FOX problems in Rustington and Littlehampton could be a thing of the past after a wildlife group put forward suggestions on how to deal with the issue.
West Sussex Wildlife Protection is advising affected residents that there are more humane methods of dealing with foxes.
The group’s founder, Simon Wild, pointed out that efforts made to cull foxes by calling in extermination services was “futile” and “ultimately seeded with failure”.
He said: “Hiring exterminators in an attempt to curb a supposed fox problem is utterly pointless.
“Killing foxes will only create a vacant territory for more foxes to move in and inhabit.
“It’s a proven fact that when foxes are culled in winter, for instance, there will be a greater influx in their numbers, more so than before, the following spring.
“This paradox is down to the remainder having more cubs.”
The group, which has been running for more than 20 years, is now urging people to use a wider range of methods to deal with foxes.
“There are many ways to combat a fox problem. One trick is to get hair from a dog grooming parlour and place this at entry points.
“Foxes will believe there is a larger animal nearby and will be reluctant to enter the garden.”
Simon also said there were many commercial products that would do a similar job, from an aluminium ammonium sulphate powder which is dissolved in water and sprinkled around the garden, to an infra-red device fitted to the end of a normal hose pipe that activates the hose and releases a jet of water.
“The main thing to remember is that foxes were here long before we were. People should be more tolerant towards one of the few wild mammals we have visiting our gardens.”
He claimed that there were also ways to combat many of the hygiene issues associated with foxes.
“People could place worming tablets or medication for mange into a slice of bread or some left-over food, for example. We should learn to live and let live and really try to enjoy the foxes.”