How much does it cost to remove foxes?
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Fox Removal Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
When humans and wild animals such as foxes cohabitate in the modern world, many difficulties may occur. Removing foxes living on or near your property is extremely important as they are a nuisance to homeowners, pet owners, gardeners, and farmers. They not only tear apart your trash but will hunt and eat any small animals and domestic pets.
The cost varies depending on the location of your fox(es) and the removal method that is used. The national average cost ranges from $300 to $500, with the average homeowner spending aroun $400 on ground-trapping to remove a family of four or more foxes from a den, multiple visits. Costs can be as low as $225 for trapping one fox living outside the house or can be as high as $600 for removing a fox family under a shed and repairs needed.
Fox Pest Control Cost
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|National average cost||$400|
Fox Removal Cost by Number of Foxes
Typically, foxes do not hunt in packs. They will, however, stay together for mating season and after the babies are born. The father helps to find food for the babies until they are old enough to fend for themselves. If you have a family of foxes, you may be concerned about the cost of removing all of them from your property.
|Number of Foxes||Cost to Remove|
Fox Pest Control Cost
To prevent any safety concerns, get help from a wildlife or animal control professional for removing foxes from dens they’ve settled into on your property. A professional will inspect the property to determine both the den location and number of foxes. Then, they will set up humane traps. Once the animals are caught, they will remove the trap with the animals and either relocate healthy animals or euthanize infected, sickly, or dying animals.
Rates charged by fox removal companies vary widely. Some charge a setup fee between $75 and $150 and then a per animal removal fee between $50 and $100 or more. Others charge a per-trip fee around $100 for each trip out to the house to set up and remove any number of animals.
If you are uncertain if you have a wildlife problem, an inspection can be done. The inspector will look for items such as animal droppings, odor, nests, food storage areas, fur, tracks, claw marks, entryways, and more. An inspection will cost around $75 to $125 depending on your location and the extent of the inspection.
Fox Removal Methods
Professionals use several different fox removal methods; some are more humane than others. Wildlife animal removal is a specialized business. Your contractor will have the training and licensing for this type of removal.
Live Trap for Fox
Catching a fox in a live trap is the most humane type of fox trap. Wildlife removal specialists use bait to lure the fox into the cage, then an automatic door closes, trapping the animal. The fox can be relocated to another area that is a more appropriate habitat. Often, the trap will need to be camouflaged with grass, leaves, and branches as foxes are very smart and will recognize that it might not be safe.
Fox Bait for a Live Trap
The bait that is used to trap a fox may include fruit, vegetables, fox urine, or gland lure. Again, these creatures are smart and are in tune with odd sounds, sights, or smells. Because of their keen senses, foxes are difficult to trap even with the best of bait. Your contractor will know the best bait for trapping the fox effectively.
Fox Relocation Service
The goal of trapping a live animal is to relocate it. Foxes are not particularly fond of urban areas but will still need to be taken somewhere far away to prevent reentry. As these animals are easily adaptable, they can be released into grasslands, mountains, forests, or even desert areas.
The least humane way to remove a fox is to trap it with a snare or steel foot trap. Traps are usually set where there are fox tracks, such as on a hunting route. The fox trap must meet certain requirements and should be registered. For example, snares, steel foothold traps, or body-gripping traps that might harm or cause injury to the fox are prohibited in some states. Traps should be concealed in a way that encourages foxes to investigate, such as hidden in a hole or covered with leaves and brush. A professional will add bait to the trap that appeals to foxes and sprinkle a trail leading to the trap to get their attention. Foxes will likely investigate a few times before falling for the trap.
All About Foxes
Foxes are omnivorous and mostly active at night, though it isn’t unheard of to see them during the day. They are known to be curious, cunning, intelligent, and adaptable. They are solitary animals except during mating season and when their pups are born. Foxes usually don’t form packs. Their solitary nature makes it easy for them to adapt well to human environments. Their habitats coexist with humans.
There are twelve true fox species in the world. Among the twelve, the red fox and the gray fox are the most common and well-known in the United States. In addition to the red and gray fox, three other fox species, the arctic fox, kit fox, and swift fox, also live throughout America. To address a problem animal, knowing the type of fox infesting your property and its typical behavior helps with fox removal. Red foxes prefer forest, farmland, and urban areas with mixed vegetation. Gray foxes prefer to live close to water sources and are the only foxes that can climb trees.
