For many people, seeing a fox wander through your backyard is a pretty thrilling experience.
But, if you have small children or pets in your home, the excitement can soon turn to fear as you begin to wonder whether or not foxes are dangerous animals.
We know that foxes are clever hunters, but are foxes dangerous to pets and humans?
Below, we’ll look at this in more detail. We’ll explore some of the reasons why they might be considered dangerous.
And, if you’re particularly concerned about foxes, we’ll look at some ways you can prevent them from getting onto your property.
Are Foxes Dangerous to Humans?
There are two things to consider when looking at whether or not foxes are dangerous to humans. First of all, foxes are fairly timid around humans and, while there are news reports of foxes attacking small children, these instances are incredibly rare.
While foxes are inquisitive, curious animals by nature, they’ll do everything they can to avoid human interaction.
Even if they were to accidentally stumble into your home through an open backdoor, they would be quite likely to flee as soon as they realize that there are humans in the house.
With this in mind, there’s no real reason for a human to fear a physical attack from a fox. This doesn’t mean you should approach one, though.
Foxes are still wild animals and, as such, they can behave unpredictably.
The real danger that foxes pose to humans comes in the form of diseases. Foxes carry a plethora of diseases including rabies which, if contracted by a human, can land you in hospital for a very long time. In some cases, it can even be life-threatening.
Foxes also carry parasites that come with their own diseases, and they can leave urine and feces in the places they’ve visited. Again, this can come with the threat of disease.
So, in the case of whether or not foxes are dangerous to humans – the answer is yes, but only through the parasites and diseases they carry.
There is a very small chance that a fox will charge and attack you.
Are Foxes Dangerous to Pets?
While the chances of a fox attacking a human are very small, there is a chance that they’ll attack a pet. This is especially true if your pets are smaller than them and fall into their natural diet (such as rabbits, ducks, chickens, etc).
Some pets, dogs, in particular, are quite unlikely to get attacked by a fox. But, as is the case with humans, it’s the diseases and parasites that foxes carry that pose a real danger to pets.
Rabies is the biggest concern here, but they can also pass on other diseases such as mange. And, while mange may not be life-threatening, it can certainly be uncomfortable.
Are Foxes Dangerous to Farm Animals?
This really depends on the type of farm animals you’re keeping. Cattle, for example, are unlikely to suffer from a fox attack as they are simply too big for a fox to take down. However, chicken coops are famously attacked by foxes.
If your chickens have recently suffered from a fox attack or you’ve noticed a fox appearing more regularly around your farm, the best thing you can do is look toward pest control.
One of the main reasons why you’ll see a fox more frequently is simply because they are being drawn in by an abundance of their natural food, which includes mice and rats.
It’s a simple equation, really – the more mice and rats that are on your farmland the higher the chances are of seeing a fox. And, once they discover that there are chickens, ducks, or anything else that they can easily kill, the more dangerous they’ll become.
How to Keep Foxes Off Your Property
As we’ve mentioned previously, the chances of a fox actually attacking a human are quite small. But, if you’re particularly concerned, or if you’d simply like to stop them from coming onto your property, there are some things you can do.
The easiest method is to use an animal repeller. Once a fox triggers the motion sensor, a high-pitched sound is emitted which they will find unbearable.
As a result, they’ll run to get away from it and, in most cases, they’ll learn to associate your backyard with that painful sound.
Foxes are hunters, but they also love an easy meal and will scavenge anything that they can. With this in mind, it’s also a good idea to secure any food waste containers or trash cans that you keep in your backyard.
If they can’t get access to the contents, they’ll simply move on.
You can also keep pets and livestock safer by using strong, metal fencing that a fox won’t be able to get through. You should also sink it deep into the ground to stop them from digging underneath and gaining access that way.
Finally, if you have a very bad fox problem, it may be worth contacting your local pest control service. They will be able to handle the situation safely and professionally.
And, as we’ve mentioned above, they’ll also be able to eradicate any other infestations that are drawing the foxes to your property.
For the most part, foxes aren’t considered a physical danger to humans or larger pets. They’ll be very unlikely to attack and if they sense danger they’ll simply run away.
However, it’s worth noting that foxes are wild animals and they can behave unpredictably. This is why you should never approach a fox that’s come into your backyard or found its way into your home. Instead, leave them to find their own way out.
The real danger that a fox will have to both humans and pets comes in the form of diseases and parasites, including rabies. Again, the best way to avoid this is by not making any physical contact with a fox.
You should also clear away any urine or feces they’ve left behind and, if you’re particularly worried, it may be worth putting some preventative measures in place.