This week has seen a massive increase in interest about Urban Foxes following the children that were attacked in their beds by a fox.
I have done two interviews with BBC Radio Berkshire to provide advice on Urban Foxes, one last Thursday and the other on the Breakfast show this morning.
The biggest problem with Urban Foxes is they have an image of being cuddly fluffy animals, almost pet like, so as soon as there is a problem, a moral dilemma occurs.
So lets look at some of the issues and provide a few answers to fox questions:
Q Do Foxes carry disease?
A Yes. Most common is Toxocariasis. This is a roundworm that can be found in both dogs and foxes which is transmitted between dogs and foxes. Humans indirectly are infected through their pet dog. Children are particularly at risk as they tend to put things in their mouths. Foxes in Europe also have been know to carry rabies, but not in the UK. Sarcoptic mange is a very common disease in Foxes which will spread to cats and dogs if they come into contact with contaminated foxes on a regular basis.
Q Do Foxes attack pets?
A Yes. Foxes are highly territorial and will defend their territory against all comers. Foxes will kill cats and seriously harm smaller dogs. If cornered, the fox will defend itself fiercely.
Q Do Foxes attack people?
A Sometimes. If cornered, a fox will bite a human. Fox teeth are very long and sharp and will almost always puncture skin through clothing. They give little or no warning and tend to leap at you. The recent incident in London with the small children is not common.
Q How do you stop foxes coming into your garden?
A Exclusion via a properly erected chicken wire and stock fence, dug into the ground at least 12 inches is recommended. The use of electric fences, double stranded at 6 inches and 12 inches all around a perimeter will keep them out. Make sure all over hanging bushes are removed.
Q If I have an Urban Fox Problem, how do you deal with it?
A Each case if different so a site survey is essential to establish entry and exit points and determine the best course of action. The methods we use are limited but include trapping, snaring and shooting.
Q What do I do if I think I have a problem?
A Do not try and tackle this yourself. It takes years of experience to deal with foxes and so call in a professional like Rapid Pest Control for a survey. We will take the appropriate action and deal with the issue for you.
Q If I have one in the House, what do I do?
A Firstly, don’t panic. Keep calm and clear in thought. If you can isolate it in a room without endangering people, pets or property, do so very quietly. Then call us. We will come and deal with the issue for you. If not slowly manoeuvre it to an outside door and let it escape on its own. Do not try to drive it out, just let it go out in it’s own time. Once out, shut all doors and call us.
Foxes are ruthless killers and will kill chickens, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs without a second thought. The problem is they do not just kill one and take it, they kill them all and return day after day to take the carcasses away. This is a chink in their armour as they are creatures of habit and will return to the scene, using the same paths and at the same time as its been safe once before. This allows us to plan the campaign more effectively.
If you think you have an Urban fox or have problems in the countryside with foxes, contact Rapid Pest Control now for advice and to book a survey.