Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

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Gardens provide a haven for animals like foxes, cats and rats, as they search for food or for a mate. Keeping animals out of the garden completely can be hard, but there are certain ways Britons can “deter” them. Jordan Foster from Fantastic Pest Control said: “Foxes usually look for warm places to have their litter during the winter. Until nine weeks after birth, it’s very hard to remove a fox’s cubs. You can use the foxes’ strong sense of smell to your advantage by learning which smells foxes hate.”

1. Use herbs

According to the expert, strong yet natural scents can act as a deterrent for foxes, without causing any harm to them or your garden.

Jordan said: “You can deter foxes from entering your garden by mixing garlic and chilli pepper in boiling water and spraying it around.”

They also do not like the smell of eucalyptus or peppermint or white vinegar.

The expert added: “Foxes don’t like people, loud noises, flashing lights, and sudden movements. Ultrasonic devices are also available for sale, emitting high-pitch sounds only animals can hear. It would keep foxes away, but keep in mind that other animals will hear it, too, and it may make them uncomfortable. 

“You can keep foxes away by leaving a light on in your garden. It’s more comfortable for foxes to stay in the dark and away from well-lit places.”

2. Keep your garden well maintained

Foxes are in constant search of food so it is important to eliminate all potential food sources.

The expert said this will “guarantee they won’t return”. Jordan added: “Also, ensure rubbish bins are closed securely to keep foxes away from ‘attractive’ smells. 

“Sadly, foxes leave faeces everywhere. You’ll also need to thoroughly clean the area, which is not the most pleasant task – but you need to do it anyway to eliminate the smell. Getting rid of the smell is essential; otherwise, they will return.”

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3. Try a motion sprinkle

Jordan continued: “Water-repellent systems startle foxes and make them uncomfortable. They will give foxes a surprise and hopefully force them to run away.”

These sprinklers are easy to install and use and will make the animals run away from your garden.

4. Mow the lawn

Foxes that live in the garden get very afraid of humans spotting them, making long grass and hedges attractive.

The expert said: “That’s why they’ll always choose an overgrown garden over one with maintained grass and tidier borders.”

It is important to do one last cut of lawns and hedges ahead of winter to help keep all sorts of animals at bay.

Sophie Thorogood, from the technical team at Pest Stop, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality pest control products, has shared the best way to protect your garden from foxes.

The expert said: “Foxes are optimistic feeders and are often in search of food or secluded locations to create a den to raise their families, making gardens a prime location for foxes to venture. 

“To protect your garden from foxes, your efforts are best invested in fencing. Build a fence around the perimeter of your garden that is at least two metres high and ideally buried in the ground to stop the foxes digging underneath. 

“If you own rabbits or chickens that are housed in outdoor structures, add an additional fenced barrier to protect them from hunting foxes.

“Fences and walls can also have spikes placed on top of them to prevent foxes from climbing over and along them. 

“Also consider adding a hard structure to the edge of your pavement to deter them from digging in these areas too.”

Lids should also be placed on any outdoor bins to help prevent foxes from getting inside them.

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