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Fox Sightings: On the Rise in Mount Vernon, Fort Hunt?

Mount Vernon and Fort Hunt residents may see more foxes than usual this time of year.

Seen any foxes in the Mount Vernon and Fort Hunt area lately?

It’s normal this time of year to see foxes during the daytime hours in Fairfax County. Fairfax County Police spokesperson Lucy Caldwell told Patch that residents shouldn't be concerned if they see any foxes, since it's breeding season.

For more on area foxes, see "Surprise! 'Kits' Mistaken for Kittens"

”Some are out hunting more, also, there is not as much food available in winter,” she explained. “Also, if there is any construction in the area, foxes may be scared off and looking for new homes."

Caldwell added that unless residents notice a fox acting abnormal or aggressive, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you encounter a sick or injured fox, or one that seems to be acting unusual, contact the FCPD non-emergency number at 703-691-2131 and an animal control officer will be dispatched to your location. The animal should not be approached.

The county receives

For more information, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/animals/.

Lindy Dohmen January 08, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Ours come right up to the back door and will even come up the steps to the porch. They are looking healthy and beautiful!
Kelly Brown January 08, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Love watching the kits play along the border of our property and the cemetery... drives my terriers insane, however!
Greg Crider January 08, 2013 at 01:29 PM
It's nice to enjoy watching the foxes, but it's best they not come too close to the house. I have friends where the mother raised her kits under their porch. Turns out something killed them in the den (probably another fox) and the stench was overpowering for weeks. Whatever you do DON'T feed them or keep pet food outside.
Jeff Murphy January 08, 2013 at 02:00 PM
We suspect a fox killed our cat one night in that the only thing left in the driveway was a bunch of black fur. But, could also have been the cayote, not sure. In any case, bring your pets in at night, or else.
earl flanagan January 08, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Little Hunting Creek fox have enjoyed grooming their tails on our edge of the woods woodpile. A neighbor has hosted their lair under a rear deck. The only result I have noticed is that all of our rabbits are gone.
Wildermann January 08, 2013 at 03:48 PM
More than likely a coyote instead of a fox. Coyotes are larger than the red or gray fox and and are known for killing cats and small dogs. We have several fox dens in the Springbank community with many neighbors owning cats. Cats overall have not been missing except one large orange tabby that was observed being eaten by a bald eagle in a tree top several years ago. Mostly we have observed evidence of foxes eating song birds and small mammals like rabbits, squirrels, field mice and voles.
Barb January 08, 2013 at 03:58 PM
My neighbor saw a fox- definitely a fox on Sunday evening carrying a cat it just killed on Westmoreland and Washington St. So they do kill cats too! And it wasn't dark yet.
Wildermann January 08, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Score one for wildlife.
ET1221 January 09, 2013 at 06:27 AM
We have a fox den condo in our leaf mulch pile behind our tool shed. Haven't seen them around the house as they keep to the wooded area. But do love hearing their noises at night, they sound healthy and know they keep the small rodents to a minimum around here. Our cat is an indoor cat as she will always be! One note about foxes is that they can carry and spread scabies around the yard. We unfortunately leaned about it when our dog had a compromised immunity due to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (yes, dogs can get it too!). He was treated for it when we all developed the 'itchies'. But scabies can't reproduce or burrow in on humans luckily, so the 'itchies' stopped when that generation died after a couple of days.
Cynthia Sloan January 19, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Every evening I feed "my" foxes. With their full bellies they could give a care about my fat cats. They are just trying to make a living like everyone else. And with habitat dwindling and traffic increasing (in speed and numbers), they can use a helping hand. I treat the scabies with Ivermectin in the food quite successfully.
Wildermann January 19, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Feeding wildlife is generally discouraged although there are of course inconsistencies on this issue with many citizens using bird and squirrel feeders in their yards. Seemingly harmless but if poorly managed, feeding birds can create an attraction for mice, rats and other wildlife like raccoons and deer. As I recall a few years ago, a MV resident on Little Hunting Creek was feeding geese and a neighbor felt the geese were attracted to the area resulting in the geese defecating on his pier thus creating a mess he would otherwise not have to deal with. Here is the link to that story http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/13/AR2005111301165.html . Also go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/animals/wildlife/management/wildlife-conflicts.htm and scroll down to see some rationale for not feeding wildlife. Another link is specific to fox is at http://www.aaanimalcontrol.com/professional-trapper/howtogetridoffox.html Keep in mind that what you enjoy doing in an instance like this may offend a neighbor that has a different view. Some HOA's may also have rules exclusive to the community regarding the feeding of wildlife.
Jason Strong January 27, 2014 at 12:47 PM
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