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THE FOX CALENDAR

Love them or loath them, Foxes are now part of everyday life throughout the UK and can be seen both day and night in busy local towns including Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Ringwood and Verwood on a regular basis. They have become a common visitor to our gardens and properties generally in search of food or a home. The size of a garden or area, does not seem to matter be it a small garden in Springbourne or a large garden in Broadstone. A particular favourite is within school grounds where there is a plentiful supply of food and in the summer months, peace and quiet during the holidays. The following is a condensed summary of what foxes are likely to be doing during the year, but as with most scenarios, seasonal changes are having an impact on the life of the fox.    

                                                                  January

January is the month of unrest within the fox family – it is the peak of the mating season and also the peak dispersal season too. Cubs that were born last year will now be adults and will be seen as a threat to breeding rights and the available food supplies of their parents. Any that have failed to disperse will usually be chased away or face the consequences. Many leave of their own accord in search of a territory and a mate of their own. The resident dog fox and vixen will be actively defending the territory against intruders, not only physically but vocally too. This is carried out by barking , urinating and defecating along the borders of their territory, especially in prominent positions.Because it is the season for breeding the dog fox will shadow the vixen until she is ready to mate, the receptive period being only 3 days. The vixen will start to prepare an earth prior to giving birth and in an urban environment it could be under a shed or outbuilding or a derelict property. It is normal for a reserve earth to be built, as well, in case of emergencies.

                                                                 February

The main dispersal period ends and the fights over who breeds with who, have stopped. Some females may be allowed to stay on within their parent’s territory and by doing so would have given up their right to breed. The dominant vixen is usually the only vixen allowed to mate, but the younger females will play their part by actually looking after the young when they are born and whilst the vixen is away hunting. They will also bring food back for the cubs. During the day the vixen will be inside the earth.

                                                                  March

The cubs are born and the dog fox will bring food to the earth for the vixen. The average litter of cubs is usually five and when born they are blind and deaf. It is at this time of year that domestic pets are most at risk. (Guinea pigs, rabbits etc.) They provide an easier option for the overworked dog fox. 

                                                                  April

The cubs will now emerge from the earth. They can often been seen playing in the garden and then sleeping! It is by playing that the cubs will be educated and a pecking order established. The vixen will stay with the cubs but will start to get food for herself. During this time the dog fox will remain close to the earth providing protection from domestic animals like cats.

                                                                  May

During daylight hours, the vixen will lay-up away from the cubs to wean them and she will bring food back to them at regular intervals. It may appear that the cubs have been abandoned, this is not the case.

                                                                 June

June is the best month to watch the cubs playing and it’s usually in this month that the vixen will leave them in an area whilst she goes out hunting. Later in the month the family will leave the earth and will lie above ground.

                                                                 July

The cubs lie up above ground becoming more self sufficient due to the fact that the adults will bring back less food. It is now that possible damage to properties (lawns etc) will occur due to cubs playing.

                                                                 August

Cubs are more adult looking now, most active between dusk and dawn. They are able to forage for themselves. The adults start to lie away from cubs but still keep a watchful eye. Fruit becomes an important part of their diet.                                                          

                                                                 September

Almost fully grown, the fox cubs are indistinguishable from their parents and will start to forage on their own. Possibly more vocal as dispersal commences.

                                                                 October

More foxes seen this month as individuals disperse. Many of the new foxes which were born this year become victim to cars as they seek out unknown territories. Damage to lawns continues as earthworms become a larger part of the diet.

                                                                 November

A lot more fighting commences as new adults invade existing established territories. Foraging begins earlier in the evenings.

                                                                 December

Foxes will now be actively defending their territories. With the mating season approaching a triple bark often followed by a loud scream can be heard frequently. Marking of the territory borders is increasing.

If you need help with foxes or have a fox problem or you a problem with ants, rats, mice, squirrels, birds, moles, rabbits, wasps or you need help with pest prevention or have a pest control problem in and around Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood, Verwood or any BH postcode area  call No-Nonsense Pest Control :  01202 523469 or 07708 944620

or  e-mail   nononsensepestcontrol@yahoo.co.uk