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Does Vinegar Deter Foxes? (Read This First!)

Foxes, who belong to the same family as dogs, can often become an issue to homeowners who live near the woods and are often seen as pests as they can sometimes pose a threat to the livestock, garden, and even the pets. 

At times, it can become important to take necessary steps to keep foxes away from your garden and livestock. While there are many ways to deter foxes, one of the most useful methods is by pouncing on their sense of smell. 

Vinegar to deter foxes

You can use vinegar to deter foxes. Foxes, having a very heightened sense of smell, can’t stand some scents which include vinegar. You can mix it up with chili pepper and garlic as well for a stronger effect. The method of using vinegar to deter foxes requires reapplying quite a lot. 

Foxes can pose a threat to anything starting from your livestock to any plants in the garden. If a sly fox or group of foxes set their target on your garden, you must look for ways to deter them, or else they may end up making a mess out of your plants. 

The best way to deter foxes is going for natural ways to discourage them from entering your garden or backyard. Bear with us and find out if the following vinegars can deter fox from your territory –

Malt vinegar: 

Malt vinegar is made from fermented barley hence it has a sweet, nutty smell. It is less acidic compared to other kinds of vinegar. 

Since the only reason foxes are disturbed by the presence of vinegar is because of its acidic smell, malt vinegar might not be that effective in this regard. However, you can try using it when there are no other options as they still won’t like the smell. 

Cider vinegar: 

Cider vinegar has so many amazing benefits and uses. The idea of using cider vinegar to keep pests away is quite popular. There are many pests that can’t stand the exceptionally pungent odor coming from apple cider vinegar. 

As most people have cider vinegar at home due to its ability to bring great taste to various recipes, it can be easier to use this to deter some common pests both indoors and outdoors.

Cider vinegar has similar acetic acid content as white or distilled vinegar. You can try using it by mixing it with some water and spraying it around their visiting areas. Also, you can pour some into bowls and place them there. 

White vinegar:

Keeping a bottle of white vinegar at home can help you in so many ways. You may be aware of the amazing cleaning hacks that include the use of white vinegar. You can use it to deter foxes too. 

It’s possible due to the acetic acid content of white vinegar that produces a strong scent that foxes detest. 

Foxes have heightened olfactory glands. They don’t have very good eyesight hence they depend a lot on their sense of smell to find potential food sources and can’t stand strong odors. 

As they are always actively using their sense of smell to look for food and maintain a safe distance from predators, the scent coming from white vinegar will immediately pounce on their senses and make them stay away from the area. 

How effective is vinegar for deterring foxes?

Foxes can be a threat to your livestock and pets. Even if you don’t have any of these, you may still be interrupted by a fox fouling, urinating, or digging holes in your garden. Natural repellents are the best when you’re trying to deter any animals coming near your area. 

Using vinegar can be quite an effective solution for deterring foxes

Vinegar has acetic acid in them which causes a strong smell. Foxes don’t like strong scents like vinegar that confuse their sense of smell. So you can easily incorporate vinegar in your homemade fox repellent recipes. 

You can either use it separately along with water or mix it up with garlic and chili peppers to give off an even stronger scent. The effectiveness of vinegar can vary. 

You will have to reapply the solutions over and over again as the odor goes away with time and also rain can wash away all of it. 

How much vinegar to use for foxes?

Vinegar can work as a great deterrent to use for keeping foxes away. There is no fixed amount when it comes to using vinegar. You can choose to use any amount depending on the availability. But you may need to keep reapplying for long-term effects. 

However, while using any type of deterrent, it is important that you consider the safety of your pets as well as the foxes. 

The goal is to make the foxes lose their interest in coming near the garden or backyard while not causing any harm to them. White vinegar is considerably one of the safest solutions as it is harmless but quite effective. 

If your area is frequently visited by multiple foxes, you may want to pour vinegar into a few bowls and jars and place them near the areas that they visit the most. Place one or two bowls near their entry point as well. 

If they come near them, the strong scent will strike upon their senses and they will choose to stay away.

How to use vinegar to deter foxes?

Using vinegar is a very affordable way of deterring foxes as most households have vinegar already. You can use vinegar in multiple ways. 

Pouring white vinegar in bowls and jars:

This is the easiest way of all. For this, you don’t have to mix the vinegar with anything. Just take some fresh bowls and jars and pour white vinegar into them. You need to place these bowls and jars in areas where the foxes come and go regularly. 

Like near the backyard chicken coops, livestock shades, garden, and the entry points. 

Making a spray with vinegar and water:

This is another simple but effective way. You need to take a spray bottle and mix some white vinegar and water by pouring them in. Shake well and spray the mixture around the areas they mostly visit. You will have to reapply this for a long-lasting effect.

Making a spray with vinegar, chili pepper, and garlic:

You can also incorporate chili pepper and garlic in vinegar to create a strong pungent odor that foxes will dislike to be anywhere around. Foxes don’t like the smell coming from hot peppers and garlic. 

You can add hot pepper powder and crushed garlic into white vinegar and make a spray. This will also need reapplying. 

What smell will keep foxes away?

The following natural smells can keep fox away –


Chili pepper and cayenne pepper are two of the peppers that foxes dislike. The main compound that does the magic here is capsaicin. It gives these peppers that hot, burning sensation and a strong scent that will irritate the sense of smell of the foxes.

You can mix hot pepper powder with water to spray around your property. Or you can add it to other repellent recipes to enhance their ability to deter foxes. 


Another ingredient, usually reserved for cooking, can help keep foxes away. Vinegar has acetic acid that creates a strong odor that foxes don’t like. 

Among different types of vinegar, white or distilled vinegar works the best to deter foxes as they have a high acetic acid content and smell the worst. 


Another smell that foxes can’t stand is the smell coming from garlic. While garlic is a staple in many recipes that we prepare at home, the scent of crushed garlic can irritate a fox. The best way to use it is by crushing some raw garlic and boiling it in water. 

To create a more pungent odor, you can boil them in vinegar instead. Then you can pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray around the area of your house and garden where you’ve seen foxes visiting frequently. 

Predator’s urine: 

Foxes mark their territory by urinating around an area. They also sense the presence of other animals by their distinct smell. Foxes like to stay away from most other animals. 

Therefore, a great way of deterring foxes can be by using some of the predator’s urine that foxes are scared of. 

Male human urine also works as foxes don’t like to go near areas where there is a strong human scent. Now, if you have small pets, spraying urine near their roaming areas can upset or disturb them. So it may be wise to go with other options in that case. 

You can also try commercially sold repellents. 

Final Thoughts 

You can use vinegar to deter foxes. White vinegar works the best due to its high acetic acid content and pungent odor. You can use vinegar separately or add it to other fox repellent recipes. Foxes have a heightened sense of smell and can’t stand the strong pungent odor coming from vinegar.