between the fox and the food dish.
Bird feeders attract mice, opossums, squirrels, birds, rats, skunks, raccoons, and the animals that will eat those, such as fox.
Chickens that are allowed to roam the yard freely are "sitting ducks". You may have had chickens for 30 years and never had a problem, but once foxes start moving in there is a pretty good chance you will have to trap them repeatedly while losing all your chickens in the mean time.
The Problem - As More Will Just
Move In To Take Their Place
In other words, how many foxes will you pay to have trapped and killed before you lose all your chickens? The cost of trapping once could pay for a wildlife proof chicken coop. The best remedy for fox control problems isn't trapping - it's preventing the problem to start with.
How to Get Rid of Foxes on Your Own
You can easily encourage these animals to stay away on your own and it doesn't involve using fox traps. "Hazing" is a fox removal method which is basically scaring the fox away from your neighborhood, from you or your yard. Foxes are naturally shy and non-confrontational.
Banging pots and pans together, blowing whistles, jumping up and down and waving your arms in the air, yelling, holding an umbrella and opening and closing, sprays from a garden hose or automated sprinkler and soda cans filled with pennies being shaken will scare off foxes. These are great fox control and fox removal techniques that anyone can do.
Types Of Foxes Found In Florida
There are primarily two types of fox species found in Florida, the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), also known as a tree fox, and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Both species are found throughout Florida, however, the gray fox is more prevalent in the northern half of the state than it is in the southern portions.
Both species have similar eating habits, and both are most active at night. They both have reddish fur, just in different proportions from one another. Since the gray fox has both grayish and reddish fur it is often confused with the red fox.
The species differ a bit in preferred habitat, the gray fox prefers wooded areas with dense foliage for cover. The red fox will usually avoid wooded areas and it prefers fields and pastures.
The gray fox is smaller than the red species, and one of the few members of the dog family that can actually climb trees - a skill that it will often take advantage of to escape predators such as dogs and coyotes.
Common Wild Fox Ailments
A wild fox may not necessarily be ill just because it appears to be skinny, however, they are often sighted with mange issues, and/or injuries obtained from once encountering a trap or other hazard.
Sarcoptic mange, otherwise known as canine scabies is a condition common with foxes and coyotes, causing them to have severe fur loss. This same mange can also infest sheep, cats, horses, pigs and other animals. Trapping a fox with mange is not the best way to treat it in most cases. You can better assist a fox with mange than we can. Please see wildlife hotline's page on mange and coyotes to learn more:
Coyotes, raccoons and foxes with mange are sometimes mistaken as a chupacabra, which is a mythical creature that drinks the blood of livestock. Because mange can make a fox so ugly and scary that it looks like a mythical animal, it is understandable why we receive so many calls about them and folks wanting to assist them. Following the above link is typically the best thing for foxes with mange.
Injuries And Missing Limbs
Foxes will often be animals that folks are concerned about due to them limping or missing feet or parts of their leg. Foothold traps are sometimes used by fur trappers and urban trappers to trap and kill coyotes. Like other animals, they can and may chew their leg or foot off in order to get out of the trap. This female fox (3 legger photo) has been rearing her young for the past 4 plus years under a client's shed. She easily jumps over 4 foot fences on the property and is able to care for her young with the assistance of her mate. In the spring of 2015, a beaver moved in and took over the shed as her maternity ward, so we do not know how she is doing this year. Foxes with a limp, in a perfect world, could be patched up by a doctor and released back to where they call home, but, in many cases, they are just fine on their own.
1242 SW Pine Island Rd., Suite 310
Cape Coral, Florida 33991-2126