Scientific Name:Vulpes Vulpes
Introduction:The red fox is native to the British Isles, and widespread throughout mainland Britain. Since a lot of rural areas has been urbanised, the native red fox has moved in due to the availability of food, water and shelter but can still be found in the woodland, farmland, moorland and suburban areas. Although foxes are predominantly nocturnal, it is not unusual to see foxes out during the day. They are also known for being a nuisance, from their barking and screaming, digging up gardens, interfering in garbages and dustbins etc.
Recognition:Foxes are a member of the dog family and resemble a small dog but with the distinctive reddish colour and having white tip bushy tails makes them different. Fur which is left in fences is much smoother than some animals when rolled between the fingers and also droppings are twisted with pointed ends and appearing with undigested food and may vary in colour. If you feel you can benefit from our expertise in London pest control, please contact us.
Biology:Foxes are reddish brown in colour with a lighter underside. They measure about 110cm from tip of the nose to tip of the tail and weigh about 6.5kg (males) with the females slightly smaller and weigh about 5.5kg. Foxes mate during late January and early February and their litters are born in late March and early April with only one litter per year. Foxes have a gestation period of 53 days, and normally have an average litter of five cubs. The cubs are weaned between four to five weeks and sometimes may remain with the vixen (female) until they are about three to four months old. Foxes eat a wide variety of food including birds, rabbits, mice, water voles, insects domestic pets, fruits etc. Foxes have an average life span of 7- 14 years.
Potential harm: Foxes transmit and carries diseases because they live in close proximity with humans and pets are therefore a major concern to public health. Of particular concern is menge that result from infestation of the skin by one or two species of mites which causes the lost of fur to the fox and the result is fatal. Foxes also carry the round worm (Toxocara canis) which is usually associated with dogs and can cause blindness in children. In case rabies arrives sometime in the near future they can be a great carrier. Control: When trapping animals whether using live traps or spring traps these Acts must be taken into consideration. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, The Protection of Animals Act 1911 and The Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996. All live catch traps must be visited or checked at least once every 24 hours. All trapped animals must be treated humanely. Causing any unnecessary suffering, whether deliberately or through neglect is an offence. Fencing: When putting up barriers of fencing they should not be lower than 2meters with 30cm overhang at the top and 30cm under ground.
Repellents: Only approved repellents should be used against foxes and manufacturer's instructions must be followed. Control of Pesticide Regulation Act 1986 must be taken into consideration or followed.
Snaring: It's a legal method of fox control, but one must consider the risk of catching non- target animals e.g. domestic pets or other wildlife animals. Shooting: Is not applicable for urban areas but extra care must be taken to ensure the safety of the public and weapon. Ensure that notification is given to the nearest police station before starting the operation.