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The urban fox in Barnet

Foxes have inhabited Barnet for at least sixty years. They are now seen frequently in suburban gardens, parks, cemeteries and other open spaces throughout Barnet. In recent years they have become more urban as they adapt to living closer to humans.

Although many people are happy to see a fox, many regard them as a nuisance, even a pest, especially if they occupy a den under a building or undertake certain activities too close for comfort. Complaints from the public include fouling, digging up of lawns or flower beds, and causing a disturbance by barking, or shrieking as some people refer to it, at night.

Foxes are very adaptable animals and can be found in a wide range of habitats. The fox is primarily a carnivore, but also eats a variety of invertebrates and fruits. They can find plenty of food in towns where there are small mammals, like rats and mice, for them to prey upon. They are also highly effective scavengers. Waste food can be plentiful in towns. Late at night, the occasional fox can be seen scouring the area for discarded fast foods! In urban areas, about a third of their diet is scavenged waste or food deliberately provided by householders. Increasingly, some people are deliberately putting out food to attract foxes into their gardens. The easy availability of food is one of the reasons that urban foxes are abundant.

In urban areas foxes pose few problems other than being an occasional nuisance; in fact it could be argued that they perform a useful scavenging role by clearing up discarded take away foods at night, as well as keeping rodent numbers under control.

Although a few foxes can become relatively quite tame, the average fox is very timid and will flee from any person who approaches it. It is important that no attempt is made to encourage foxes to become tame, which could lead to problems for foxes and people alike.

Keeping Barnet clean of mice

Mouse control barnet

 

Mice are everywhere in Barnet but we can all help in the prevention of mice spreading. Probably the first place to do this is in the kitchen. Preventing mice from gaining access to the kitchen is vitally important in controlling the increase of mice. It is known that mice need places of harbourage as well as a good food and water supply to survive. All of these can be found in any kitchen in Barnet, whether it is residential or business. By preventing the ability for mice to gain access to your kitchen and finding harbourage under your kitchen units or in the cavity of your walls, you will automatically make it difficult for them to gather any nesting materials or foods. This alone can help in keeping the mice population down.

Some ways to prevent mice entering your kitchen include filling up any holes and gaps that a mouse can squeeze through. These may be found around pipes that go through walls and floors, at wall to floor junctions where the floor does not quite meet the wall or some concrete has broken away. Mice only need a hole or gap the size of a pen to be able to squeeze through. Mice sometimes make their way through cupboards via ill fitted or missing back panels or through large holes cut around small water pipes for washing machines and dishwashers. These can all be blocked up with tightly packed wire wool.

As the population if mice increase in Barnet, even if their food supply decreases, the need for space becomes greater, meaning that the mice will move on maybe to your neighbours. So helping to keep your home free from mice by blocking and filling holes and gaps, you could be helping to keep the population down around the area where you live.

A recently treated stretch of just three terraced houses in Barnet showed the following results. The first house was a reasonably clean house but was in a poor state of repair with holes and gaps in many places. Because of its cleanliness, there were only small signs of mice activity and only a small number of sightings reported. The second house was much different. It was very untidy with foodstuffs everywhere and was in a similar state of repair as the first with holes and gaps all over. There were much heavier signs of mice than the first, with droppings and smear marking on the pipes that they were travelling along. The tenant of the second house knew about the mice but had not bothered to report the problem. The third house was completely different to the first two. It was spotless. No dirt, no dust, no food debris anywhere and it was in a very good state of repair. All the holes and gaps had been sealed and blocked and because of this there were no signs of mice.

So by having a clean house with little or no food available and with no means of entry, we can all have a mouse free home in Barnet and help keep the population down.

 

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