Saturday, May 16

Foxes, Foxes and More Foxes


Mama Fox, standing guard. These photos were taken through 2 dirty windows; hence the hazy appearance.


One of the six babies. Just after I shot this, 3 more jumped through the ivy and onto the deck, but the rest of my photos were blurry.


The one fox we have been seeing on our deck for the past 6-8 weeks has morphed into a dad, a mom and six babies. I was working Friday, and I got a call from my daughter, who is home for the weekend. All eight foxes were on the deck beside the pool; drinking rain water that had collected on top of my overturned crocks, and for some strange reason, licking a concrete bunny that had been painted in a verdigris finish, but is old and cracked. I think they must be tasting salt on the bunny.

Mr. kenju called our local critter control and they said they could trap and eradicate the foxes, and it would cost $1000. They always euthanize them, in case one or more is rabid. I really don't want them killed (unless they are rabid), but I also don't want to have to worry that they are rabid and will attack our cats, should they happen to get out of the house in spite of our efforts to keep them inside.

A friend and also my employer said that I could buy fox repellant at H*me D*pot or L*we's, but it smells like rotten eggs. Wouldn't that be loverly, as we are sitting on the deck this summer by the pool?

In comments, people have asked if the fox is red or gray. I think she is a gray fox, but as you can see there are elements of red in her coat also, particularly around the neck. Mr. kenju still thinks it could be another type of animal - but it's a fox - I'm sure. My friend said one way to tell is if they hold their tails straight out behind them, and these do. The babies are so cute and the mama was on high alert tonight, while watching them play. I hope I can get some better pictures tomorrow.

21 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh, they are kinda cute. I didn't even know they had Fox repellent. Yuck, rotten eggs...I'd leave too! Have a good weekend Judy....

John said...

OMG $1,000 for them to do THEIR job! How ridiculous! We have foxes here too (and coyotes and other critters), but they are after our chickens.

I have heard though that they will indeed kill cats too.

Never heard of Fox repellent either. I would at least try to chase them away and throw rocks at them, before they get too comfortable! Hope you keep us updated too!

Biff Spiffy said...

Always thought you were foxy... :)

I've heard human hair clippings work to repel some critters, but I think that was bunnies. Maybe one of those ultrasonic rodent bothering devices would help?

You could hire a kid to sit there and chuck ice cubes at 'em until they find a more hospitable home - probably for way less than $1K.

Gilly said...

Your fox didn't look anything like our foxes, so I googled them, and I'm pretty sure yours is a Gray Fox. They have gray on their backs, but reddish legs and chest. They have a black tip to their tails.

Our foxes are Red foxes which are much redder, and I think have a more pointed snout.

If you call up this page you will see an animal that looks just like yours and also ads for Fox deterrents.

Foxes are all the same species, just variants geographically.

Couldn't you persuade your cats to bark, and kid them there is a BIG dog in the house!!

utenzi said...

Maybe if y'all lay down some scent around your deck the foxes will stay away. Borrowing a dog for a day or two to have in the yard would do but people pee might work too. And it would make for a funnier picture!

Angie said...

Those are grey foxes and they are hungry. Interesting facts - grey foxes are monogomous and those kits will stay with their parents until fall when they are mature enough to search for a mate and to hunt for themselves. They are omnivores but in general eat more vegetation than meat. If you feed them it will encourage them to stay if you don't feed them they may hunt your cats.

Tabor said...

I do not know how to get rid of them, but also am concerned that they will return to their 'den' next year and start this process all over again. I hope you can get them to move on soon.

Arkansas Patti said...

Love the pics.Those are gray foxes.I know you have a dilemma but you also have a front row seat I'd kill for.
If it were me, I'd keep the cats in and enjoy the show but it is not me.
Also think renting a dog is a good idea though utenzi's idea of having Mr. Kenju mark his territory is a funny idea. Saw it done in Never Cry Wolf, my favorite movie.
Foxes are smart and maybe just chasing them off when you see them will make them look for a less noisy place to visit.
Good luck.

Seamus said...

Judy, those are grey fox and they are indeed hungry. Ours are always more active right now since the kits have pretty much depleted them. It is a conundrum you are faced with, but perhaps their activity will slow down as the kits mature. I don't know how urban you are, but they are looking for food, water and such and as their habitat decreases they start frequenting the leavings from the bipeds - left intentionally or not.
The kits will stay with the parents until fall when they reach their sexual maturity and move on to another territory. (although this year some of our kits from last season continue to come around - we were up to 14 and this yaer it could easily be more)
Concerning cats, they will be territorial about their food, but usually the greater threat to cats are coyotes and not the fox.
There are wildlife rescue groups that may be more amenable to relocation rather than eradication. You might trying to contact UNC and see if there might be some student program that would help you with your problem!

sage said...

$1000, some good old boy could shoot them for much less, maybe for a pint of Jack Daniels!

Do they still fox hunt down at Pinehurst--maybe one of those guys would be willing to trap your foxes. They use to let the foxes go from a cage in the back of a pickup and then chase it down as if they're English gentry or something...

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I can't believe animal control would charge you for something like that. The foxes are cute, though. Hope you're able to find a workable remedy.

tiff said...

That ice-cube chucking idea isn't a bad one, and I have a couple of kids you could rent to do the job.

It would be a shame to have anything untoward happen while the family is growing - esp since I don't think this species is a 'pest' species yet. It would be great if they'd hunt the rodents and stay off your deck, right?

No_Newz said...

Wow! Good luck with that? LOL! I have no clue, no words of wisdom, no advice, nothing, sorry!

Azaleas are temperamental aren't they? Here they are supposed to be in the shade, loamy soil with mulch in the winter. Since all of mine were dying off and the best buds were around the bottom, I dug them up, hacked them back - early spring, and replanted them in the sun. Already have oodles of blooms. I have to get a picture for you!!

Darlene said...

Nada help here. I'm just glad I don't have your problem.

I would keep the cats in anyhow. My daughter's cat brought me gifts of dead birds until I told my daughter that the cat was to be kept inside or she would go (cat, not my daughter).

robin andrea said...

I know it's hard to keep the cats in, but I think at this point that's the first thing you can do to protect them. I do like the idea of marking your territory. Roger used to do that when we were up in Washington. It didn't keep the bobcats out of our yard, but the coyotes never came in. I hope the deterrence works. Any of your neighbors have dogs they would be willing to loan you for a day or two?

sonia a. mascaro said...

Oh, Judy! They are so cute!

Have a nice weekend!

Shephard said...

Oh, I love foxes. So cute. Except the foaming kind.
~S

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How amazing to have these "wild" Animals on your deck. I understand you NOT wanting them to be Euthanized if they are WELL....Perhaps there is an Animal Organization that you can call who believes as you do and would capture them and take them out to the wild somewhere...
I look forward to more pictures, Judy....!

srp said...

Yes, it's a fox. I saw a raccoon at our feeder behind the fence.. had not seen one for over a year. I hope he doesn't come back as I've heard there have been some rabid ones caught in the area. He appropriately ran when I opened the back door. Dad saw a dear back there yesterday morning and our Mallard family showed up again.

We have fox occasionally as well but I haven't seen any for some time. When we get the building project done and the deck, we will have to be more watchful.

PI said...

Maybe you could borrow a hunting horn.
That should galvanise the little darlings:)

rosemary said...

Oh dear.....cute, yes. Trouble though, I bet. Did you call a private company? Do you have Fish and Game in your area? If so, they should take care of it for you for free...well, with your tax dollars anyway.