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While foxes are undoubtedly beautiful creatures, we’d be lying if we said we love when they litter on our newly-planted flower beds, or when they stay up all hours of the night creating an earth-shattering ruckus and triggering teenage memories of the YouTube phenomenon song What Does the Fox Say?
So, you may be pleased to learn that experts have spilt the beans on a simple trick to keep them at bay – without resorting to harsh methods which could harm or injure these wild animals.
This unexpected method uses a simple household food and drink item to deter foxes away from your garden, and that product is an old teabag.
Yes, you did read that right. Instead of chucking them in the food recycling bin, your used teabags are a ‘genuinely effective way of deterring foxes from your garden', Calum Maddock, a gardening expert from Homehow, explains.
All you need to do is spray or dip your old tea bags into peppermint, eucalyptus oil or deep-heat muscle treatment – anything strong-smelling that uses natural derivatives.
Then, ‘plant’ your scented tea bags into problem areas of the garden where foxes tend to cause havoc, and cover with soil to hide them.
“Foxes have an incredibly powerful sense of smell,” Calum tells us. “So strong yet natural scents, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, act as a natural deterrent for the foxes, without causing any harm to them or your garden.”
“Simply put, foxes are repelled by such strong scents.”
If you don’t have the rub-on muscle treatment to hand or any essential oils, don’t fret. “This trick is not just reserved for peppermint or eucalyptus,” Calum says.
"As you can also use other essential oils or strong scents to keep foxes away.
“For example, lemon juice, boiled water infused with chopped garlic or chilli peppers are all other options to use," he explains.
However, it's important to know that these methods should be used with caution, in order to prevent harm to animals.
"While eucalyptus is perfectly safe, you should be cautious when using peppermint oil. If not diluted, peppermint oil can be toxic to foxes and other frequent garden visitors such as cats, especially if ingested.
"However, soaking peppermint oil in a tea bag and burying it a few inches deep, will weaken the intensity of the oil and will therefore avoid causing any harm to foxes. In addition, as this is still a natural method, this will not cause harm to your plants, garden, or the environment, as these are all completely natural materials that will only deter pests rather than cause harm," Calum explains.
The more you know!