Both red and gray foxes live among us in cities and towns, where scavenging for food makes life easy. They generally avoid people, but the lure of easy food, such as pet food or unsecured garbage, can result in backyard visits.
Foxes have a natural fear of people. If you see one outside during the day, it’s no cause for alarm. They will usually run away from you as soon as they detect your presence.
Here are a few facts to put the presence of foxes in your yard in perspective:
- Foxes are not dangerous to humans, except when they are rabid (which is very rare) or when they are captured and handled. Even then, a fox’s natural tendency is to flee rather than fight.
- Foxes may prey on small pets or livestock (such as rabbits, guinea pigs or chickens), so pets should be kept indoors or housed in sturdy structures.
- Foxes will also eat various fruits, but they usually do not bother garden vegetables.
- Sometimes foxes are blamed for damage they did not cause, such as when they are spotted eating from spilled trash when neighborhood dogs or other animals were responsible for the overturned trashcan.
- A fox cutting through your yard is probably just passing through on their way between hunting areas and no action is necessary on your part.