Best fox trap, bait, and how to set one: 2023 guide

fox near a fence and structure
The best rap for catching a fox is a live trap with bait. Foxes will be attracted to pet food, fish, and any other meat. Using traps to catch and relocate them is a safe option for fox removal. 

Foxes can be a nuisance when they enter your property. In order to trap a fox, you need to be knowledgeable on how to do it first.

Do fox traps work?

Fox traps work when set up correctly and thoughtfully. Setting up the trap can be time-consuming and requires labor. Being experienced in trapping or having experienced someone with you, such as a professional trapper, will make the job easier and safer.

Sometimes foxes are too clever for the trap and won’t be fooled into going inside of it, so you need to take extra steps in putting the trap in an unsuspecting area such as against a wall and cover it with vegetation. 

Sometimes the trap will catch another wildlife animal you weren’t trying to catch. For example, your fox trap may end up with a skunk, groundhog, or raccoon. This could be helpful, though, for eliminating other nuisance animals on your property.

You can use multiple methods to catch a fox in a live trap, so if one approach isn’t working, try another one.

fox trap

Is fox trapping acceptable/humane?

Live fox trapping is more humane than leg hold traps. Leg hold traps inflict pain and discomfort.

While padded leg hold traps are less painful than steel traps, they can still hurt the animal. These types of traps are usually used when the animal is going to be killed. 

Live fox trapping is humane when done correctly.

Don’t leave the live animal in the cage for longer than twenty-four hours. Relocating the fox without speaking with wildlife or pest control first is inhumane.

You want to ensure you release the fox correctly to avoid disrupting what could be a pregnant mother fox. You also don’t want to release the fox in an area not suitable for its needs.

While live fox trapping is a humane option for fox removal, try preventative options first, such as DIY fox repellent. If the fox is still coming onto your property and causing issues, use the catch and release method rather than poisoning it or killing it another way. 

What is the best trap for a fox?

A live cage trap is best for a fox as long as the cage is spacious and set up correctly.

A wire mesh cage is an effective and humane option for catching a fox. Ensure that the inside of the actual cage is safe for the fox.

The wires should be smooth with no sharp edges. Buy a cage with a handle so you can easily relocate the fox once you catch it. 

fox in a box

How do you set up a fox trap?

Setting up the fox trap correctly is essential for catching a fox.

You may also wonder what to do once you’ve caught the fox. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Inspect your area to identify where the fox is most active. For example, if your flower bed is ruined and you see fox tracks in your garden, that is where you will put the animal trap.
  2. Place your trap on a leveled surface. Wear gloves when you handle the trap, so you don’t leave your scent. A fox will avoid human scent.
  3. Place bait inside the trap, putting it at the back so that the fox will step on the trigger as it does approach the bait. 
  4. Set the trap by following the instructions that come with your store-bought trap. 
  5. Check the trap occasionally to see if you’ve caught a fox. If there is a fox or another critter caught in the trap, don’t leave it in there too long. You don’t want the animal to suffer from heat or cold conditions, hunger, and dehydration. 
  6. Contact your local animal control center to ask about relocating the fox. There are typically rules on how far it needs to be taken, where it should be released, and what time of day or night it should be let go. 
  7. Approach the cage slowly, talk in a calm voice, and put a towel or other covering over the cage. Use gloves, and don’t put your fingers in the cage. 
  8. Open the cage to release it in a grassy area with a water source about twenty miles from your home. 
  9. Take preventative measures to avoid having a fox problem again. 

Will a fox go into a live trap?

Sometimes foxes can spot a man-made trap and won’t go into it.

You can cover the trap with greenery to make it more attractive to the fox. Some companies also sell green traps, which are more appealing to foxes than the reflective silver steel ones.

Step trapping is a method in which you gain the trust of a fox. Place the trap and then put bait outside of the trap. Once the fox has eaten the bait, wait until the next night to put the bait closer to the trap.

Keep putting bait closer to the trap each night until you put the bait inside the cage. This method will lure the fox to eventually get inside the cage to get the food you’ve set.

Another method is to set a dirt hole trap. Dig a hole and bury your bait. Then place the cage over the bait you’ve buried. This is another idea to entice the fox to enter the cage. Foxes love to dig.

fennec fox digging a hole

What size should a fox trap be?

The fox trap cage should be extra long so that an adult fox will fit comfortably and not get injured. The trap should be at least forty-two inches long and fifteen inches wide.

Having a bigger cage will also ensure that if it catches a small animal other than a fox, such as a small dog, that animal will not be harmed.

What is the best bait for fox?

Foxes will be attracted to cat food, fish, and any type of meat. You can use wet dog food or fish-smelling cat food. If you set out meat as bait, it can be raw or cooked.

Foxes also love eggs and sugar-coated vegetables.

Putting bait in the trap is crucial to catching a fox. Foxes will eat just about anything, but putting one of their favorite foods in the trap will increase your chances of the fox approaching it.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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