How-To Guide: Using A Radio To Deter Foxes


Red Fox In Brush With Large Text "Keep Out Foxes" Overlayed

Let’s say you’re a gardener, poultry owner, or homeowner. One of your biggest challenges might be preventing foxes from trespassing onto your property, attacking your birds, and possibly destroying your garden. Could it be true that radio can keep foxes away?

A radio will help keep foxes away by mimicking human conversation, which will make a fox think that people are in the area. By getting a weatherproof radio with long battery life, you can tune into a conversational talk show and leave this playing wherever you’re trying to keep foxes away.

Let’s dive into just how the heck a radio will deter foxes, how to use them to do so, and the best type of radio for the job!

How Does A Radio Deter Foxes?

Quite interestingly, a radio will deter a fox by mimicking the sound of human conversation.

Humans are natural predators of foxes given our size, so naturally, when a fox sees a human in the area – they’ll be skeptical, to say the least.

Typically, foxes are predators of other more significant or flying animals, such as cougars, coyotes, eagles, bears (black and brown), and mountain lions.

When a fox hears the corresponding sound of one of these predators in the wild, such as a growl or snarl, they’ll no doubt be fearful of the animal.

Foxes have keen eyesight and a great sense of hearing, so they’re able to evade predators with ease in many cases. Part of their evasiveness is also due to their extreme caution.

We can use this caution to our advantage, where a radio will keep foxes at bay when approaching your property.

Foxes don’t typically interact with humans, so coming across a human will be an unknown sound and sight to them in most cases.

By placing a radio to a conversational talk show, or even just a station with a TON of commercials where people are talking, a fox will be a bit cautious when approaching the area within the hearing radius of the radio, as the sound will be super unique to them, and unfamiliar.

Old Radio Outside On Metal Against Blue Wall

How To Actually Use A Radio To Deter Foxes

Ok, now onto the good stuff. So, how can this work?

It’s so simple. Just get a working radio to start! Even just an old one that’s been sitting in your back closet will do.

However, using a radio to keep foxes away will ultimately depend on a few things. If you’re looking to keep foxes out of an enclosed area, just any old radio that has a pretty loud volume will do, in my opinion. Just make sure that the radio is loud enough so that it can be heard through the walls of the area.

For instance, if you’re putting the radio inside a barn, crank it up! However, if you’re placing the radio outside, say on your porch or outside of your chicken coop, you may need to upgrade your radio just a bit.

Here are a few things to look out for when thinking about placing the radio:

Determine where to place the radio

First, you’re going to determine just where foxes are finding entry onto your property. It makes it much easier to tackle the problem from the entry point than when you have no clue about where foxes are coming from.

After locating the points where these foxes gain entrance, either through your gate, jumping your fence, digging underneath your fence, finding their way into your shed or barn, etc., you should put the radio somewhere along the path of those points.

Ideally, you’d want to find and assess just where the foxes are entering your property from, then fix that problem. Next, you can then keep the radio inside and plugged in. This way, you’ll be able to use it as more of a “last resort” type measure.

In a few sections more, we’re going to talk about a few reasons why foxes may be entering your property – so yanno, stay tuned 🙂

Get a radio!

The best recommendation is to put the radio inside, safely dry, and plugged in. This will allow you to use an older radio that you already have on hand.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you have to place the radio outside (anywhere not covered), then there’s more than likely a better way to keep foxes off your property.

You’ll instead want to get an inexpensive radio that can be plugged in. You can leave this in your porch, chicken coop (if you have a power outlet or can run a weatherproof extension cord out there), barn, or shed. Just make sure that the radio is protected from the weather at all costs.

A good starting point is the Magnavox Portable Top-Loading CD Boombox. It can either be plugged in or portable using six C batteries.

Just make sure that you don’t leave it in a spot where rain can get on it.

Account for any neighbors

Of course, if you have neighbors close to your home, then you blasting a talk show 24/7 probably will spark some sort of neighborly quarrel, to say the least.

Make sure that you talk with your neighbors and discuss the problems you’re having with foxes. Quite possibly, they might be having problems with foxes too, and you can work together on solving the issue!

Tune your radio into a talk show

Now that you’ve got a good sense of just where you’re going to place your radio, what kind of radio you may be getting, and if you’re going to be bugging any neighbors with the volume – it’s time to pick a station.

To give this method the most chance at success, you’ll want to tune into a conversational channel, where the content is mostly that – a conversation.

Music may work, but actually hearing a normal human voice is technically a human’s recognizable sound in the wild. There’s a decent chance that a fox has listened to a human voice before, especially if they’ve been visiting your yard frequently.

By tuning in to a conversational radio channel, you’ll be increasing the chances that a fox recognizes that it’s hearing a human voice. Naturally, the animal will want to stay away.

Determining Why Foxes Go Into Your Yard

As discussed briefly earlier, we need to figure out just WHERE foxes are entering your yard. The radio should be used more of a last resort, as you’ll ideally want to have a few layers of prevention. Suppose you just have a backyard with no intentional fencing where a fox can walk right up to the area you’re trying to keep them out of. In that case, it might be helpful to look into some other preventative measures.

Regardless, here are a few reasons as to why foxes are entering your yard:

It may be a perfect place to hide

When it comes to mapping out areas to run to in case of emergency, foxes are good at that. Foxes may already have figured your property as an excellent place to hide. When they’ve been there a couple of times without disturbance, it can automatically turn into their preferred spot to hide.

It could be that there are possible openings that could lead them right into your garden or backyard. This is why it’s essential to block all gaps and holes that lead into your property if they haven’t purposely been there.

You see, since foxes are the prey of various types of flying animals, they tend to want to stay “hidden”.

