Foxes are beautiful animals that can be great fun to watch in your backyard. They love to play and will make you laugh with their antics. But sometimes, foxes do become a problem. You may have foxes that visit your property and refuse to leave. Or, you may have foxes digging holes in your yard, harassing your pets, or rummaging through your garbage at night.
Are foxes dangerous? This may also be a question you’re asking yourself, especially if you notice foxes getting too close to comfort. In today’s article, we are going to answer those questions and more.
But First, What Are Foxes?
Foxes are wild animals related to coyotes and wolves.
Before we dive into answering, are foxes dangerous, let’s first talk about foxes.
Foxes are members of the Canidae family, which includes dogs, wolves and coyotes. While we often think of the common red-colored fox when imagining foxes, there are actually 23 species of living foxes worldwide.
Foxes can be distinguished from their canine counterparts by their smaller size and pointed noses. Foxes also have larger ears than dogs and other members of the Canidae family.
These animals are incredibly adaptable canines that can live in a variety of habitats around the world. While some fox species live in woodlands, other species live in deserts or even tundra regions. Foxes are also nocturnal creatures and spend most of their time at night hunting for food.
The fox life cycle begins when a female fox gives birth to one or several babies called kits (or pups) after a gestation period that lasts between 51 and 53 days. Pups are born completely helpless and blind but will open their eyes within two weeks of birth and begin gaining weight rapidly after about three weeks.
Kits may nurse for up to 20 weeks before they’re ready to begin eating solid food on their own, but this depends on their species’ diet as well as environmental conditions like temperature and availability of prey items). Once pups reach adulthood at one year old, they leave their mother to find new territory.
The average lifespan of a wild fox is between three to four years, but they can live up to 10 years or more in captivity.
When asking are foxes dangerous, it’s likely because you’re seeing them around. Foxes can be found in many different habitats, including urban environments and suburban areas, as we mentioned above. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most common species found in North America and Europe. The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is more common in the southern United States.
Because foxes are nocturnal animals, you may not always see them during the day. This is important to note when looking into are foxes dangerous.
In fact, foxes are most active at night and have excellent hearing and vision. You may notice signs of fox activity before you realize you have foxes nearby. Some common signs of foxes include finding holes in your yard, which are used as dens or to store food or pups. If you see these holes, it’s likely that there are foxes on your property. A fox’s den may be located under the roots of a tree, inside an abandoned building, under your deck or shed, or even inside your house!
In the United States, many foxes have adapted to living in suburban areas and even urban areas that fringe along fields, open spaces, or parks. Over time, these foxes can become accustomed to human beings. While foxes are fun to watch, they can also be brazen and may even get a bit too close for comfort. This is where you may find yourself asking the question, “are foxes dangerous?”.
While they are not known to be especially aggressive, the short answer to that question is yes – foxes can be dangerous. Keep reading to learn more.
So, Are Foxes Dangerous?
Though foxes are beautiful, they can be dangerous.
Foxes are a common and often welcome sight in many parts of the world. However, they are also wild animals and have been known to attack people if they are sick or feel threatened.
So, are foxes dangerous? They can certainly be dangerous to both people and pets, but not necessarily because they are vicious or aggressive. In fact, foxes are not likely to attack unless they feel they must defend themselves or their young.
For the most part, the dangers from foxes come from the fact that they can carry some very serious and even deadly diseases and parasites. Many of these diseases and parasites are transmissible not only to pets like dogs and cats, but also to people.
Foxes carry many different diseases, including:
Manage: Foxes with mange may have hairless patches on their body that are red or crusty in appearance. This disease is caused by mites that burrow under the skin causing inflammation and irritation. It’s important to consider this when asking are foxes dangerous.
The mites also lay eggs under the skin causing additional irritation and itching. Mange usually affects dogs but can also affect foxes if they come into contact with infected dogs or cats during hunting activities or when scavenging for food around garbage cans and dumpsters where dogs may leave behind their dead bodies after being attacked by other animals such as coyotes or wolves (although this is rare).
Distemper: Are foxes dangerous? Well, they can carry distemper, and this is a deadly virus that causes the fox’s immune system to shut down and eventually die. Distemper can spread to other animals and humans if they come into contact with the infected animal’s body fluids or excrement.
