How to stop foxes pooing in your garden (because you know you want to know)

Desperate to find out how to stop foxes pooing in your garden? You're in a safe space

A Red Fox Kit emerges from its den and spends time in the springtime garden
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Love 'em or hate 'em, you've likely wondered how to stop foxes pooing in your garden at least once in your life. 

Personally, this writer is incredibly fond of the fox that frequents her own garden (even if it does wind the dog up no end!). That being said, finding that same furry visitor has left smelly droppings all over the patio is... not fun. At all.

So, what's the solution? What's the best way to stop foxes pooing in your garden, once and for all?

How to stop foxes pooing in your garden

Foxes are a common sight in our backyards and, for those of us who love a wildlife garden, they can be an absolute joy to behold.

Still, a smelly fox poo is never a welcome surprise (ever), so it's little wonder that many of you will want to know how to stop foxes pooing in your garden, once and for all.

A happy fox smiling in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The easiest way to stop foxes pooing in your garden is to gently encourage or deter the furry critters out of your backyard entirely.

Here's how to go about this in a kind and humane (but still effective!) fashion:

1. Remove access to any food source

Foxes are scavengers, so they're usually visiting your garden for a reason – and that reason, much like this writer's reason for wandering into the kitchen at 11am, is a quest to find food.

'Like most animals, foxes are usually attracted to areas that offer a steady supply of food, so if you have fallen fruit from a shrub or nuts and seeds from a bird feeder, you may find you have foxes visiting when darkness falls,' says Eric Michaels, Head of Pro for Vivara and CJ Wildlife Pro.

Garden with raised wooden flower beds backing onto brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'The best way to make your garden less appealing is to remove these food sources, so ensure bird feeders are kept elevated well out of reach of foxes, and clear up any seed spillages or fallen fruit immediately.'

If you have a pond, Eric adds that you should 'make sure it is covered with pond netting to protect the wildlife, and if you grow your own fruit and vegetables, make sure crops are well protected with fruit cages.'

2. Remove any potential fox shelters

A timid fox in an English garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It might feel incredibly mean, but if you're trying to suss out how to stop foxes pooing in your garden, it's a good idea to remove anything they may be using for shelter.

'Shelter is a key factor, so gardens with mature trees or shrubs where they can hide and move around without being noticed will also make it more appealing,' says Eric.

Morris Hankinson, director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, adds that it's 'certainly worth removing any piles of leaves, wood, or other potential hiding spots'. 

Finally, block up areas under decking (making sure there isn't already a fox den in situ first) and be sure to keep your garage, greenhouse and shed doors closed, too.

3. Install a sturdy fence

Outdoor wooden storage crates by woven fence

(Image credit: Future PLC/Spike Powell)

If you're still musing over how to stop foxes pooing in your garden, make like any good The Walking Dead character and focus on your perimeter.

'The best way to prevent foxes from lurking in the bushes is to check the perimeter of your fence and ensure it is secure, as this should stop them entering in the first place,' says Eric.

Morris adds that the 'fence should be at least 6 feet tall and buried a few inches into the ground to prevent foxes from digging underneath'.

4. Check your bins (and shoes)

A colourful allotment garden in the summer with flowers, vegetables and a compost bin

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking for more ways to stop foxes pooing in your garden, Morris says it's important to 'ensure your bins/compost bins have tight-fitting lids and they are securely closed'. 

'Foxes are attracted to the smell of decomposing food,' he adds.

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Easy to set up and use on any even surface, this hot composting bin enables users to recycle all food and garden waste and turn it into rich compost fast. Good for the planet, good for the garden, and good for us!

It's also worth remembering to take your shoes in overnight, as (we promise this is true) young foxes like to use shoes as toys to help them learn valuable life skills, like catching prey. 

5. Make a noise

Wind chimes attached to a tree in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're trying to figure out how to stop foxes pooing in your garden, you might want to make like the man who made headlines recently for *checks notes* adapting his Ring camera to make a high frequency sound every time it spotted one in his backyard.

Not quite as tech savvy as all that? Morris says you can simply 'use wind chimes to create an environment that foxes find uncomfortable'.

6. Spice up your life

Open kitchen larder unit with green exterior and wood interior

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Sometimes, the old wives tales are true! If you want to stop foxes pooing in your garden, Eric says you can use spices from your kitchen to deter them.

'If you’re still seeing evidence of unwanted visitors at night, then you can humanely deter foxes by sprinkling certain spices around the perimeter of your space, such as cayenne pepper, peppermint and garlic, as the smell will put them off,' he says. 

'You can also infuse the spices in boiling water, and then spritz around the garden as an additional repellent.'

7. Light the way

Cosy garden ideas: garden chairs around a firepit and surrounded by fairylights

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

How to stop foxes pooing in your garden? Make it feel less of a private spot for them to do their business with garden solar lighting ideas, or even an automatic sensor light.

'Foxes are very timid animals, so installing automatic lights will scare foxes away without causing any harm,' promises Eric.


Why do foxes poo on my lawn?

As is so often the case with wild animals, foxes tend to poo as a form of scent marking – which explains why you'll usually find their droppings on garden furniture, the patio, or right in the very middle of your lawn.

It's their way of making sure no other intruder is going to take over their patch.

Is there anything I could put down to stop foxes pooping in garden?

As per the RSPCA's guidelines, it's illegal to poison foxes. So, if you're hoping to find ways to stop foxes pooing in your garden, it's best to stick to sprinkling certain spices around the perimeter of your space.

Alternatively, you can use an animal repellent that's approved for use with foxes, all of which are widely available from garden centres or hardware stores. 

'It's important to follow each product's instructions though!' adds Morris.

What scares foxes away?

As mentioned already, foxes are timid animals: bright lights or loud noises should usually be more than enough to deter them from your garden.

You could also plant prickly plants around the edges of the garden, if you want to make things a little more uncomfortable for them.

How do I keep foxes out of my garden?

To keep foxes out of your garden, the easiest solution is to erect a sturdy fence and keep things tidy.

'Regularly clean up fallen fruit, bird feeders, or pet food left outdoors,' says Morris, 'as these can attract foxes to your garden.'

It's also a good idea to, according to the RSPCA, 'avoid using garden fertilisers that contain meat, fish, blood or bone products, as this might be encouraging foxes to dig in the garden looking for buried food'. 

Hopefully, all of the above should answer the enduring question of how to stop foxes pooing in your garden.

Fingers crossed that, once you've checked a few things off on the list, your backyard should be poop-free going forward...

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.