The debate has started again following the very unfortunate fox attack on a four week old baby called Denny Dolan from Lewisham. With over 33,000 foxes now living in urban areas of our towns and cities and over 225,000 adult foxes living in rural areas, it is hardly surprising that people have started to view them as pests, particularly the urban dwelling group who are constantly foraging for food around homes and businesses.
After the attack Denny’s parents called for a cull on these foes or pests, Boris Johnson has even gone as far as calling them ‘a pest and a nuisance’. However, when consulted the wildlife experts believe that a cull would cost too much and not really end the story, as what do you do about those foxes living outside of towns and cities?
The positive role that Foxes do play as our wildlife friends is that as omnivorous mammals they hunt for small pests, rodents and other wild vermin. This is the preferred diet for foxes and as such we as humans have created the problem, rendering them our foes, by luring them into towns and cities with the promise of easy pickings.
The NPTA National Pest Technicians Association say that if a Fox gets too tame and starts to approach people then it is time to remove it from the area. NPTA member’s, the local pest controllers can also arrange for the installation of defenses such as pet screen doors which can be made up from a combination of both perspex and mesh. Ultimately the advice for everyone, whether you consider foxes to be friends or foes, is to leave them alone and if you are worried to call the experts for advice!