Unlike humans, pregnancy lasts about 53 days and produces, on average, five pups. Foxes will often build dens under porches and sheds and in the hollows of trees. Any crawl space is a good home, according to the fox. A fox habitat can have multiple dens with paths leading to each of them. Fox pups emerge about four weeks after birth and begin to explore. In late spring and early summer, the pups are most active and learn how to hunt. Mothers leave their dens once their pups have grown and can reproduce, around ten months old and when autumn comes.
Are Foxes Dangerous?
Foxes are more afraid of humans than humans are of foxes. They are easily scared away by loud noises and larger animals. The average lifespan of a red fox in the wild is around 3 to 6 years. Gray foxes, on the other hand, can live 6 to 8 years in a wild environment. Breeding seasons vary depending on the region and can occur from December to March.
Foxes do not like aggressive animals or humans and will avoid confrontation if possible. When approached, they run and hide or find shelter. They generally won’t fight back unless provoked. If a fox is sick, it may act unusual and try to attack. A sick fox might have rabies or mange. Do not approach a fox that appears to be ill.
Signs of Having a Fox Infestation
One of the surest signs you have a fox is evidence of digging around your home and a mess in your garbage. They are opportunistic hunters and prefer the easiest methods for finding food. If you leave pet food out and it’s gone faster than usual, there could be a fox. If you find garbage spread everywhere on the ground, there could be a fox. While a vegetable garden is their least favorite, they will dig looking for worms and grubs. If there is water in or near your garden, they will go for it and destroy your garden in the process. An overgrown garden makes a great hiding place for a fox.
If you have domesticated chickens or rabbits, these are a favorite among foxes. Finding (or not finding) dead chickens and feathers, or rabbits and fur are sure signs that a fox has been around. They’re loud animals, so any unusual yelling or screeching often comes from a fox.
If you smell a pungent, musky odor, that is most likely the scent of fox urine. They will leave droppings, trample plants, dig, and chew up small toys or shoes left outside. Foxes also damage fences.
You have probably heard the saying “sly as a fox.” That saying rings true because foxes are secretive and smart. The most common fox is the red fox, and he/she resides throughout North America. One interesting fact about foxes is that they are born deaf, blind, and with no teeth. Their faces have whiskers just like dogs and cats but so do their legs. These whiskers are used to help them navigate in the dark.
A fox has a bushy tail almost as long as its body. If you see a red fox, it will have a white tip on the end of its tail, and the ears will have a black tip as well. If you encounter the less common gray fox, this little guy has a black tip on its tail and orange-tipped ears. Gray foxes love to climb, often up a tree or a fence. The fox’s head is a triangular shape with a thin nose. They also have slanted eyes and vertical pupils like a cat.
Fox Diseases and Health Risks
Foxes don’t like confrontation and avoid humans. However, red and gray foxes have become accustomed to living near humans. If you or your pet come in contact with fox feces on your property, garden, or near its den, wash yourself and your pet immediately. Feces is the number one way that parasites are transmitted.
- Canine distemper. Canine distemper is airborne, contagious, and sometimes fatal. It can be passed from coughing or sneezing or by leaving food and water bowls unattended outside.
- Rabies. Rabid foxes might lose their fear of people and display strange behaviors, along with some other symptoms such as drooling, staggering, or being aggressive. Once rabies symptoms appear, no treatment methods can be used. Since it is a public health threat, pets who have been infected need to be euthanized. Getting pets vaccinated regularly is very important in rabies prevention. If bitten by a rabid animal, humans should quickly go to the hospital to get rabies prevention shots.
- Tapeworm. Tapeworms are passed through the feces of an infected fox. Vegetables from your garden, herbs, berries, and grasses may all have tapeworms on them. Wash fruits, vegetables, and herbs thoroughly before eating to avoid any infection. If a pet eats anything with infected fox feces or rolls around in the grass with infected feces, they can pass tapeworms along to their caretakers through the simple act of petting the animals. Caretakers should wash their hands after touching the animal to avoid transmission.
- Mange. Mange is a skin disease caused by mites. It’s contagious and easily passed from foxes to domestic pets through physical contact or coming into contact with the dens of infected foxes. Mange can also be passed to humans and is then called scabies. In both humans and pets, it causes severe, intense itching and scabbing where the mites bite. In pets, it can cause hair loss and skin infections. Mange is not fatal, and some treatments can get rid of the mites.
