UK’s best fox deterrent and repellents that actually work for Summer 2020
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I love nature and wildlife, but sometimes it seems they don’t quite love me back in the same way.
I get birds swooping down and eating my berries, cats have been coming and going as they please (or at least until recently as I found the best cat repellent) and often used to leave me a little ‘present’ on their way out, and one of the worst culprits are foxes, so what better way to deal with them than a purpose designed fox deterrent or repellent.
These beautiful creatures can be an absolute pain in the neck at times, almost on par with a rat problem I once had. If you’re looking for humane rat traps I’ve covered them too. Raking through the dustbin and leaving half of it on the floor, stealing dog food, digging up flower beds (it’s not just mole traps you need here), leaving good sized piles of poo on your freshly cut lawn. The list goes on and on.
And if you keep chickens or other kinds of birds, you have a whole other set of problems to deal with when it comes to these crafty little hounds. I don’t think anything is quite as enraging as losing a hen to a fox or dog. Most of us who keep them sadly know.
So what is the best way to deal with them?
The best fox deterrent and repellents
There are a number of options available, from ultrasound deterrents to simple spike matts, and with each possible fox deterrent or repellant there are pros and cons, not to mention a selection of different brands and products to wade through to find those hidden gems.
The best rated fox deterrent and fox repellents should actually work, be humane, safe for the family, and safe for pets. We rated the best rated fox deterrent and repellents on these criteria.
Don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide too for more hints and tips on the subject.
1. Pestbye® Waterproof Cat Repellent Ultrasonic Repeller Cat Scarer with Ground Stake
One of the best selling products of its kind, this ultrasound pest repellant from Pestbye is probably one of the best chances you have of deterring foxes from making your garden their playground.
We all know how a dog whistle works: it emits a loud sound at a high frequency that is I audible to humans but certain animals can hear very well. This fox deterrent works on the same principle, emitting a high frequency noise to irritate and scare of natural nuisances like cats, squirrels, and of course, foxes.
This particular model is fitted with infrared (IR) sensors that not only detect motion from the animals, but also their body heat signature, and this triggers the machine to activate the ultrasound frequency and deter the fox.
Older models of these fox deterrents used to work on just motion sensors but were often triggered by things other than animals and this led to dead batteries, so IR sensors are definitely a step up.
The Pestbye fox repellant has a simple design that is very user friendly, with very few controls except for a couple of dials to change frequency and sensitivity, and only requires you to stick it into the ground with the provided ground stake pointed in the desired direction.
Alternatively, you can fix this onto any wall, and there’s even a convenient hanging hole already included in the design.
Wherever you decide to set it up, the sensor will then detect any animals coming within an 80 degree arc in front of it, with a maximum range of around 23ft, although using it this way will drain the batteries more so than on a less sensitive setting.
The Pestbye fox deterrent runs off four AA batteries, and these should last you at least a few months so running costs are very minimal. No batteries are included in the box, so make sure you have a few handy if you decide to buy this product.
The machine is a hardy little thing, made of strong plastic materials. It is also very weather resistant and can be left outside all year without worry.
With these products, the results are usually not instantaneous, so be prepared to wait a week or even two before it changes the foxes behaviour, and if it’s still not working, try playing within the frequency range.
The Pestbye ultrasound animal deterrent is available on Amazon for £23.99, and that to me spells out great value for money.
2. VOLADOR Animal Repellent, Waterproof Ultrasonic Cat Fox Repeller
A great alternative to the Pestbye ultrasound fox repellant is this very similar product from Volador, which tries to take a step up from its rival by improving on a few features.
On the surface it is pretty much the same and works in the same way. The two dials on the front control the sensor sensitivity and the frequency of the sound.
There is a knack to using the Volador though. If you set the frequency to the wrong number, you have to turn both that dial and the sensitivity dial back to zero to reset before changing it, and I thought this could confuse some people as it isn’t clearly explained in the manual.
The plastic used for the housing is on par with the Pestbye model, and it has been tested for weatherproofing and has been certified with a IP68 rating, which basically means you don’t have to think twice about leaving this fox deterrent outside in any weather.
