Foxes are well adapted to living in semi-rural areas due to the availability of prey and food. This includes rubbish, scraps, native wildlife and your livestock!
They have played a large role in the decline of native wildlife, including small mammals, turtles, lizards and birds. Wait, but there is more – they also carry diseases such as mange and tapeworm, making them a health risk to humans and pets.
Foxes are estimated to cause $227.5 million of damage in Australia each year.
So it is important that small-scale farmers play a role in controlling fox populations, both for the sake of your own property, but also for the wider agricultural industry and environment.
There are options for controlling foxes in peri-urban areas that don’t involve shooting, baits and poisons.
- By removing excess rubbish and available food around your property, you can reduce fox incursions.
- Talk to your neighbours about developing a coordinated approach to the problem. Group control programs are far more effective than working on your own.
- Set up a communication network with your neighbours and use it regularly to identify the scale and nature of the fox problem (i.e. how many sightings and in what locations). Encourage regular observation (fixed cameras), looking for fox scats or direct sightings.
- Approach your local council on behalf of your control group to borrow or hire fox traps for the properties in your area. They will help you with instructions on how to set them up. Place the traps in the ‘high-traffic’ pest corridors you will have identified from your observations.
- Once you have foxes trapped, contact the council to have the animals removed.
The removal of foxes from the landscape is an important part of Local Land Services’ operations. We work with large-scale farming communities on regular baiting programs. But the work you can do in your patch to control this destructive pest is equally important and a valuable contribution to the future of agriculture and the environment.
To better understand your fox control options, download the decision tool. PDF, 295.44 KB
Foxes occur in all areas of NSW across all landscape types. Under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 every landholder has a General Biosecurity Duty to reduce risks caused by foxes by undertaking control activities.
How do I know if foxes are present?
To determine if foxes are present look for visible sightings day and night, fresh scats and tracks, missing/dead animals such as chickens and dens.
Find out more about fox control
- Removing pests from peri-urban areas
- Responsible fox control [539.5 KB PDF]
- Fox control decision tool [295.4 KB PDF]
- Understanding your regional pest plan
- A guide to cage trapping foxes (video)
- Fox control options (NSW DPI)
- Urban fox management (NSW DPI)
- European foxes - the issue, planning and management (PestSmart)
- Glovebox guide for managing foxes (PestSmart)
- Report fox activity (FoxScan)
Join the Blockies Bootcamp
Curious about managing a small block or farm? Overwhelmed with the complexity of land management?
Get up to speed with our Blockies' Bootcamp – a free newsletter series that will give you the fundamentals of land management.
Join today and each week we’ll send you an email unpacking a land management issue. Easy, digestible and hopefully interesting!
Farm Force - Farm kids standing guard against bushfire, pests, drought and flood
The challenges farming families face when dealing with the impacts of bushfire, pests, drought and flood have an eno...
Removing pests from peri-urban areas
Are pest animals impacting your peri-urban property? Rabbits in your vegetable patch? Foxes taking your chickens? In...