A fox’s ability to adapt to rural, suburban, and urban habitats in combination with the physical attributes that make them superb hunters means that seemingly simple solutions such as the use of a fence fall short when it comes to deterring them. This is because foxes climb fences, dig beneath them, and at times can even leap over them.
Will a Fence Deter Foxes?
Foxes have a reputation for being cunning and sly predators, often outwitting human attempts to keep them at bay and protect livestock or pets. This means that keeping a fox off your land can be a real hassle.
The idea of using a fence to keep them out is a natural one. After all, it works pretty well with deterring other, less determined wildlife species looking for easier meals.
The problem with deterring foxes away with the installation of a fence is that foxes will often find a way over, or under them. Below are a few must-know facts about foxes and their natural abilities that aid them with getting past fences.
How Do Foxes Get Over Fences?
Foxes can get past fences multiple ways. Foxes climb fences, can jump over them depending on the height, and can even burrow under them.
If you are interested in using a fence to keep them out, you will want to know a few things about foxes to be able to install the most efficient fence for the best result.
How Well Do Foxes Climb?
There are some species of foxes that climb better than others. For instance, grey foxes are excellent climbers and will climb trees as both a means to escape predators and to hunt for food. They are much more adept at climbing than any other species of fox.
The more commonly found red fox’s climbing skills fall short compared to a grey fox. However, they can still climb trees given the right circumstances.
To say red foxes don’t climb at all would be an incorrect statement. They may not be able to climb as high or as long a time as grey foxes but if they can get a good foothold and the right leverage, a red fox will climb for food.
Just think of their diet and you will conclude that climbing is in their wheelhouse of hunting skills too. This is because red foxes will indulge in a meal consisting of birds and their eggs when able to.
To have such meals, a red fox needs to reach a bird’s nesting place, which of course is up a tree.
With that said, whether you are dealing with a grey or red fox, if it wants something in your yard it will make the necessary effort to obtain it.
Seeing as fences often provide a good foothold (depending on the design of the fence of course), even a red fox can climb a fence if it is not too high.
How High Can Foxes Jump?
When considering a fence to keep a fox out, you will want to take note of how high a fox can jump. If it is low enough a fox won’t need to climb your fence to get over it. It can clear it with an impressive leap.
Most fences range from 6 to 8 feet in height. If the fence you are considering installing or currently own falls on the lower side, you should certainly be made aware that foxes utilize leaping as part of their set of hunting skills.
Case in point, red foxes can leap as high as 6 feet!
A taller fence is no guarantee, but it will have a better chance of keeping a fox out. Even so, if your fence is closer to the 8-foot mark, don’t automatically assume it will do the trick either. Foxes didn’t get a reputation for being sly for nothing.
If they can leap high enough up the fence and get a good footing, then they will climb the rest of the way over your fence to reach their next meal.
How Else Can Foxes Get Past Fences?
Another problem with using a fence as a means to keep foxes off your property is that if a fox can’t leap, climb, or use the combination of the two to get over your fence, they will attempt to dig beneath it.
Eating for any wild animal, especially animals that hunt for their meals, is key to survival. As an animal that hunts, foxes will do whatever it takes to get their next meal.
They will utilize any skills they have to get past a fence if they want something on the other side of it.
By nature, foxes will dig for their next meal and practice this often. Their sense of hearing allows them to hear mice and other rodents burrowing underground.
As such, they will dig to get to their prey. They will dig through snow, dirt, and beneath a fence if necessary.
What Kind of Fence Deters Foxes?
You may be left asking yourself if a fence is even worth using. If the fence is tall, slick (meaning very little footing opportunities), with the bottom buried deep enough that a fox will give up on digging past it, it could help keep them out. It really depends on the determination of the fox.
Combining an adequate fence with other types of fox deterrents, such as a Fox light, will have a better overall outcome.
One of the best ways to ensure a fox won’t get past your fence is to install an electrified fence. Once they come in contact with an electrified fence, they will not want to have the same experience twice and will try to avoid it.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best option if you have children playing on your property or have a lot of foot traffic around the perimeter of your property.
As you can see, foxes will utilize their natural hunting abilities when coming face to face with a fence that stands in the way of their next meal.
Foxes climb fences, leap over them and dig past them better than one would expect or even prepare for.
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