What is the difference between urban and rural foxes? - PEST UK

Providing pest control services in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Midlands, West Sussex, Wiltshire. Est. 1985.

What is the difference between urban and rural foxes?

In Pests

What is the difference between urban and rural foxes?

As one of the most recognisable wild animals in Britain, foxes typically lived in rural areas, but since the 1930s, they have increasingly moved into our towns and cities.

Both urban and rural foxes, depending on where you live, can cause a nuisance. Both are loud, messy and can cause a lot of damage to gardens and/or property.

But what’s the difference between urban and rural foxes? 


1. What they eat

The biggest difference between the two foxes is what they eat. 

As natural hunters, rural foxes feed on rodents, rabbits and birds, as well as fruit, berries and wild vegetables. 

Urban foxes on the other hand will eat whatever they can find. With a scavenger mindset, urban foxes dig through rubbish bins eating any leftovers or food waste from the human population they set their snouts on.


2. Where they live and sleep

Secondly, another noticeable difference between urban and rural foxes is where they live and build dens. 

Rural foxes like to live in forested areas, under bushes or tree routes where they dig burrows or dens. These will provide them with shelter for themselves and their young, and a place to store their food.

Although urban foxes do also dig burrows and dens, theirs can be found at the bottom of people’s gardens. They will try to build their dens in areas hidden from humans where they won’t be disturbed – such as under sheds or on the side of railway embankments. 


3. Their behaviour

Finally, one of the most striking contrasts between urban and rural foxes is the difference in their behaviour. 

Rural foxes are still considered wild animals and behave as you’d expect wild animals to behave. They are shy, skittish and incredibly afraid of humans. Rural foxes can also become aggressive if they are approached by humans or feel threatened. 

In comparison, urban foxes have adjusted to city life and many have lost their instinctive fear of humans. Adapting from hunters to scavengers, rural foxes are curious and bold animals that sometimes don’t mind being approached by other animals or humans. Although many rural foxes appear tame we recommend still not approaching them.

While both rural and urban foxes can cause a huge nuisance, it is up to you to decide if foxes have become a pest on your property. Foxes can present an ongoing problem and cause significant damage, in which case they should be dealt with. 

Learn more about foxes and how we treat them here.

If you think you may have a fox issue or would like some advice, call us on 0330 100 2811 or email services@pestuk.com


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PESTUK are full members of the BPCA, the governing body for pest control in the UK. Using a BPCA member company ensures you have a qualified, fully insured company treating your pest problem. Therefore, with PEST UK you can have peace of mind knowing that you are dealing with a professional pest control service that is near you.


PESTUK have offices in Bracknell, Edgware, Salisbury, St Albans, Stevenage, Swindon, Thame, Wantage, Ware, WatfordWoking and more.

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