Rabies: Rabies is a virus that affects the central nervous system. It can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected animal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies causes more than 50,000 deaths worldwide each year, mostly in poor countries where access to vaccines is limited.
Tularemia: Are foxes dangerous and is Tularemia dangerous? Foxes can be infected with tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, which is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. This disease affects animals and humans alike; symptoms include swelling of lymph glands near the site of infection, headache, fever and chills. In rare cases, the disease may spread to other organs like the spleen and liver. However, these cases are often fatal if not treated with antibiotics within two days of exposure to F. tularensis-infected animals or ticks that carry it.
And Parasites including
The Dangers Of Ticks And Fleas From Foxes
Foxes are very susceptible to ticks and fleas. The problem with ticks is that they can transmit diseases to your pets, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These can cause serious illness in your pet and even death. Fleas can also transmit diseases from foxes to your pets, including tapeworms
How are ticks and fleas transmitted from foxes to pets
Foxes are hosts to fleas and ticks and as such they can carry fleas and ticks to your yard. Fleas and ticks may drop off of foxes and land in your grass, where they will wait for another host.
When you or your pet come into contact with a tick or flea on a fox, it might be possible for the flea or tick to attach themselves to you or your pet. Ticks do not jump onto people or animals; they wait for a host to brush past them. They will then latch onto whatever they can find moving by them and feed off their blood. If they cannot find anything moving by them after several minutes, they will drop off and start looking for another host. Fleas tend not to be as picky about their hosts, though they prefer animals over humans.
Are Foxes Dangerous If They Spread Fleas and Ticks?
Both fleas and ticks can spread serious diseases, however they are not always dangerous. For example, fleas can spread typhus, but just because they can spread it does not mean they will.
Furthermore, ticks are not always capable of spreading disease, especially if they are removed before they have had time to transmit any diseases. However, if you find one attached to your pet or if one is crawling around on your property, it’s important to remove it as quickly as possible. If a tick has been on a dog for less than 24 hours, there’s a good chance that it hasn’t had time to transmit any diseases. This is because some of the more serious diseases can take longer than 24 hours to incubate in ticks. For example, Lyme disease is often transmitted within 48 hours of attachment.
Regardless, if you do find fleas or ticks on yourself or your pet, it’s important to seek medical attention quickly to better understand next steps and what to look for to ensure you remain healthy.
What To Do If You See A Fox That You Believe Is Dangerous Or Sick?
If you see a fox that you believe is dangerous, what should you do?
First of all, don’t panic and don’t approach the animal. Call your local police or animal control agency and report the sighting.
The important thing to remember when asking are foxes dangerous is that foxes are not aggressive by nature; they are more likely to flee than fight when confronted by humans. However, there are some cases where foxes have become too used to people and become aggressive because they want food or because they’re protecting their den site (which is usually underground). In these extreme cases the best thing to do is call animal control or your local police department as soon as possible.
Why Do You Have Foxes Around Your Property?
Foxes may be attracted to your property because it is a good place to raise their young.
Foxes are a natural part of the ecosystem and are attracted to many of the same things we are – fruit trees, vegetable gardens, wood piles and debris. They also like to be near water sources such as ponds and streams.
However, while foxes may be cute, they can also be pests! And when asking “are foxes dangerous” we now know they can be.
On top of this, foxes can destroy your garden and dig up your lawn. They will eat your garbage and steal your pet food, and they may even be aggressive towards pets like rabbits and small cats or dogs.
If you’re interested in getting rid of foxes after asking are foxes dangerous, it helps to know what they are attracted to so you know what to avoid doing.
Foxes are attracted to the following things:
Improperly Stored Garbage – If you don’t put your garbage cans in a secure place or close them with tightly sealed lids, foxes will get into them and tear them apart in their search for food.
Pet food – If you feed your pets outside, be sure to clean up afterwards. Do not leave pet food bowls outside overnight as even the smell from the food can attract foxes and other pests like coyotes, raccoons, or rodents.
Bird seed – If you have bird feeders in your yard, foxes may come around looking for something to eat besides the birds themselves!
Other animals – Foxes love to eat rabbits and other small animals, so if you have rabbits in your yard or even pet rabbits or chickens, this can attract foxes. This is something else to keep in mind when asking are foxes dangerous. While foxes may not be especially dangerous to people or even larger dogs, they can be dangerous to small pets.
