Do Foxes Hibernate in Winter?
As foxes increasingly come into urban areas and live alongside us, there are always going to be problems. Maybe you’ve had issues with a fox or two in your garden. But what about the colder months? Surely you can get some peace from their prowling then? Sadly not. Foxes don’t hibernate in the winter.
What Do Foxes Do In the Winter?
Foxes are active all year round. Unlike many animals, they still mate and raise their babies in the winter months. Cold weather barely changes their behaviour at all. You might see a fox lying in a sunny spot on a cold crisp day to get warm, but other than that, they’re pretty hardy creatures.
How Do Foxes Survive a Cold Winter?
While many animals reduce their activities in the colder months, foxes don’t hibernate in the winter. They grow a thick winter coat and spend most of their time hunting or foraging for food. The only time they’ll retreat into a den is when they are ready to mate and raise their young, which they do from January until March.
The Problems Foxes Cause in the Winter
Because food and prey become ever more scarce in the winter, hungry foxes might come into your garden to see what they can find. They might even find a spot to build a den. Even if you haven’t actually seen a fox, there are some tell-tale signs that they’re coming into your garden.
A pungent, musky smell;
Droppings in particular areas of your garden;
Holes in the lawn and flower beds where foxes have been digging to look for insects;
Damage to fences, hose pipes, and other garden structures;
Rubbish on your lawn;
What Attracts Foxes to Your Garden?
Because foxes don’t hibernate in the winter, you have to be vigilant all-year-round and make some changes to keep them at bay. Here are some of the things that are most likely to attract foxes to your garden:
A water source: ponds, water features, and bird baths are attractive to thirsty foxes;
A food source: If you leave pet food out or you feed other wildlife, expect a hungry fox to take advantage of this;
Your garden is a mess: Foxes can be quite nervous by nature and if they think they’re in danger, they’ll hide. Overgrown grass and clutter is perfect for foxes to hide out in;
You keep birds or other small animals in your garden: Birds and small animals like guinea pigs can be a tasty meal to a hungry fox. Make sure that outdoor enclosures are kept as secure as possible. Believe us, foxes are intelligent animals, and given the chance, they’ll find a way to get in;
You have flower beds: Foxes love flower beds. They love to dig for grubs like worms, Young foxes also use them to practice digging.
What Can I Do About Foxes in My Garden?
Before you come up with a plan of action to deal with foxes in your garden, there’s something you need to know. Foxes are protected by law. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, you can be jailed for up to six months and fined £5000 for harming a fox. So what should you do?
Our advice is call in professional fox control. At Contego, our pest technicians are experienced in wildlife management and we offer tailored fox control treatments and solutions that are humane and lawful.
If you are having problems with foxes in your garden, we’ll deploy methods like:
These will bring the problem under control without causing harm to any other wildlife.
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