North Carolina

You might be seeing more foxes these days. Here’s why - and how to avoid them

Watch this cute little fox befriend a puppy in Arroyo Grande

A gray fox has made The Village of Arroyo Grande his home. Watch as he wanders around town and even makes friends with a local puppy on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
Up Next
A gray fox has made The Village of Arroyo Grande his home. Watch as he wanders around town and even makes friends with a local puppy on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

Fox sightings are more common these days, and officials have suggestions for those who are concerned.

It’s the time of year when young foxes are growing up and spending more time exploring the world outside of their dens, and this means they’re more likely to be seen out and about during the day, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Foxes may also be found around people’s homes because they love looking for food in residential areas, the NCWRC said.

The foxes seen roaming around are one of two species: a red fox or a gray fox, both of which call North Carolina home, the NCWRC said.

The red fox can also be found all over the country, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Gray foxes have a very similar range, and the two species are often confused, the NWF said.

Falyn Owens, the NCWRC’s extension biologist, said in a news release that people shouldn’t be concerned if they see a fox, even if it’s during the daytime.

But for those who want curious foxes to keep their distance, Owens offers some advice.

Foxes are naturally scared of humans, but feeding them can make them more bold — or even aggressive.

So in general, it’s best for homeowners to keep their yards free of anything a fox could find appetizing — including pet food, bird seed that has fallen on the ground and fruit that has fallen from trees.

Homeowners may also want to block off all crawl spaces around their house so foxes can’t get inside to rest or raise young.

For those concerned about foxes being around their outdoor pets, Owens recommends things like “fox-proof fencing,” chicken coops or rabbit pens.

If a fox family is living too close for comfort, don’t try to relocate them as doing so is illegal, according to the NCWRC.

But there are other things that should do the trick to make them leave on their own.

Owens recommends laying a flashlight on the ground pointed at the den’s entrance, making loud noises or keeping a radio playing constantly until the foxes get annoyed and leave.

However, it’s not necessary to scare foxes away, the NCWRC said.

For those who don’t mind the foxes living or being nearby, they should just keep their distance from the den, leave the young foxes alone, keep pets on a leash and tell children to not get too close.

But they won’t be around too long. Once the young are old enough, the fox family will abandon the den and move on.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  Comments