The eastern United States had most of its old growth forests cut down in the United State’s early history. Wood was used for fuel, and building material and so was in high demand in our early history. It has only been relatively recently, with the founding of the national park service, state parks, and the environmental movement that secondary growth started to reclaim the great stretches of land that had been made barren by logging. However, as secondary growth spread, so to did our cities and suburbs and with the growth of both wild animals that were previously rarely seen are now becoming more common placed. Foxes are one of those species of animals that had hitherto been much rarer, but are becoming increasingly common in suburban and even urban environments.
Foxes of Maryland
There are two species of fox native to Maryland, the red fox and the gray fox. Red foxes are the largest species of fox and their species is distributed worldwide. Typically colored with a red back and face with white chin, underbelly, and tail tip and black socks, there are much other colorations due to mutations from region to region. Red foxes make their dens underground.
Gray foxes are smaller, with gray mask and back, orange around their shoulders and ears, with white chin and underbelly, and a black tail tip. They distinguish themselves among foxes, and most of their larger family the canids by being able to climb trees. Only one other canid species can climb trees, and that’s the Asian raccoon dog. Gray foxes make their dens up in trees.
Both species of fox are omnivores, meaning they eat meat and plant material and are adept hunters. They also both have a natural instinct to avoid humans unless they’ve been habituated by being fed by humans. Red foxes have adapted better to urbanization, where as gray foxes like to stay in heavily forested areas, so if you come into contact with a fox, it’s more likely to be a red fox.
Foxes During the Day
Though there’s long been a stigma about seeing a fox during the day meaning it’s rabid, that could not be further from the truth. Red foxes are often active during the day, as they will hunt prey, like squirrels and chipmunks that are only active during the day. This is particularly true of mother foxes who are tending to their kits.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t foxes with rabies. If you a fox acting unusual during the day, walking like its drunk, partial paralysis, circling, self-mutilation, aggression, or acting unnaturally tame are all signs of rabies. Though rabies in foxes is rare, you should always be careful, and never approach a wild animal.
More common and foxes is mange. Mange is caused by microscopic parasites that can result in patchy or full body hair loss. Mange can also drive foxes to be more active during the day, as they lose fur, and start to starve they become more desperate for food.
Need Fox Removal?
Call Shumaker Animal Control. Shumaker Animal Control is a twenty-five year veteran of the animal control profession and knows how to detect and properly remove foxes from in and around your Maryland Home. We can also patch any holes dug by foxes and make sure they can’t get back under your fence or under your porch.
If you have any questions about animal removal, contact Shumaker Animal Control by calling (443) 854-8072 or click here today!