Foxes are members of the family Canidae (or Canines), the same family that includes dogs, wolves, and coyotes. Their intelligence and agility make the fox among the most adaptable of wild animals in Georgia and Tennessee. These same characteristics also make the fox a difficult animal to control.
Although secretive and nocturnal by nature, more and more foxes are becoming accustomed to living around humans. Some even start losing their natural fear of humans. This is especially true when people feed them as if they were pets, either intentionally, or unintentionally by setting food out for other outdoor pets.
When any wild animal starts associating humans with food, it's a bad thing. It's a bad thing for the animal because free handouts from well-meaning humans dull the animal's natural survival skills. It's also a bad thing for humans because it encourages wild animals to enter human-occupied areas where they can become a nuisance. It also increases the risk of foxes getting into confrontations with or transmitting rabies to humans, pets, or livestock.
Two species of fox are commonly found in Georgia and Tennessee: The red fox and the gray fox.
The red fox is about the size of a small- to medium-sized dog (adults average from 8 to 15 pounds) and inhabits both forests and farmland.
By nature, red foxes are primarily nocturnal and are most active during dawn and dusk. Due to a shrinking natural habitat, however, many red foxes have adapted to living in close proximity to humans, and some are adopting more diurnal habits. Most, however, are still creatures of the night.
Red foxes rarely cause a threat to humans unless they are rabid, which is one of the reasons why it's important not to encourage foxes (or any wild animals) to approach humans by feeding them. Red foxes do present a threat to pets and livestock, especially poultry and young mammals.
The gray fox is a bit smaller than the red fox. Adults gray foxes range from 7 to 12 pounds, on average.
Gray foxes tends to be somewhat more aggressive than the red fox. They're also more wary of people and are less likely to approach or live in close proximity to humans unless they are forced to. Given a choice in the matter, the gray fox tends to prefer a more isolated, rugged terrain than the red fox.
Like red foxes, gray foxes also have a fairly high incidence of rabies; and any gray fox that approaches humans should be avoided or scared away. Gray foxes are less likely than red foxes to approach humans unless they are sick. Like red foxes, gray foxes are a significant threat to poultry and livestock.
In many cases, it's not really necessary to trap foxes. Proper sanitation to remove attractants and the construction of secure fences, coops, and pens to exclude foxes and protect livestock are usually sufficient to solve most fox problems. Rid-A-Critter provides expert fox exclusion services to help you protect your family, property, and livestock from foxes.
In some cases, fox trapping or fox removal may also be necessary. This is especially true in areas where fox populations are very high, natural food sources scarce, or when individual animals have become acclimated to living around humans. Foxes who have become a little too comfortable living around people should be trapped and removed because they may attack when unintentionally threatened by humans (especially small children, who may try to befriend or pet them).
Fox trapping and removal is also necessary when a fox is suspected of being rabid or otherwise ill. Fox have a fairly high incidence of rabies and other diseases common to canines.
Here are some pictures of fox control work we've performed in Georgia and Tennessee.
If you need help removing foxes or protecting your property or livestock from them, please contact us to learn more about our fox-control services. We look forward to hearing from you.