Foxes In London: All You Need To Know!

Foxes have been successful in coexisting with humans. This is not due to their fabled intelligence, but rather to their adaptability to a variety of shifting environments.

The urban fox is a common sight in London. It is essentially a rite of passage to be startled on a drunken walk home by an orange streak shooting out of a hedge.

Even the choir stalls at St. Paul’s Cathedral have been spotted with them. But why are there so many red creatures strolling the streets of the capital?

“After World War I, the red fox began to appear in cities,” explains Mathew Frith, director of conservation for the London Wildlife Trust.

New transportation systems enabled individuals to work in one location and live in another, and suburban housing was constructed in formerly rural regions.

Foxes soon adapted, taking advantage of the food and shelter in these relatively new and expansive gardens.

In this guide, you will learn everything there is to know about foxes in London.

Are There Too Many Foxes In London?

The London wildlife trust estimated that there are approximately 10,000 foxes in the city, and in particular boroughs, they are more prevalent than in the surrounding countryside.

As foxes have become accustomed to sharing their surroundings with humans, they have begun to populate the urban core.

According to Frith, the number of foxes attracted to urban living has increased dramatically during the past three decades.

There are presently only a few London neighborhoods where they are not present.

However, city life is not risk-free: 60% of the fox population perishes annually in road accidents.

Despite this, the number of foxes in London appears to be stable, and living in London has its advantages. It is because cities offer greater chances for food and shelter than rural areas.

Are Foxes A Big Trouble For Londoners?

Foxes are animals that can cause unanticipated property damage. With around 28 foxes per sq mile, the urban fox is a common nuisance in London.

They reside on construction sites and subsist mostly on food scraps from hotels, restaurants, taverns, takeaways, and food-processing facilities. Foxes are increasingly focusing their attacks on these organizations.

In addition to eating meat, foxes enjoy hunting for fruits and vegetables, which frequently results in their raiding your garbage cans.

Their food is so varied that they are able to thrive in London, especially in metropolitan areas.

In metropolitan areas, foxes frequently dig their dens beneath sheds, in cellars, or in peaceful, overgrown corners of your property.

During mating season, their screaming can be disturbing and frequently disrupt sleep.

Foxes will often avoid cats and dogs, but they may be enticed by rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens if they are not sufficiently safeguarded.

If the animals are housed outside, the simplest approach to assure their protection is to line the bottom of their cage or hutch with chicken wire that cannot be penetrated by foxes.

Why Do They Make Those Awful Screaming Noises?

Foxes are typically very quiet, despite the fact that they are capable of communicating through a range of cries.

Even in the winter, they only call on average once every three nights; in the autumn, when they are least noisy, they call only once per week.

Of all the sounds they make, the screams are the most problematic; they are extremely bloodcurdling and are frequently misinterpreted as someone being attacked.

Are Foxes In London Dangerous?

During the day, foxes are typically cautious and unwilling to be observed. They present us with minimal to no threat. Small mammals and birds are the natural prey of foxes.

In addition, they fear anything greater than what they prefer to eat.

Not only do foxes eat meat, but they also enjoy foraging for fruits and vegetables, which often results in them raiding your bins.

Their diversified diet is the reason why they survive so well in London, particularly in urban areas.

London gardens may require fox-proofing since foxes pilfer pet food left outside and in trash cans overnight.

Foxes have been responsible for a handful of attacks on people during the past few years, the majority of which were directed toward youngsters. The presence of food in your garden will attract foxes.

It is always prudent to be aware of foxes if you have young children. The safety of your children will be ensured by observing them when they are in your garden and by locking your doors at night.

Dogs are a wonderful deterrent for foxes. They are adversaries by nature. If you keep tiny animals outside, such as rabbits or chicks, they could be in grave danger if a fox is prowling.

The most effective way to prevent your pets from being devoured is to provide them with fox-proof housing.

Foxes also carry dangerous infections, which can be caught through a bite or through their feces.

If you observe more foxes than usual in the vicinity of your London home, you should contact your local council.

Do The Foxes Pose A Health Hazard?

Foxes are susceptible to numerous diseases, nearly all of which also affect domestic dogs.

These include the parvovirus, distemper, ear canker, and the lethal sarcoptic mange.

In the latter situation, mites burrow into the skin and create severe inflammation; the fox loses most or all of its fur and dies of starvation within three to four months.

Contrary to common opinion, it is not the result of urban scavenging and is prevalent in rural foxes as well.

The other harmful parasite is Toxocara canis, an intestinal worm that causes toxocariasis in children extremely rarely.

The worm is widespread in both dogs and foxes, so you should take the same precautions with fox feces as you would with dog feces.

It is unknown if foxes infect dogs, whether dogs infect foxes, or whether one species acts as a disease reservoir for the other.

In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that the vast majority of urban foxes are completely healthy and not the disease-ridden creatures they are commonly depicted as being.

Can I Feed The Foxes?

No. Don’t attempt to tame foxes. Many urban foxes are now so domesticated as they approach strangers with the intention of being fed, which creates problems.

Many individuals are frightened by this behavior since they do not sure whether the foxes are being curious or aggressive.

If fed excessively and frequently, foxes can become overconfident and less frightened of people, but they will not become dependent on you.

This can encourage them to approach people for food, which is not desirable behavior.

It is preferable not to leave out an excessive amount of food every night.

Strange as it may seem, urban foxes routinely consume birdseed, peanuts, and other foods placed on bird tables.

How To Deal With Foxes In London?

Foxes may be eliminated using only two legal techniques. These include shooting, which is too risky in urban settings, and cage trapping combined with fatal injection, which is costly and inefficient.

Only a veterinarian can administer a lethal injection, and the majority of veterinarians refuse to euthanize healthy animals.

Certain pest control firms kill foxes. If you elect to hire someone to kill a fox on your property, you are responsible for the fees associated with the animal’s killing and disposal (which can be considerable).

Additionally, the territory of a fox that is eradicated will be rapidly reoccupied by another fox.

Follow these instructions if you are concerned because foxes have been spotted in your neighborhood or on your street:

  • Do not keep windows on the bottom level or directly above a flat roof wide open (leaving the windows open just two to three inches will ensure a fox is not able to gain access)
  • Do not leave French windows or exterior ground-floor doors open, especially at night.
  • Do not attract foxes to your home or garden by storing garbage in metal bins with tight lids.
  • If foxes are constantly disturbing your sleep, you can deter them by turning on an external light, making a sudden and loud noise (be careful not to disturb your neighbors), or shining a powerful torch beam at them.
  • You may use a suitable animal repellent to deter the animal. To successfully repel foxes, the repellent must be reapplied frequently, often for weeks, until the foxes give up and move on.
  • Never be tempted to use creosote- or gasoline-soaked rags; doing so is harmful and illegal.
  • Clear overgrown gardens that could serve as resting locations and ensure that there is no food on compost piles.
  • It is illegal and cruel to capture foxes within their den. Do not leave poisoned food out for foxes, as this endangers other people and wildlife and can result in incarceration and/or hefty fines.

If you need practical assistance with foxes, you should seek the counsel of an expert in pest control. The website of the British Pest Control Association is important for locating an appropriate pest control professional.