Where Volador try to beat Pestbye is in two areas, and first is with the power source. Unlike the standard AA batteries that Pestbye use, this fox deterrent has a USB slot so you can charge up the rechargeable AA batteries direct from the mains when you first set it up. After that, it will recharge itself using solar power, but if that is not sufficient you can just bring it in and charge via the USB again, or have a spare set of rechargeable batteries ready to go.
The second area where Volador try to beat their competition, is with the sensor range. This model has a much wider arc of 110 degrees, and in addition to that it has a longer maximum range of 9 metres/ 30 feet.
However, the sensors don’t appear to be infrared and only get triggered by motion, so you might get some false alarms from trees and such blowing in the wind.
The Volador fox deterrent not only relies on ultra-high frequency noise to scare away pests, it also has a setting where a bright flashing light is triggered by the sensors instead and this could work better with some animals.
A free ground spike is included in the box and setting up this way is a doddle. Just make sure you’re not blocking the sensor path with any garden furniture or anything or you’ll never get this thing to work properly. You can hang it up on a wall using the predrilled holes in the back of the device too, if you like.
Costing around 30 pounds, it is the more expensive of the two ultrasound fox repellants we are reviewing here today, and it does have some upgrades over the cheaper model such as a wider range for the sensor and a flashing light function.
However, there is really very little between them, and the good quality IR sensors on the Pestbye make this a hard choice.
3. Defenders Prickle Strip Dig Stopper
Actually branded for cats and dogs, this product works beautifully on foxes too. Waking up to find a fox or other animal has dug up your plants and flower beds is more than a little annoying. In fact, it can be downright infuriating if it happens often.
Thankfully, there is a simple, yet effective solution to this age-old problem: prickle strips.
Defenders version of this is a best-selling product, with many happy gardeners singing its praises.
These strips are made out of weather and UV resistant plastic that is flexible enough for plants to grow through it, while still being a great fox deterrent.
The strips are a mesh design, covered in lots of small spikes that are harmless to the animal, but they still irritate them so much once they start digging or scratching that they no longer want to dig in that spot.
Installing them is really straightforward. Just place them a little below ground level so that the spikes are facing up and then cover the strip in a thin layer of soil.
This style of fox repellant is very versatile, being quite easy to cut into the desired shape with scissors, or to be connected with other strips to cover larger surfaces. I personally hooked a few together to cover a good-sized area I’d just planted seeds in and it took very little preparation or messing around, something I was very happy about.
One thing I did with my prickle strips, and I suggest you do the same, is to ignore the instructions when it comes to using the fixing s that are supplied and use something a bit stronger like nails or similar. Foxes are clever and will probably find the edge to the strip, and if it isn’t secured down properly, they’ll easily get under it.
Also, this particular brand of prickle strips comes in a roll and so takes some messing around to get laid flat. Again, using good strong fixings and someone to help will make things a lot easier.
Apart from that, this is a great product. A simple idea that works really well, and the best part is it won’t harm the animals or even cause them distress unless they start digging where they shouldn’t be. It is a relatively inexpensive solution to a very annoying and messy problem.
4. Scoot 50g Fox Repellent Sachets
Scoot is a well-known fox repellent that has some mixed reviews, so we thought we’d give it a try for ourselves to see what the fuss was all about.
The repellent comes is 50g sachets that you then add to water and that gives you a fair old amount to pour/spray around your garden.
I had a friend of mine who was finding not so little fox ‘deposits’ in his garden and so it was a great opportunity to give this stuff a whirl.
We mixed up the fox repellent and put this stuff everywhere we could think of: hedges, flower beds, around the top and bottom of the fence, we weren’t taking any chances. And this brings me to one of the best features of this fox repellent, the fact it can be used anywhere and not cause damage to your plants, grass, seeds, or anything else.
How it works, is that it tricks the fox into thinking that a larger animal has taken up residence in that area and therefore they’d better find somewhere else to hang out. Now, foxes are creatures of habit, and so it takes a while for them to change their routines, so don’t expect instant results with Scoot fox deterrent.
