Straightaway I’m going to advise against using snares to trap a fox. There are many laws in place strictly guiding what you can and can’t do with snares and they can easily go wrong and become a cruel form of punishment to an animal if you don’t know what you are doing. The cable needs to be correct, the snare needs to anchored correctly and they must have a relaxing lock fitted to them, amongst many other necessities. In general snares are complicated, awkward and you could end up unintentionally breaking the law with them and I imagine that if you are reading this article, you have little or no experience of snares, so my advice is to steer clear of them completely.
A much better option is to use a fox trap cage. These are sturdy, humane and much less ambiguous in terms of following the law than snares. An excellent heavy duty cage trap is the Procter Pest Stop Fox Cage that can really handle anything you throw at it and will contain the fox without problem. Alternatively, a slightly less sturdy but much cheaper option is the Humane Folding Urban Fox Trap which will serve you well. Depending on how much you plan to spend and use the trap, both of these fox cage options are big enough to comfortably hold a fox.
Once you have bought a fox cage trap, how do you go about trapping the fox?
Find a suitable place to put the trap
Depending on your property, it is best if the trap is partially disguised, maybe in a flowerbed or in amongst shrubbery. Foxes (and adult foxes especially) are naturally wary and suspicious, so camouflaging the cage will make it appear a bit more natural rather than a strange man-made object. In the same vein, it is a good idea to cover the wiring at the bottom of the cage with dirt to make the cage appear part of the natural environment. Ensure the locking mechanisms are exposed though to ensure that the the door locks behind the fox when it traps it.
What bait should you use to trap a fox?
Catching a fox is an art rather than an exact science but you can’t go wrong with something strong smelling that will prove too good to resist to a hungry fox. Part of a roasted chicken from your supermarket or a dead rat or rabbit (if you have any) will work well. Attach the bait up on the inside of the roof or high up on one of the sides above the floor pan. This will make the fox have to work that extra bit harder to retrieve the bait, maximising the chances of it stepping on the floor pan to activate the trap. I also recommend using some tinned sardine juice to sprinkle at the entrance to the trap, around the front of the trap and on the metal pan because of it’s strong odour. If there are any trees or fences by your trap, pour some of the sardine juice up high as this will carry in the breeze and notify the fox from further afield.
When doing all of this, please use rubber gloves, particularly if you are in a rural area. Foxes are very wary of human scents and although they are more used to humans in urban areas, it is best to cover up to avoid spreading your scent around the trap as much as is possible. Set the trap, making sure that nothing is obstructing the floor pan and check at least once per day to see if a fox has been caught.
What do i do if i catch a fox in the trap?
First of all, do not expect to catch a fox in your trap immediately after setting it. Foxes are clever animals and it may take some time for the fox to feel comfortable enough to venture into this new environment. Patience is the key but you must check the trap every day. If you do find a fox in the cage, you have several options. You can either take the fox and release it into another environment, or if you have a gun licence and are comfortable that you can humanely destroy the fox, then by all means take this route. The third and preferred option is to get in contact with a local pest control company to deal with the removal of the fox for you. It is best if you do your research on a suitable company before you set your trap, then you will be fully prepared when the time comes.
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