Foxes are often considered a pest as they can do extensive damage. They are omnivores, which means they eat fruits, vegetables, and small animals. A sly fox may pilfer from your vegetable or flower garden after dark. Foxes especially enjoy chickens and chicken eggs, making them a danger to farmers or those with chicken coops.
In suburban areas, you may see fox holes in the yard. Many people complain about fox damage to lawns because as they dig and look for food, they destroy the grass and its root system. A fox may build a den under a house, deck, or shed. In this case, the floor may need to be removed and replaced to get access to the den. The repair costs depend on the amount of damage but can range from a small patch of lawn at $50 to $500 to replace a large area.
How to Get Rid of a Fox Den in my Garden
Foxes can wreak havoc in your garden, digging up tender growing plants. A professional can provide the most effective fox removal from a garden. A deterrent will not be enough if the den is already there. In most areas, it is illegal for an individual to remove the fox, but professional wildlife removal experts often have the licensing and training to do so. In addition, the expert can advise you and provide ways to prevent foxes from returning to the area. It generally takes several 1- to 2-hour visits to complete the process. Some removal companies charge a setup fee of $75 to $150 and add on a per animal removal fee of $50 to $100 or more. Other companies may charge around $100 for each trip to your home. One trip is needed to set up the traps, and subsequent trips will be required to remove any number of animals.
Dead Fox Removal
If you find a dead fox on your property, do not try to dispose of it yourself. Dead animals carry diseases, bacteria, mold, and parasites, such as fleas, ticks, lice, and mites. Also, the smell lingers, so the ground needs to be decontaminated and disinfected. Wildlife professionals know the right way to remove, clean-up, and arrange for disposal of the dead animal. If the animal is inside the walls or attic, it is particularly important to hire a professional as the risks associated with a dead animal can become ingrained in your home and cause health issues. A professional wildlife removal service will charge around $150 to $200 for one animal.
How to Prevent Foxes
Once a professional has removed the fox or fox family from your property, you can take steps to prevent their return.
If you have a fence, prevent foxes from digging under by burying it at least two feet in the ground. Because certain foxes, such as gray foxes, can climb, also make sure the fence is high enough to keep them out. To prevent them from staying, block or cover any prime den locations. These include in hollow trees, under porches or sheds, or anywhere that looks like a good hiding spot.
Keep them from finding food on your property and coming back for more by locking trash can lids, keeping pet food and water bowls inside, and securing any domesticated animal enclosures, such as chicken coops or rabbit cages. Use tightened chicken wire and make sure they have a roof. Chicken wire is also great for keeping gardens secured.
During prime breeding season, get rid of foxes in the backyard by cleaning up fallen fruits and seeds, which attract foxes. In addition to securing gardens, add homemade repellents with a pungent smell to keep them from rummaging through the area. Some possible items that give off a strong odor include cut-up pepper, onion, and garlic. Foxes will eat small animals if given the opportunity. So, keep your pets, especially small dogs and cats, indoors and stay with them at all times while outside.
Fox vs Coyote
Telling the difference between a fox and a coyote can be confusing. If you see an adult size animal, the coyote is generally twice as big as a fox. A full-grown fox is not much bigger than a house cat. A coyote’s face, ears, snout, and neck are very similar to a dog.
A fox may hang out on a fence while a coyote would not. Although coyotes are excellent runners and jumpers, a fox has more cat-like qualities. Foxes generally weigh between 8 and 20 pounds while coyotes weigh around 20 to 45 lbs. Foxes are leaner looking with a flat skull and narrow snout. Typically, foxes are nocturnal while a coyote hunts during the day.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Wildlife Exclusion Fencing
One of the more humane ways to deal with fox invasions is to put up wildlife exclusion fencing. This type of fencing is used not only to prevent wildlife from entering an area but also to protect livestock from predators. Several types of exclusion fencing are available. Wildlife management advises that people consider the effectiveness and safety of the fencing. It is essential to make sure the fencing is impenetrable by wildlife but that it will not cause injury or death. Electrical fencing runs $1 to $1.50 per linear foot, and wire barrier fencing is $6 to $8 per linear foot.