Anyway, we applied a lot of this stuff all over my friend’s garden and sure enough, the next night or two there were no signs of the fox. However, on day three a big fresh ‘hello pie’ was left on the grass.
feeling a little annoyed, but undeterred ourselves, we set about spraying all over again, but this time we made sure to keep applying the Scoot fox repellent every evening. This time it worked wonders, and after two weeks of my friend spraying, he stopped and hasn’t had any problems since.
So, from this test I would say this stuff works, but only if you keep at it every evening or so, and this could get expensive as it isn’t the cheapest stuff on the planet.
Then again, when you have a fix problem, you don’t really care what it costs to get rid of them and if it works, it’ll be worth every penny.
5. Plai 6 x Flat Prickle Strip Dig Stopper
We’ve already covered how prickle strips work in our Defenders prickle strip review above, so I won’t bore you and go over it again.
This pack of strips costs 18.99 and for that money you get 6 of them measuring 49cm x 14cm x 2.7cm, so you can cover a good amount of soil.
Also included in the pack are 30 wire ties which come in handy when connecting multiple pieces together, and 12 metal spikes, that resemble tent pegs, for securing the strips to the ground. These are of decent enough quality to do what they are intended for, but replacing them with better ones from B&Q wouldn’t cost much anyway.
What I preferred about the Plai fox deterrent prickle strips, is that they were much easier to lay flat than the defender ones, which had a habit of curling up at the ends due to how they’d been packaged.
The Plai strips are made from weather and UV resistant plastic, just like most of these kinds of products, and can be cut to size and shape very easily. They also flex very well, so if you have problems with squirrels, you can wrap them around the tree trunk to prevent them climbing up there.
if you have large areas of soil to protect, you’ll need to connect a few of these fox deterrent strips together as any area that isn’t protected by them will be the place you’ll find fox poo. Luckily, connecting multiple strips has already ben taken care of in the design of the product and each strip has interlocking parts that hold the together.
Having said that, I don’t know if those small interlocking sections would withstand a fox digging at them, so I think it’s a good idea to use the provided wire ties anyway, just to be on the safe side.
While some fox deterrent and repellant products’ effectiveness can come in to question, I have to say that these prickle strips work, and there is a lot of customer feedback to back up what I say.
Simple and cost effective as they can be used again and again, prickle strips are great fox deterrents when it comes to stopping them digging and pooing in your flower beds, and as a bonus they’ll work on cats, dogs, and other animals too.
What you need to know about buying a fox deterrent and repellant
With the different types of products out there all vying for your money and promising to get rid of your fox problem, it’s tempting to buy them all and carry out an all-out assault on that craft critter.
Often though, just a single product used correctly can be enough to solve the problem, but from my experience these deterrents do have to be used in the correct way for them to be anywhere near effective.
Here are a few tips about fox repellants and deterrents to steer you in the right direction.
Types of Fox deterrents and repellants
The main types of fox deterrents / repellants are: the ultrasonic noise emitters, the automatic water sprayers, fox repellent granules or sprays, and prickle strips.
Each works in a different way, and with varying levels of success for different people, so no single product can really be seen as being superior.
Ultrasonic fox deterrents are very convenient as they are easy to set up and then only need you to keep an eye on the battery level. However, they do have a limited field of operation and can take up to two weeks before you see any change. You often have to adjust the settings and try different frequencies too find one that works too.
If you’re tempted to buy one of these, be sure to set it up with a clear field of view that is unobstructed, and go for a model that has infrared sensors over just motion sensors.
Automatic water sprayers work a little bit like the ultrasonic fox deterrents. When the sensors on the product detect motion, they let of a stream of water in that direction designed to scare the animal away. We tested multiple versions of these and found only one to work properly, but unfortunately it is no longer available due to covid-19 so we didn’t include it in our reviews.
Scent based fox repellants can come as granules you lay on the ground or in a liquid form that you need to spray around the garden. The best of these was the Scoot sachets, but even then, we had to keep respraying the area every night to get the desired effects and result. To do this might end up being a tad expensive.
Prickle strips are easy to install and actually work really well. The only downside is that they only stop digging, and maybe climbing with a little modification, but won’t scare the fox away from the property so you’ll still have to contend with any other mischief they get up to.
Also, make sure you don’t leave any gaps between the strips, and secure the edges down well or they won’t be as effective.