Fox behind a cage at the zoo.

How To Trap a Fox

Trapping a fox can be tricky, but it doesn’t need to be. Anyone can successfully remove a fox from their backyard with the right knowledge and tools. Whether trying to protect your livestock from predators or just curious about trapping an animal for sport, this guide will provide all the information you need to start catching foxes. 

From choosing the right bait and setting up traps correctly to humanely releasing or relocating trapped animals – we’ll cover it all so that you have the best chance at success.

Key Pest Points:

• Trapping a fox requires selecting the right trap and bait, prioritizing the safety and well-being of the fox throughout the process.
• Proper trap placement, regular monitoring, and maintenance are crucial for a successful trapping experience and humane treatment of trapped animals.
• In addition to trapping, alternative methods such as non-lethal deterrents and fox-proofing your property can help minimize conflicts and promote coexistence with foxes.

Why Trap a Fox?

Before we jump into the “how,” let’s understand the “why.” There are a few reasons why trapping foxes might be necessary:

  • Protecting your pets: Foxes can threaten small pets like cats or chickens.
  • Preventing property damage: Foxes can dig holes, damage gardens, or create disturbances.
  • Controlling population: Trapping can help manage fox populations in areas where their numbers are causing issues.

These are just a few reasons someone might decide to trap a fox, but whatever your reason is, trapping should be done humanely.

fox in the cage

Choosing the Right Trap

When it comes to fox trapping, selecting the right trap for the job is essential. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Foot-hold traps: Are designed to securely hold the fox’s foot once triggered. However, it’s crucial to follow local regulations and use them responsibly to avoid unnecessary harm to the animal.
  • Cage Traps: This is a popular choice for fox traps due to its effectiveness and safety. These traps have a door that closes behind the fox once it enters, securely containing it until you’re ready to release or relocate it.

Remember, no matter which traps you choose, prioritize the safety and well-being of the fox throughout the process.

Trap Placement and Preparation

Proper trap placement and preparation are essential to maximize your chances of success. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Identify Suitable Trap Locations: Study the fox’s behavior and identify areas where they frequent your property. Look for signs like footprints or droppings. Placing traps in these locations increases the likelihood of capturing the fox.
  • Prioritize Safety: When setting traps, keep safety in mind. Ensure the traps are placed away from human activity areas to prevent any accidental encounters. Also, avoid trapping non-target animals, such as domestic pets or other wildlife.
  • Camouflage and Discretion: Foxes are intelligent critters, so camouflaging traps can improve your chances of success. Make them blend in with the environment by using natural materials or hiding them under leaves or branches. The goal is to make the traps inconspicuous and undetectable.

Trapping a fox may become necessary to address specific situations, such as protecting pets or preventing property damage. You can effectively and safely deal with foxes on your property by choosing the right trap, strategically placing it, and taking necessary safety precautions.

Bait and Lure Selection

Now that you have the trap ready, it’s time to lure the fox in. Here are some recommendations for selecting baits and lures:

  • Prey-based BaitsFoxes are opportunistic omnivores, so using prey-based baits can be effective. Use fresh or frozen meat, such as chicken, fish, or rabbit, as bait. Place the bait inside or near the trap to entice the fox with an irresistible meal.
  • Scent Lures: Foxes have a strong sense of smell, making scent lures an excellent choice. Commercially available fox urine or gland-based lures can mimic territorial markings and attract curious foxes. Apply these scents around the trap or use scent dispensers to pique their interest.

When selecting bait and lures, it’s essential to adhere to local regulations and ethical considerations. Certain jurisdictions may have restrictions on the type of bait you can use. Ensure that your baiting practices are humane and avoid causing unnecessary harm to the fox or other wildlife.

Close up of a red fox on green grass in a garden.

Setting and Monitoring Traps

To ensure a successful fox trapping experience, proper trap setting and diligent monitoring are crucial. Follow these steps for safe and effective trapping:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the trap’s instructions and mechanisms before setting it.
  2. Ensure the trap is clean, functioning correctly, and free from debris or obstructions.
  3. Position the trap in the predetermined location, taking care to secure it firmly to prevent accidental movement.
  4. Place the bait inside or near the trap, ensuring it is enticing but not easily accessible without triggering the trap.
  5. Regularly check your traps to minimize the stress and discomfort for trapped animals.

With the right bait and lure selection, as well as proper trap setting and monitoring, you’re well on your way to effectively trapping foxes on your property.

Responsible Handling and Release of Foxes

Now that you’ve successfully trapped a fox, it’s crucial to handle and release it responsibly. Follow these guidelines for a safe and humane process:

  1. Approach the trapped fox calmly and avoid sudden movements or loud noises to minimize stress.
  2. Use thick gloves to protect yourself from potential bites or scratches.
  3. If the fox is calm and not showing signs of aggression, gently cover its head with a towel or blanket to reduce stress and facilitate safe handling.
  4. Carefully pick up the fox by grasping it around the scruff of its neck and supporting its hindquarters.
  5. Place the fox in a secure carrier or transport container for release or relocation.

It is best to call a professional wildlife service to avoid handling the fox. They have the experience and equipment to safely handle wildlife, as well as transport and release them at a suitable location.

Alternative Methods and Prevention

While trapping can be effective, it’s also essential to consider non-lethal deterrents and prevention methods to minimize conflicts with foxes. Here are some alternative approaches:

  1. Install motion-activated lights or sprinkler systems to deter foxes from entering your property.
  2. Purchase ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds unpleasant to foxes but inaudible to humans.
  3. Employ visual deterrents like scarecrows, reflective tape, or predator decoys to discourage foxes from approaching.
  4. Secure garbage cans and compost bins with tight-fitting lids to prevent easy access to food sources.
  5. Seal off potential entry points, such as gaps under fences or in outbuildings, to prevent foxes from establishing dens on your property.
  6. Remove debris or brush piles that may provide shelter for foxes.

Trapping a fox is just one aspect of responsible fox management. Proper handling, releasing non-target animals, and seeking professional assistance is crucial for ethical wildlife management.


What is the best bait for a fox trap?

When it comes to baiting a fox trap, the best option is prey-based baits. Fresh or frozen meats such as chicken, fish, or rabbit work effectively as they appeal to the fox’s predatory instincts. Placing the bait inside or near the trap entices the fox with an irresistible meal. However, it’s essential to check local regulations and ethical considerations when selecting bait, ensuring it aligns with the guidelines set forth in your area.

Will a fox keep coming back?

Foxes may return if they find a reliable food source or suitable denning area on your property. Preventive measures like securing garbage cans and sealing entry points can discourage their return. Coexistence strategies and non-lethal deterrents also help create an unattractive environment for foxes.

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