It is dark and shaded underneath your decking, which creates the perfect place for unwanted animals to hide out or make a home for themselves. One of the more common animals to find shelter beneath decking is the fox. While foxes may be cute, they can be dangerous as well.
They can also be stubborn and remain under the decking without coming out for even a minute if they feel threatened. So, how do you get rid of them? Let’s take a look at a few options you have to get rid of foxes under decking.
Steps to Get Rid of Foxes Under Decking
There are several different methods you can take to get rid of foxes under decking. Here are a few of them.
Clean up the Area
More often than not, animals, such as foxes, like to find shelter in areas that aren’t well-kept.
Therefore, you want to keep the entire area around the deck as clean and tidy as possible. Trim flower beds that are overgrown, remove weeds from the garden, and remove excess items from the area.
Remove Leftover Food
Food attracts foxes and other animals like rats. For this reason, you should never leave any food outside on the deck or around it.
This will only attract animals who need a food source and will essentially invite them to take shelter under your deck. If you have fruit trees in the garden, make sure that fallen fruit is removed as soon as possible, as the foxes will eat them.
Remove Rubbish Bins
Foxes will search for food to eat if they are unable to find it in the open. This means toppling over your rubbish bins and scouring through them for something to eat. They love scraps.
So, make sure that your outside rubbish bins are not near your deck and that they are regularly cleared. If possible, keep your rubbish bins inside a shed or garage so that foxes and other animals simply don’t have access to them at all.
Use Fox Deterrent Sprays
There are various types of fox deterrent sprays that you can use to get rid of foxes from under decking. Some contain pepper, while others contain ammonia. Both are effective at ridding the area of foxes.
The ammonia-based spray smells similar to that of fox urine, so when you spray this under and around your decking, it lets foxes know that the area is taken and they should move on. As for pepper, it should be sprayed on the foxes when possible, as it will cause irritation and they’ll leave.
Feed Your Pets Inside
If you have pets that are normally fed on your deck, you will need to find a new place to feed them – preferably inside.
If your pet leaves any food unattended, foxes will eat it. In the event that you are unable to feed your pet inside, make sure that leftover food is removed immediately after your pet has finished eating.
Use Sound and Light Deterrents
Foxes don’t like abrupt sounds or lights. Loud sounds and bright lights can be incredibly effective at getting foxes to leave your decking area.
They make the animals extremely uncomfortable, and they’ll run away. Since you already know where they’re located, the use of a motion-activated device is not necessary unless you just want to use one.
Should I Just Let the Fox Stay Under My Decking?
Ultimately, whether you choose to leave the fox be or get it off your property, is a personal preference. There are many people who advocate for leaving the fox under the decking when they have chosen it as a shelter. One of the reasons for this is that it is likely a mother fox with her babies. If this is the case, the family will typically leave their shelter after a few months when the cubs have grown up.
At the same time, some people feel threatened and in danger when there is a fox beneath the decking. A fox has the potential to attack, bite, etc., and because of this, homeowners want the fox gone.
In the end, the choice is yours. However, if you have pets or children, take their safety into consideration. To ensure they are safe from unnecessary harm that a fox (especially a mother fox with pups) can cause, it’s best to remove the fox.
What to Do When the Foxes Leave Your Decking Area
Regardless of your decision to leave the fox under the decking and allow it to leave on its own or remove it as soon as possible, you must take action once the fox leaves. Preparing the area so that another fox can’t choose your decking as a shelter in the future is a must.
Sealing Up the Decking Area
You can use mesh wire, hardware cloth, or chicken wire to seal the decking area. Once you have done this, you can place a variety of potted plants or other décor items in front of the mesh to hide its unattractiveness. Keep in mind that you should use durable wire, as foxes can chew through the wire if not durable enough.
If your property is not fenced in, this may be something to consider as well. Fencing in your property will keep foxes and other critters from being able to even enter your garden and get near your decking.
When a fox is living under your deck, it can be extremely inconvenient, as it keeps you from being able to use your deck as it was meant to be used. Luckily, the aforementioned tips can help you get rid of foxes from under your decking so you can enjoy it again.
The key is to remove all options of readily available shelter, water, and food.