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My front yard consists of five vegetable beds surrounded by gravel. There are no fences, and we do not want to put any in. Most years, my main wildlife problem is with deer that wander through and browse on many of the plants. Thus, I routinely spray deer repellent (this year, Liquid Fence).

Unfortunately, the repellent does not seem to keep the local fox family from digging in my beds. This year, two or three mornings in a row I awoke to new large holes, especially in my most sparsely planted bed. A number of transplants were lost. For now I have addressed the problem by filling the holes, planting more plants, putting some large rocks on top of the bed (it seems like their presence would make for less pleasant digging), and putting some old wire fencing over part of the bed. This seems to have deterred them for now, but I am interested in hearing about other ideas and experiences (preferably those that do not involve electronic gadgets).

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    I believe this would be on-topic at gardening.stackexchange.com but probably here also... – Highly Irregular Jul 3 '13 at 7:11
  • Wow you're sure they are foxes? I don't doubt you but they are notoriously crafty and seldom seen. Interested to see answers because I'm curious as to why they choose your sparsely planted beds (for bedding?). – Charlie Brown Jul 3 '13 at 9:17
  • I am fairly sure about the fox diagnosis. There is a fox family just a couple doors down, the holes were too big for cats, and I saw foxes nearby on one of the mornings I discovered damage. This is also a gardening question. On the sustainable side, I would prefer not to have to buy anything. – Elaine Hale Jul 3 '13 at 14:07
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    Foxes are really good at locating and finding small rodents like ground squirrels, moles, and the like. I would suspect that if the foxes are digging in your garden they are going after them. I recommend the documentary on gopher eradication "Caddyshack"... I know the methods there are not terribly sustainable but its really funny. Seriously though get the gophers out of your garden the foxes will probably leave too. – user141 Jul 3 '13 at 20:06
  • I would love to have foxes and deer in my garden, instead of ants and slugs. – Nicholas Shanks Jul 11 '13 at 10:30
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Not close to any conventional methods, but might help.

Setup a audio speaker system that can play a sound of the animal which foxes in your region are afraid of (eagles, coyotes, wolves etc). Let this system automatically play the noise periodically (every 30 mins between mid night and moning). Or if you could some how detect motion using a webcamera/audio and the use that as a trigger to play the sound.

This might potentially affect your sleep, but might help in creating a permanent fear on the foxes.

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I believe i saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tying little portions of his off-cut hair in nylon stockings in regular intervals on a fence, in one of his shows. If I recall correctly, it was around his chicken coop to deter the foxes.

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The foxes are probably here to feed on delicious little larvae lurking in your garden beds. Some cockroaches larvae are big delicious and juicy.

What you should do if this is the case, is to pick them before the beasts do. Use your hands or a rake and gently remove the earth to undig the larvaes. Pick them and dispose of them on a plate (above ground, e.g. on a table) for the birds.

  • You make them sound so tasty! But I wonder, is this really possible for a decently sized garden? It seems like our human senses would have trouble finding all the larvae. Is there some sustainable treatment to prevent these tasty bugs? – LShaver Mar 13 '17 at 17:05

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