What Smells Do Foxes Hate? (Top 15 Scents)

What Smells Do Foxes Hate? (Top 15 Scents)

Even though foxes are not pests in the usual sense, they can endanger your livestock, particularly poultry, pets, garden, and compost. However, there is no need to kill them immediately. It is enough to discover what smells do foxes hate, apply one of them, and attack their senses of smell to deter them from your property.

Let them know that people and dogs are around, and sprinkle chili or pepper on their paths. Since these wild animals always look for accessible food sources, the first step is never leaving food outside. Besides, block the entry, keep your garden fenced and clean, and keep poultry protected.

What Smells Do Foxes Hate? (Top 15 Scents) Pin1

Smells foxes hate

Peppermint oil
Orange peels
White vinegar
Tea bags
Hot and chili peppers
Ground or cayenne pepper
Human scents
Dog and wolf urine
Commercial fox repellents

Reasons to Repel Foxes

Reasons to Repel Foxes1

Foxes are medium-sized mammals from the Canidae family. Even though 25 species are considered foxes, only twelve are so-called true foxes. They live on all continents except Antarctica. You can recognize several types that live in the US and Canada, including:

  1. The most widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and its subspecies Eastern American red fox (Vulpes vulpes fulva)
  2. Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
  3. Diminutive island fox (Urocyon littoralis) living on the California Channel Islands
  4. Arctic (polar, white, snow) fox (Vulpes lagopus)
  5. Kit fox (Vulpes macrotis)
  6. Swift fox (Vulpes velox)

Interestingly, only red and gray foxes live near human settlements, including big towns in some cases. That makes finding the right repellent against these omnivores crucial.

Even though foxes have a keen sense of smell, it is not as sensitive as those in some other wild animals. However, it is good enough to allow them to follow the prey tracks, find food, and avoid predators. It makes sense to take advantage of that and use scents to drive them off your property.

By definition, any animal destructive to humans, livestock, and property is defined as a pest. Considering that, you can consider foxes nasty pests terrorizing urban, suburban, and rural environments and doing damage on:

  • Garden fruit and vegetables
  • Yard plants
  • Compost

Besides, foxes endanger livestock, particularly poultry, and leave an unbearable odor behind. 

What Smell Do Foxes Hate?

As expected, some scents are highly attractive to foxes, while others repel them. Your best shot is to find what types they hate to keep them away from your property.

1. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil1

This oil is an excellent natural fox repellent you can apply in various ways. One of the most convenient is to drip a few drops on cotton balls before placing them along the property fence. Besides, spraying a water solution on pieces of stuff and equipment in your yard is also highly efficient.

2. Orange peels

Orange peel and oil made of this citrus contain biodegradable D-Limonene acting as a natural insecticide. Besides deterring flies, ants, and caterpillars, it also repels slugs and foxes thanks to its intense smell.

You can prevent possible problems by placing orange or even lemon peel along the fence. Besides, bury some peels in the yard and garden to prevent foxes from making holes.

3. White vinegar

Foxes despise strong and sour vinegar smell because it disturbs their olfactory glands and reduces their smell capabilities. Make a water solution of white vinegar and spray buildings and equipment on your property.

Remember that rain removes traces of this solution, so you should reapply it occasionally. Another option is to leave open bowls of white vinegar or hang vinegar-soaked cloths at crucial points.

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4. Tea bags

Tea bags1

Foxes are sensitive to intense scents, so tea bags can be an excellent solution when you have a problem with these animals. Scatter them in the garden or place them in a shallow hole partially covered with twigs and leaves.

Another option is to make tiny holes in the plastic bottle, put tea bags inside, and place the bottle in the garden.

5. Hot peppers and chili peppers

Hot peppers contain capsaicin which provides a hot and spicy taste. Such a strong, pungent, and intensive active ingredient makes hot peppers an excellent and highly potent fox repellent.

Sprinkle the dried spice or mix it with white vinegar before applying it at critical points. Even though this method is highly efficient, you should know that the rain washes it off. Therefore, you have to repeat the process every now and then.

