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Q: Foxes digging up lawn ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Foxes digging up lawn
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: herbiverous-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2003 10:00 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2003 10:00 PDT
Question ID: 255433
I have recently experienced my lawn being dug up by foxes on a number
of occasions in different areas of the lawn. What can I do to stop
this happening?
Subject: Re: Foxes digging up lawn
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 13 Sep 2003 11:03 PDT
Hello herbiverous-ga,

From Brent Council’s frequently asked questions FAQ:

Can I stop foxes digging up my lawn?

“Yes, this is quite easy.”

Eliminate earthworms:

“Foxes dig small holes to get at earthworms which they like to eat.
Removing earthworms eliminates the problem. Products to control
earthworms can be bought at garden centers.”

Change fertilizers:

“Foxes sometimes dig deeper holes where blood or bone-based
fertilizers are used. This is because they detect the smell and try to
dig for a corpse which they can eat. Simply use a different fertilizer
that is not based on bone or blood, and the rain will in time wash the
smell that foxes like away.”

Brent Council!OpenDocument


There are some practical ways of deterring a fox from entering your

- “Remove potential food sources

- Keep rubbish in bins - closed wheelie bins are fox-proof;

- Don't leave bagged rubbish outside;

Remove piles of garden clippings (they can be placed in your wheelie

- Consider removing earthworms from the garden (products available
from hardware stores);

- Fill gaps under garden sheds (a fox can squeeze under a 10cm or 4
inch gap and like to shelter under sheds);

- Only leave bird food in bird food dispensers;
- Protect small pets like rabbits and guinea pigs in sturdy hutches
(chicken wire isn't strong enough to keep foxes out, use strong welded
mesh instead)

- Tidy up an overgrown garden.

- Repair any damaged air bricks (don't block them up - your house
needs ventilation).”

Brent Council!OpenDocument


From the Living with Urban Foxes Advisory booklet (11 pages) produced
by Bristol City Council:
Can I stop foxes digging up my lawn?

“Foxes dig shallow holes in lawns, bowling greens or playing fields
when they are hunting for earthworms and grubs; they eat a large
number of cutworms (the caterpillars of moths) and beetle larvae, such
as wireworms. These only come near the surface of the lawn in wet
periods and so this sort of damage is seasonal. It occurs mainly in
wet springs and warm wet autumns.”

“If the damage is not too severe you can ignore it and it will cease
as soon as the weather changes. You can then repair the lawn.
Otherwise, you can remove the grubs and earthworms in the lawn using a
commercially available insecticide and vermicide available from garden
centers and DIY stores”

“Very occasionally, foxes dig much deeper holes in lawns or bowling
greens. These can sometimes be half a meter or more deep and the lawn
looks like a battlefield. This usually occurs when a blood or
bone-based fertilizer has been applied to the lawn. The foxes think
there is a corpse and being scavengers, frantically dig to find it.
All you can do is wait for the rain to wash the fertilizer deeper so
that they cannot smell it, or if it is a bowling green or similar
area, fence it against the foxes with a small electric fence.”

Electric Fence:

“This is fairly cheap and easy. All you need is a length of rabbit or
sheep "flexinet" and an energiser, which can be run off a 12-volt car
battery. They are obtainable from any agricultural merchant. An
electric fence can also be used when foxes persistently damage fruit
or vegetable gardens.

Two repellent products that are approved for use against foxes are:
1. Renardine, based on bone oil
2. Scoot containing aluminium ammonium sulphate


“If a fox is coming over a fence, try placing a couple of piles of
sand soaked in 'Renardine' at the base of the fence. Wood or rags
soaked in 'Renardine' may be useful in discouraging repeated digging,
fouling, or urinating occurring in particular parts of the garden.”

“Scoot can be used to deter foxes from digging and fouling on lawns.
It should be diluted and sprayed onto the lawn where the problem is

“Get Off My Garden is a solid repellent and can be used to deter
repeated digging or fouling in specific areas. It should be placed in
the holes which foxes are digging, or in other areas to which foxes
pay particular attention.”

 “Wash Off' is a scent neutralizer and can be used to discourage
repeated fouling and urinating on hard surfaces by removing the fox's
scent so that it cannot mark the area successfully.”

The repellents listed above are generally available in garden centers
and hardware stores.

Bexley Council.



Get Off My Garden Crystals 450 g

Scoot, Scent Neutralizers and other pet control products


Search Criteria:
Fox digging up lawn

I hope the above information will help you prevent foxes from digging
up your lawn. If anything is unclear or if a link does not function,
please let me know and I’ll be glad to offer further assistance.

Best Regards,

Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 13 Sep 2003 11:15 PDT
This previous question answered by pinkfreud-ga may interest you as well.
Subject: Re: Foxes digging up lawn
From: contax-ga on 14 Sep 2003 10:56 PDT
I noticed one of the answers was to remove earthworms. This might not
be as good of a solution as one might think. Earthworms do so much
tremendous good for your lawn and garden that removing them is
generally deterimental. Read up about these creatures before deciding
they are attracting foxes. And by the way, where I live we have skunks
that dig up the lawn, not foxes. They leave tiny upturned patches of
grass on the lawns after a night of looking for snacks, beatles, grubs
etc. It's usually somewhat intermittent, and not continual. I suspect
it coincides with certain bugs hatching but am not sure. Since it
isn't long lasting and doesn't really hut the lawn, I leave them
alone. You could call the local extention agent for your region and
see if they can shed more light on what is happening. Your local
university can probably put you in touch. Hope this helps!

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