Part of the Bay Area News Group

A fox family is living under our house! Here are some neat photos.

By Gary Bogue
Friday, May 21st, 2010 at 6:36 am in Foxes, Gray foxes.

Gray fox cub. Photo by Lila Lippow, Martinez, CA
fox4 lila lippow, mtz

Hi Gary:
I’m hoping you can help me.  I live in the Alhambra Valley of Martinez.  About 2 months ago I realized I had a fox living under the house, and shortly after that I found that there were babies also.  I now have a mother and 4 little ones running all over the yard!

The babies are darling, and I don’t want them to be moved.  It is easy enough to just let them have the part of the yard that goes down to the creek, although I’m a little concerned about what sort of damage they might do under the house, seeing that they are pretty destructive in the yard!

Adult gray fox. Photo by Lila Lippow, Martinez, CA
fox2 lila lippow, mtz

I’ve enclosed some pictures of them, and I am wondering if you can tell me what sort of fox they are? I think they might be Kit Foxes, but I’m not sure.

And, do you have any idea how long it will be before they go off on their own?
When they finally do move out I’ll be sure to find how they are getting in and secure to opening so they don’t return in the future.
Lila Lippow, Martinez, CA

Dear Lila:
They are beautiful little gray foxes.

You are not alone in having foxes nest under your house or deck. Especially in Martinez for some reason.

They usually start to go out hunting with mom and dad at around 3 months or so. Once you see them heading out and disappearing for longer and longer periods, you can think about finding their entrance openings where they get under your house. Initially, I’d block all but one entrance hole. Then when you’re sure they are regularly out and about together, and also have grown to nearly the same size as the parent foxes, close the last entrance … after they have left to hunt for the evening. Then keep a close eye to make sure they are not digging back in. They’ll find a new spot to sleep for the night.

Gray fox cubs. Photo by Lila Lippow, Martinez, CA
fox3 lila lippow, mtz

Hi Gary:
Thank you! I’m glad to know who they are! Unfortunately the only way to get to the opening the foxes are using is by going into the crawl space under the house, which is just about 3 feet high. On the outside it is surrounded by deck.

So, I don’t think anyone will be brave enough to go down there as long as they are inhabiting it. I know they are under the house because the mother frequently “barks” at me from the screens, and I can hear them thumping under our family room. It sounds like it might be a while until they leave, as the baby pictures I sent you were just taken a few days ago.

We will just wait them out! I look at it as a rare experience to watch such lovely creatures every day. All the best.
Lila in Martinez

Adult gray fox. Photo by Lila Lippow, Martinez, CA
fox1 lila lippow, mtz

Life is good, isn’t it? /Gary

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

3 Responses to “A fox family is living under our house! Here are some neat photos.”

  1. Bill Says:

    I live in lafayette not far from Briones Regional park and just discovered that there are about two to three foxes making a house under our porch. I have three kids: 6, 4, and a 1 1/2 year old. Do I need to be concerned with these foxes biting or attacking my children? If so, what should I do with the foxes?

  2. Gary Kopel Says:

    Hi Gary, Hi Lisa

    I live on Sunrise Ridge Drive, right next to the where you live in Alhambra Valley, Martinez. I believe I saw one these guys other day, just below the hill behind my house sunning itself half out of a hole in the hill. There are many large holes there now, so I have to presume the holes are their new homes. When I saw it, it was like, wow, that is big. Could not tell what it was, other than it looked like a pudgy mall dog. I always thoug foxes were scrawny thin little guys with lots of hair. This looked more like short hair. Have to learn more about these guys.

  3. Bonnie Says:

    There are two baby grey foxes running rampant on my back deck in Orinda!! They use it for their “litter box” and they drag food to tear apart on the deck.

    While I don’t want them bothered or trapped, will they continue to nest under my deck? Should I have animal control take care of this problem now?

    They are beautiful and wonderful to watch, but creating real messes.

    Thanks for any help.

Leave a Reply