As much as foxes hate hot peppers, too hot chili is even more terrifying to them. They can’t stand this intense and pungent smell, so tossing them along the fence to stop pests from entering is enough.

6. Ground or cayenne pepper

The sharp and slightly sweet smell of white, black, and cayenne pepper works excellently in deterring foxes. They avoid this smell, but you should re-sprinkle this spice in your garden after rain and strong wind.

7. Garlic


The smell of garlic can’t deter foxes entirely, but they don’t like the smell of alliinase, a compound responsible for the specific scent this vegetable emits. In other words, garlic can’t stop the hungry foxes from entering your yard, but they will avoid your property when there is other available food without horrible smells.

Crush garlic cloves and arrange them along the fence or make a water solution with added white vinegar or chili peppers and spray it around. If you want to reach a better effect, you should cook it.

8. Cinnamon

Unlike people who find cinnamon scent pleasurable and attractive, foxes hate it. Therefore, sprinkle some powder along the fence to deter these pests from your property.

9. Curry

Foxes don’t like the smell of strong spices, so you can use curry to keep them away from your home. The best option is to sprinkle this orange powder at key entry points to keep them away.

10. Human scent

Human scent1

Foxes are nervous and shy in contact with humans and detect their presence long before people are aware of them. You can take advantage of the fact they stop acting when smelling human scent and keep them away by convincing them that someone is nearby.

For instance, foxes shy away from strong perfumes as the artificial smell they can’t stand, and you can deter these animals by spraying your favorite one around. Unfortunately, this solution provides only temporary results, so repeating the process is necessary.

On the other hand, there is a pretty disgusting but highly efficient way to keep foxes away from your property. Pouring male urine around your yard is enough to mark your territory.

If you find this way too much, tossing cut hair along the fence is one more efficient option. Even though you can’t notice such a subtle scent, foxes undoubtedly can.

11. Dog and wolf urine

Nowadays, urban foxes are used to human presence and sometimes fail to react to human urine. However, they still consider a male dog’s urine a more severe threat. There is also an option to buy wolf urine online and use it to deter foxes by convincing them that predators are nearby.

12. Mothballs

The mothball scent annoys foxes, so strategically placing a few in the yard makes them a highly efficient repellent. Be careful with this method since mothballs are toxic and can jeopardize kids’ and pets’ health.

13. Ammonia


A strong and pungent ammonia odor is exceptionally unpleasant and repulsive to foxes. You can spray this chemical around your yard if you don’t mind the smell. Be careful if you have kids and pets since they certainly won’t like such a horrible odor nearby.

14. Commercial fox repellents

Sometimes, natural methods fail, or you don’t have the time and will to tolerate foxes until these repellents fulfill your expectations. In such cases, commercial fox repellents widely available in stores, local garden centers, and online are the right solution for you.

Nowadays, numerous brands produce efficient chemicals that deter foxes, including fancy gadgets and standard premade powders and sprays. The most efficient are ammonia-based products that force foxes to stay out.

15. Pest control

Some people are surprised when hearing that professional pest control experts also deal with foxes, besides common pests like rodents. As you know, foxes are considered pests in a certain sense.

They threaten human property, domestic animals living there, and even small pets. Therefore, you can expect the pest control service to help eliminate foxes effectively when all other methods fail.

Additional Tips to Repel Foxes

Additional Tips to Repel Foxes1

Besides fragrant repellents with more or less power against foxes, you should protect your property in a few additional ways, such as:

  • Keep your property clean and remove food leftovers attracting foxes
  • Block all existing entries
  • Install a wire fence and fox-proof your yard and garden
  • Build a chicken coop if you want to breed poultry
  • Use light, motion-activated alarms, and ultrasonic repellents to deter foxes
  • Remove pet poop from the yard


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Foxes are wild animals, but they like approaching human properties, stealing food from people, and attacking poultry and pets. Luckily, there is no need to kill them.

Take advantage of smells they can’t stand and use them as repellents. For instance, human scent, ammonia, hot peppers, and spices are excellent for keeping these animals away from your yard.

What Smells Do Foxes Hate? (Top 15 Scents) pin2

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