If your yard hard tall grass and a large amount of brush, foxes may actually see your property as a safe place and be tempted to use your yard as shelter.

In order to combat foxes wanting to hide on your property, you can do the following:

  • Trim grass low
  • Remove any debris in your yard
  • Cover any woodpiles
  • Trim any protruding bushes
  • Examine your lawn for any other potential hiding areas

This way, you’re at least limiting the potential for them to wander into your yard in the first place. By making your property as CLEAN as possible, you’re basically going to make the fox feel a bit uncomfortable as they approach your property, as they won’t think that there is adequate cover to keep them safe from predators.

Searching for leftovers in the backyard or garden

Foxes are hunters, and they are carnivorous. By throwing leftovers such as meat, fish, or something of that nature into your garden or yard, you are automatically inviting these foxes to come over and feast.

If you have a compost pile outside, for instance, the scent of food scraps may be enticing enough for not just foxes, but other critters as well to make their way onto your property.

Solution: get a compost bin.

Suppose you’re continually throwing your scraps out in the yard or are composting on a routine basis. In that case, you might want to consider getting an indoor compost bin, like this one from Utopia.

While you’re cooking or discarding your food scraps, you can place your compost in an airtight bin. Once the container fills up, instead of dumping it directly outside your house, you can create a plan to spread it out in areas away from your home (like the very edge of your property or woodline)

This way, when animals (foxes) do come and check out the food scraps, they’ll be drawn to areas away from your direct home.

If you don’t have any suitable place for the compost or can’t use it on your garden or soil, speak with your neighbors and see if they can use it as fertilizer. Even more, see if a local school, garden, or farm would allow you to empty the scraps there.

Looking for water

Some gardens have a regular and frequent water supply. Having a pond in your backyard, or any water source in your territory can mean more routine animal visits.

Having an open-source of water will, naturally, attract foxes and really any sort of animal.

For instance, at my childhood home in Upstate, NY – I was blessed to grow up with a 1.5-acre bass pond on our property.

While we actually didn’t have many foxes that I can remember, we had all sorts of wildlife either try and take shelter or just utilize the pond for a water/food source: Blue herrings, muskrats, beavers (in the creek out back, actually), and geese. There’s more, but you get it.

Side tangent, I’m not a fan of geese.

Anyways, if you have a water source like that on your property, there isn’t a ton you can do.

However, even if you have standing water puddles, if you’re able to remove those in any way, you should be able to eliminate at least a few water sources that’ll make your property a bit less attractive to foxes.

Red Fox Walking On Grass

4 More Things You Should Do To Deter Foxes

So, by now, I hope you have a good understanding of how to use a radio to increase your chances of keeping foxes away from your property.

To recap, here’s what you need to do:

  • Determine where to place the radio
  • Get a radio
  • Account for any neighbors
  • Tune into a talk-show

It’s as simple as that!

Now, there are other things you can and should do to keep foxes away, along with the discussed radio method here.

Install motion-sensor lights

Lighting up the environment will help in keeping foxes away, especially since they are nocturnal animals.

Naturally, foxes love darkness and hunt more at night. By blasting them with a spray of light, you’ll do good to give them a good surprise.

Motion sensor lights work for various animals, but sometimes they’re a bit less effective over time. You can read more on that here.

Set up a scarecrow or fake owl

Movements, especially sudden ones, can scare foxes.

Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of scarecrows and fake owls for a long-term solution, but they can be decorative and somewhat practical if you get the correct ones and get a proper setup.

We have another guide on using scarecrows and fake owls to deter raccoons that you can find here. The methods are pretty similar to if you were applying them to deter foxes, as raccoons operate similarly to foxes (both are nocturnal, for instance.)

Use a motion-activated water sprinkler

I’m a massive fan of these. Certain motion-activated water sprinklers are designed to deter pests. So they are able to “see” during the night. Whenever an animal’s movement is sensed, they’ll get BLASTED with a healthy dose of water.

Virtually, it’s just spraying the animals with water and then watering your garden at the same time.

If you’re interested, check out this Havahart Motion-Activated Animal Repellent & Sprinkler, which can detect animals within a range of 60 feet.

Be preventative about foxes digging

Foxes have a very natural habit of digging under fences to get to their goal.

Notably, they’ll dig under areas where you have fencing – specifically if that means getting to your chicken run/coop or even garden!

To help combat this, you’ll want to make sure that any wire or fencing you have is buried at least 1-2 feet underneath the ground, and have the tips pointed outwards at a 90-degree angle. This will make it much more difficult for any fox or critter to dig underneath the barrier.

Wrapping Things Up!

Well, I hope by now you’ve got a good understanding of how to keep foxes away, especially with using a radio! Foxes can be tricky animals to deal with, but keeping them out of your yard (especially if you have small livestock/poultry) is essential.

References

Vuorisalo, T., Talvitie, K., Kauhala, K., Bläuer, A., & Lahtinen, R. (2014). Urban red foxes (Vulpes vulpes L.) in Finland: A historical perspective. Landscape and Urban Planning, 124, 109-117.

Phillips, M., & Catling, P. C. (1991). Home range and activity patterns of red foxes in Nadgee Nature Reserve. Wildlife Research, 18(6), 677-686.

Lockie, J. D. (1959). The estimation of the food of foxes. Journal of Wildlife Management, 23, 224-227.

Gosselink, T. E., Van Deelen, T. R., Warner, R. E., & Mankin, P. C. (2007). Survival and cause‐specific mortality of red foxes in agricultural and urban areas of Illinois. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 71(6), 1862-1873.

Hegglin, D., Ward, P. I., & Deplazes, P. (2003). Anthelmintic baiting of foxes against urban contamination with Echinococcus multilocularis. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 9(10), 1266.

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