Recently, we went out on a service call in Brick, NJ for a new residential client who was having an issue with foxes digging up her backyard. How did she know she had foxes and not groundhogs or skunks? As she was cleaning her family room, she saw a fox staring at her through the sliding glass door! Guess the fox wanted to help her tidy up.
As we began inspecting the exterior of the home, we found several burrows around the deck. Fox dens are very often located underneath sheds, decks, or porches, any area that is seldom used by humans. The reason why foxes like to dig up gardens is to dig up worms and grubs for a quick and nutritious snack. Also, fox pups just like to dig for practice and for the sake of digging. Foxes dig downwards at an angle of 40 to 45-degrees, creating tunnels up to 8 inches in height and approximately 12 inches wide.
In order to safely and humanely remove the foxes from underneath the deck, we dug 10 inches down and 10 inches out from the deck and installed hardware cloth around the entire perimeter. This heavy-duty wire screening is angled at a 90-degree angle outward and will prevent foxes from digging under the wire.
After installing the hardware cloth, we then placed lattice over the top for additional security (and it makes the deck look pretty as well). We then back filled over top hardware cloth and up to the bottom of the lattice and then set-up a one-way exclusion device near the main access point. A one-way exclusion device is a device that allows the fox to safely exit the deck, but prevent it from getting back underneath. We also scheduled a follow-up inspection to check on the harborage areas. Once we are certain that all the foxes have left the homeowners' property, we will then seal up the final piece of lattice and hardware cloth.