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Problem Animal
Red Fox

Grouping  Carnivore / Furbearer
Nicknames Black Fox, Cross Fox, Silver Fox, Bushytail, @#$%^&*!
Best Known For Vibrant red coat, thick bushy tail with white tip, white or black “stockings.”  Pouncing on field mice.
Life Span 3 to 5 years.
Mating Season January and February.
Reproductive Details After a 51 day gestation period 4 to 10 pups are born with 6 pups the average. One litter raised by the breeding pair per year. Do not mate for life.
Dispersal September to January. First year fox leave to establish their own territories.
Habitat Open meadows, small woodlots, edge areas such as fence rows, neighborhood boundaries. Life is good in the suburbs!
Activity Cycle Typically nocturnal, but during “pup rearing season” both parents work 24/7 in order to provide enough food to feed hungry pups with “hollow legs.” Fox activity during the day is not necessarily a cause for concern through the summer when raising young. Foxes that appear healthy and react “normally” (i.e. run when chased or yelled at) should not be regarded as a threat.
Food Opportunists. Dinner plate consists of mice, rats, rabbits, woodchucks, opossums, domestic cats (yes, your cat is on the menu), chickens, insects, squirrels, game birds, songbirds, bird eggs, fruits and grasses. Will also scavenge on road-killed animals and winterkills. Uneaten food may be stored by burying it in loose earth. Frequent visitors to wild game and free range farm operations.
Damage Signs Missing chickens, ducks and pheasants. Fences dug under. They love to dig in golf course sand traps (bunkers).
Treatment Problem fox are most effectively captured with foothold traps and snare cables. Box or cage traps are often ineffective on adults.
Risk and Disease Pose little risk but can make us feel uncomfortable. Because they are opportunists small pets can be at risk. A fox with rabies can transmit the disease to humans, pets, livestock and other animals. Foxes that appear disconnected, unaware, aggressive, unresponsive and threatening should be regarded with extreme caution and professional help sought. Foxes with mange (skin burrowing mite) begin losing their hair, scratch furiously and scab over resulting in a long slow death. It is transmittable to other fox and domestic dogs. Foxes in a weakened state, due to disease or injuries, may not respond to human stimuli, will tolerate a greater level of human activity, and will seek out the easiest possible meals, including unattended cat and dog dishes. These same foxes will readily take shelter in barns, sheds, and under porches.
Dens Den sites include abandoned groundhog holes, in rock piles, under concrete slabs, decks and sheds. Den sites are often littered with bones, animal parts, and fecal matter and are heavily tracked. Mouth of den is the size of a basketball.
 

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