Motion Activated Sprinkler System
A motion-activated sprinkler system may be used to frighten away fox trespassers. The sprinklers are activated when the fox enters the property, and a sudden burst of water scares them away. If used regularly, the foxes will become conditioned to avoid the area, keeping them out permanently. The cost of a motion-activated sprinkler system ranges from $40 to $250 per sprinkler. Each sprinkler typically covers 60 to 70 feet in diameter.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Licenses. In many states, trapping fur-bearing wildlife, such as foxes, and relocating them requires a license. Wildlife professionals will have such licenses for this specialized type of work.
- Hunting. Some states allow fox hunting during a specific season and in approved hunting areas to control fox populations.
- DIY. While removing wildlife is difficult and requires licenses and tools, some people try to remove foxes on their own. Leaving poison out for a fox is dangerous for other wild animals, domestic pets, and children. Lethal traps and other deadly methods are illegal, harmful, and cruel to animals. Fox repellents are expensive and do little to deter foxes. Some common repellents include fox or other animal urine, silhouettes, a cloth soaked in creosote, mothballs, and ultrasonic deterrents or electronic repellents.
- Qualified professionals. When hiring a professional, you will “get what you pay for.” A company charging a low price for fox removal might not give you the desired outcome or provide good service. Professional wildlife removal is a highly specialized field of work. Companies should be knowledgeable, licensed, insured, and guarantee their work. Look for someone who is humane and excludes lethal or deadly methods.
- Fox babies. If a fox has just had babies, and they aren’t a nuisance, consider leaving them alone until the babies are mature at around 4 or 5 weeks. By this time, they will be ready to leave the den with their parents. If you catch a male fox that is a father, he won’t be able to bring food and sustenance to the mother and babies.
- Keeping pets safe. Because foxes are harder to catch than other wildlife, the removal process can take a significant amount of time. So, keeping domesticated animals away from the area is important.
- Electronic fox deterrent. Foxes, like dogs, have intense hearing. An electronic fox deterrent emits a loud, high-pitched noise that humans cannot hear. These devices use ultrasonic sounds and sometimes bright lights to scare away foxes that may be lurking on your property. An electronic fox deterrent is usually solar or battery-powered and should be able to withstand all kinds of weather. This is an easy, humane way to prevent foxes. However, buyer beware. Some foxes may not be scared off. It is easier to scare them off before they have ever been in your yard than it is if they have already found food there. The cost of an electronic fox deterrent is $50 to $100.
- How much does wildlife removal cost?
The cost of wildlife removal depends on the type of animal and the number of animals you are having removed. On average, wildlife removal costs between $125 and $300, but that price may vary depending on the animal.
- Are fox traps legal?
Yes, they are legal, but a license is required to own and use them.
- How do you get rid of a fox in your yard?
A professional wildlife specialist will set a special fox trap and relocate the fox or fox family.
- Does animal control remove foxes?
Animal control does not remove foxes. A wildlife specialist is required to remove foxes.
- What is a fox afraid of?
Foxes are afraid of loud noises, people, and large animals. They are generally shy animals and avoid people, even if they cohabitate in human spaces. Making loud noises or yelling at the fox can scare it away. Loud radios or loudly barking dogs may also scare them.
- How do you repel foxes naturally?
You can try repelling foxes with fox or other animal urine, silhouettes, a cloth soaked in creosote, mothballs, and ultrasonic deterrents or electronic repellents. However, they are expensive and not guaranteed to work.
- Can foxes climb fences?
Foxes are skilled at climbing fences as high as 6 feet and even higher if they have something they can use to step up. Foxes can get a leg up from a garbage can, air conditioning unit, or any other stable surface.
- Do foxes dig holes in lawns?
Foxes will often dig holes in lawns to find food. They are usually looking for insects, reptiles, snakes, lizards, or other animals they can eat.
- Colorado Parks & Wildlife. “Red Foxes.”
- FIXR Cost Guides and Cost Database.
- Gardening Know How. “Fox Pest Control: Tips On Getting Rid Of Foxes In The Garden."
- LiveScience. “Foxes: Facts & Pictures.”
- PetKeen. “Can You Have a Fox as a Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know!"
- The Humane Society of the United States. “What to do about foxes."
- Wildlife Removal USA. “Fox Removal."
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.