Fruit trees – Foxes will eat fallen fruit from your trees as well as actively hunt for fruit on the branches. They are attracted to ripe fruit which is easy to access and will reach it if they can before it falls to the ground.
Vegetable gardens – Vegetable gardens may also provide an easy source of food for foxes and can attract them, so keep this in mind when asking are foxes dangerous. Foxes can feast on whatever is growing in your garden or left behind by other animals such as wild rabbits or rodents.
Wood piles – Wood piles can be very beneficial for foxes as they provide cover from predators and shelter from bad weather conditions. Wood piles can also attract other pests like rodents and even insects like black widow spiders.
Excess Debris – Just as they do with wood pils, foxes may use excess debris around your yard or garden as shelter, which could be a reason you’re looking into are foxes dangerous. This can include garden debris, fallen trees or branches, old stumps, or even piles of leaf litter.
Water Sources – Foxes are known for their love of water and often visit ponds or creeks looking for fish or frogs to eat. It’s not uncommon to find them drinking alongside other animals at local watering holes. However, when asking are foxes dangerous, remember that pet fish, frogs, and turtles in garden ponds can be at risk when foxes are around.
Are Foxes Dangerous – How To Keep Foxes At Bay Using Repellents And Humane Methods
Keeping foxes at bay can mean using several different methods.
We know the answer to are foxes dangerous. So how do you keep foxes away?
Foxes are a common pest animal that can cause many problems for homeowners, and many people are asking themselves are foxes dangerous? Foxes also carry diseases like rabies and distemper, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches from an infected animal, as we’ve discussed above.
So, if you’re asking yourself are foxes are dangerous, the answer is that they certainly can be.
With all that being said, foxes can also be a joy to watch from a safe distance. They are also incredibly beneficial to a healthy ecosystem and are excellent predators. They help to keep other nuisance pests under control like rats, mice, squirrels, birds, frogs, snakes, lizards, and voles.
For this reason, when it comes to getting rid of foxes once we have answered “are foxes dangerous”, it’s important to do so safely and humanely. While foxes are not protected by any federal law in the United States, they do have protections under state laws in many states. If you do want to remove foxes from your property, there are several legal options available for you to choose from.
Here are some steps to take when choosing how to get rid of foxes:
Use Repellents – Fox repellents and deterrents are legal options you can use once you have asked are foxes dangerous and have decided to get rid of them. These products can be purchased at any hardware store or home improvement store. Some examples include coyote urine and predator urine, fox urine, mothballs and ammonia-soaked rags. If you use these methods to get rid of foxes now that we’ve answered are foxes dangerous, just make sure you follow all directions carefully, especially around pets and small children.
Use home remedies – You can also try using home remedies to keep foxes at bay after answering the question of are foxes dangerous. Some home remedies for fox removal include the use of essential oils or cayenne. For a full list of home remedies you can use to keep foxes at a distance, scroll down to our home remedies section for do it yourself pest control.
Call a professional – If none of the above options work for you, then it is time to call in a professional pest control company. Keep in mind that other methods like trapping or relocating foxes is not legal in most regions and can only be done by a professional and licensed pest control personnel.
Ultrasonic Solar Animal repeller
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The Ultrasonic Solar Pest Repeller is an ultra-high frequency sound device that plays a variety of sounds to repel a number of wild animals including foxes, raccoons, deer, coyotes, and more. The unit is powered by solar energy and has a built-in battery backup. It is easy to use and can be placed in any location where unwanted animals are causing problems.
The repeller emits a high-pitched sound that only animals can hear. The sound irritates the animal and causes them to leave the area. The unit has multiple settings so you can customize it to fit your needs, such as choosing between continuous or intermittent operation, selecting the audio tone that works best for your situation, and selecting how many devices you want each unit to control at once.
American Heritage Coyote Urine
Coyotes are natural predators of foxes, so the smell of coyote urine will naturally repel them. You can buy coyote urine from many online retailers. Just be sure to purchase an attractant that contains only pure coyote urine and no other additives, such as scents or lures.
To use coyote urine for fox control, put it in a spray bottle and spray it around your property where you see signs of fox activity (including burrows, footprints, droppings). Spray it directly on any burrows you find as well; this will help deter other animals from using the burrows in the future.
Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray
Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray is a great solution for repelling foxes, raccoons and other pests. This environmentally friendly product contains natural ingredients that are safe for humans but very unpleasant for animals. The spray keeps animals away from your property by creating an unappealing odor around it.
The fox repellent spray can be applied directly onto plants and shrubs to keep them away from your garden. It is also effective at keeping rodents out of your home or business premises, preventing them from chewing wires or causing damage to furniture and fixtures.
Home Remedies For Keeping Foxes Away
There are several home remedies you can use to repel foxes naturally.
Do home remedies really work to keep foxes away from your property?
The answer is yes! You can repel foxes using natural repellents such as garlic, capsaicin and white vinegar. These techniques work because the smell of these products is unpleasant for foxes and they will therefore avoid areas that have this scent.
How to repel foxes using garlic
Fox repellent sprays are available commercially, but you can make your own spray at home by mixing garlic with water in a jar and leaving it out in the sun for a few days. The smell will deter foxes from entering your garden or yard.
How to repel foxes using capsaicin
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them spicy hot — and it’s also an effective tool against foxes once you find yourself asking are foxes dangerous. Foxes hate capsaicin because it causes their eyes to water, so they avoid plants that contain it (and they don’t like the taste, either). You can sprinkle dried cayenne pepper around your garden or scatter fresh leaves of cayenne plants in your yard — both will deter unwanted visitors.
How to repel foxes using white vinegar
The smell of vinegar seems to send foxes running — but only if you leave it out overnight before spraying it around your property! If you want to try this repellent, mix one cup of white vinegar with four cups of water and use a spray bottle to apply it to your yard. The smell should keep foxes away for at least a week.
How to repel foxes with lemons
Lemons are another wonderful scent you can use for repelling unwanted visitors like foxes once you’ve asked are foxes dangerous. Keep lemons in pots on your porch or patio area, or other areas you have seen fox activity. You can also use old lemon rinds as a deterrent for foxes by placing them around your property.
How to repel foxes with ammonia
Ammonia repels a number of different animals from certain areas, including foxes. Use caution when using this method, however, because ammonia can be dangerous if inhaled in large amounts or if it comes into contact with skin or eyes! To use ammonia as a repellent for foxes now that you know the answer to are foxes dangerous, mix two parts water with one part of ammonia and spray the solution around your yard and where you have seen fox activity.
How to repel foxes using essential oils
Foxes hate the smell of peppermint oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and citrus oil, and you can use this to your advantage when it comes to keeping them away from your garden. Just add around a teaspoon of pure peppermint oil (or oil of your choice) to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it around your garden. You can also mix this with some water, dish soap and vinegar in equal amounts to make a homemade repellent spray.
How to repel foxes using mothballs
Another great way to keep foxes away once you’ve asked yourself are foxes dangerous is by using mothballs. If you have an area where foxes come frequently, like under a deck or in your garden, place mothballs there and this will deter them due to the smell.
How to repel foxes using companion planting
This is one of the most popular methods for repelling foxes. Foxes do not like the smell or taste of certain plants, so growing them near your house or garden can help deter them from coming around. You can plant basil in pots around your garden or house to keep foxes away from gardens where they may try to dig up vegetables or fruit from your vegetable patch or fruit trees. Foxes are also deterred by chives, garlic, onions, and marigolds.
Are Foxes Dangerous? Let’s Summarize
Though foxes are not known for being aggressive, they can still be dangerous.
Foxes are not typically aggressive towards people but they can be dangerous. This is because they can bite and transmit deadly diseases, as we discussed above. Foxes can also transmit parasites to people and pets including fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and more.
So, when asking yourself “are foxes dangerous”, the answer is yes. Foxes are wild animals and should be treated with respect and enjoyed only from afar.
Use repellents and best practices to deter foxes from spending too much time on your property, and avoid feeding foxes to ensure they do not become too habituated to people. You can also help deter foxes after asking are foxes dangerous by keeping your yard well maintained, storing garbage properly, avoiding leaving pet food out at night, and protecting fruit trees and vegetable gardens with fox-proof fencing.
If you do see a fox that you believe to be acting strangely call your local wildlife resources for help. If you’re bitten by a fox, rinse the wound with hot, soapy water and seek medical attention immediately.
Has this been a helpful guide on are foxes dangerous? Tell us what you think about these beautiful animals in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.