16 May 2008

Outfoxing their rivals

Today at work a colleague approached me asking, "Do you know where I can get some fox urine?" (Yes, I do get lots of questions like that from coworkers).


I resisted the temptation to say, "Take the little guy to the neighborhood pub, buy him a few rounds of Heineken.....then hand him a paper cup and stand back!"
Nor did I say, "Put on a white coat, and hang out a shingle that says 'Fox Urology Office, Our Fees Won't Leave You Pissed' "
And there was even one more smartypants phrase of mine that didn't leak out: "Go out, kidnap a fox and stuff him into a pair of diapers and make him drink a few liters of spring water."

Of course I didn't say any of that. I knew this was really about squirrels. Squirrels in someone's attic. Squirrels in someone's garden. Squirrels someplace - anyplace - they weren't wanted. And because I have long been a proponent of convincing those who would seek to repel unwanted squirrels to do so gently, and using natural methods, when this subject of urine came up, I was happy to go with the flow.

Foxes are natural predators of squirrels and so, if your nose can handle the less-than-golden scent that comes with this byproduct of the fox excretory system, you have what is truly one of the world's most golden liquid assets. A squirrel smelling this stuff will usually move on, having been outfoxed.

We who love squirrels but don't want them getting into trouble - or getting hurt by people who'd rather not have them around (like my coworker) - are all for singing the praises of incontinent foxes.

Fox urine, anyone? Oui, Oui!

20 comments:

Brenda LVT said...

Wow! I could of helped out this cause alot this winter.I overwintered a fox in my house until it recovered from her injuries. :)

squirrelmama said...

That must have been an incredible experience (and I'm sure you had more than a trickle of that wonderful fox output). I hope the little female recovered well and went on to the rest of her life, thanks to you! (She might have gotten a little suspicious if you'd asked her to fill the little paper cup, however. You might have ended up paying Urinary Royalties of 15 percent or more!)

goprairie said...

as a landscape designer, i get these questions: "What should I do about the skunk who has a den under my shed?" my answer? "Appreciate your good fortune." We harbored a groundhog for a few years, then a skunk, and then a fox family. We had kits playing in the yard. And dead animal and bird parts as they are pretty messy when the adults bring the kits food and they play with it more than eat it at first. But what a delight all of it has been!

squirrelmama said...

I love your philosophy. Absolutely! The animals after all ARE part of the landscape, even if not by human design. You sound like my kind of professional landscape designer, keep up the great work and spread the news that animals really ARE what makes the scene so beautiful.

Joe Gelb said...

sad the war on nature! keepin the squirrels and deers out is just sayd!

squirrelmama said...

Right you are, especially since we are part of nature too!

DBlock said...

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mrinz said...

I am learning lots of interesting facts from your blog!

The last one not so useful however for a person living in a 'fox-less' and squirrel-less' country!

dana wyzard said...

You are in a list of blogs that I visit daily. I'm just now realizing that not everyone blogs over the weekends. Waaaaa. But I am having a fun and continuing blogger participation post at my site and I hope you will participate. Eventually I will figure out a type of gift to be sent to some of the bloggers in appreciation for their contributions.

Gregory of Troy said...

This is a great tip!

I do like nature and I think animals have a right to explore the world, but I hate it when a plant in the garden just gets torn to bits by the thug squirrels who have nested in my yard. I came home one day last week to find no less than 8 of the squeeking little guys running all over my yard! And since getting a pet fox is probably out of the question, urine seems to be the answer!

squirrelmama said...

Humane methods are always best, glad you are willing to try this. You will have to reapply it, of course, after any rainstorm.

By the way, if you want to keep squirrels out of your garden, here is another tip: set up a feeding station for them on the other side of your yard or property. You will find the little "squeakers" to be immensely entertaining. We used to feel as you did, that they were invaders stealing our veggies and our bird seed and once we set up a feeding station, that cleared up the problem.

my backyard said...

The powdered kind seems to work better than the liquid kind. Not as stinky, either.

squirrelmama said...

Ah I have seen the powdered kind and wondered about it. Thanks - I just learned something new!

Anonymous said...

excellent use of puns! :)

Charles Towne said...

Dear Squirrelmama, Chaz here.
For years it has been my honor to live in close proximity to skunks, both spotted and striped. They are delightful little guys and quite curious. On more than one occasion I have stood very still as a mama skunk led her babies up to the strange tree and tried to turn over the strange trees shoes in order to discover some tasy grub or whatever. While this bit of prying and pulling is going on it is wise not to make any hasty moves for obvious reasons. For the last few years we have had a deficit of skunks here in Central Florida, probably due more to the terrible toll the automobile has taken on the population than anything else. Hey, long live the skunk! (The four legged variety that is.) Chaz
www.chaz-writersheart.blogspot.com

Jeanne Gibson said...

Do you know if this remedy would work on the neighborhood cats?

squirrelmama said...

I don't know anything about cats but I expect that foxes are considered their predators too, and if cats have strong sniffers, this might definitely be off-putting to them. It is worth a try.

Rikky said...

i just wanted to say that maybe more people should read this blog. at my house we have is evil hybrid of squirrel and chipmunk (it has the size and markings of a chipmunk but the tail of sqirrels) and my dad tends to shoot at them...from the kitchen window. we have tried to break my father of this bad habit but it has not worked thus far. but dno't be alarmed no squirrels have been harmed. my dad is a notoriously bad shot and they are smart enough to stand still, thus they are never hit.

squirrelmama said...

Please, please tell your Dad to put down his gun and think about the fox urine or other methods. It is not worth taking a life. Especially these little lives...the animals already have such a hard time of it in this world. Thank you for writing Rikki and keep us posted if you have success with your Dad, ok?

weezilgirl said...

I cannot believe that you people don't know how fox urine is obtained.....imagine how it would feel if you had your bladder compressed to the point of unbearable pain, for enough urine to run, let's say, gorillas away.

So, instead of live and let live, you're joking about obtaining fox pee.

I'm won't be back here again!