Foxes Vandalize Town by Chewing Brake Lines and Defecating

In the wake of a bear going into a Lexus RX and a squirrel packing a stash of walnuts in a Chevy Avalanche, there’s more weird news from the world of animals and cars. Many foxes are wreaking havoc on a town in England by chewing brake lines and prolifically defecating.

Foxes are attracted to the smell of brake lines

Close-up view of fox
Fox | Wolfgang Kumm/Picture alliance via Getty Images

As reported by Autoblog, over the past six or seven months, dozens of foxes have tormented the town of Horsham, which is around 30 miles south of London. The band of foxes chew through brake and electrical wires and then defecate and vomit on the sidewalks of the town.

Why would a fox chew through brake and electrical wires? Smaller rodents are known to go in engine bays, so the foxes may go after these rodents. However, there is a more likely explanation. 

Several years ago, a similar incident happened in the nearby town of Tunbridge Wells. A wildlife official stated that “teenage fox cubs like to get under cars and snap away at all the cables when they are hyped up” and are attracted to the smell of brake fluid. However, due to its toxicity, the young foxes vomit the brake fluid and defecate prolifically from problems with digestion. 

Horsham residents have a difficult time dealing with the foxes

The foxes caused extensive damage in Horsham. On just one street in the town, around 30 vehicles were damaged. Some residents faced up to $12,000 in repairs. Children walk to school and have to navigate sidewalks filled with feces and vomit. Residents dealt with the problem by wrapping their cars with tarps, but it’s unclear how that could stop the wandering teeth of foxes. 

“It’s been so dreadful. There are no words to describe it. It’s a nightmare. These foxes go on frenzies. It is just hideous. We have counted about 36 foxes in a neighboring garden.”

– Heather Phillips, resident of Horsham

Residents of Horsham contacted the local environmental health department but didn’t receive any help. The environmental health department responded that it could only “help if someone was harming the foxes.” Council officials also told residents that “foxes were not vermin but were wildlife.”

How to prevent animals from going into your car

Foxes chewing brake lines is a rare occurrence. However, smaller animals like chipmunks and squirrels getting into the engine bay of a car is a more common concern, especially if you park your car outside. It’s also a more frequent occurrence during the colder months, as small animals search for shelter. 

You can avoid this problem by taking some necessary precautions. Clean your driveway regularly to free it of any materials that animals can use for nests. Don’t let your car sit for too long and drive it at least once every two weeks. Patch up any hole in your car, as animals can crawl through them to get warm. Before starting the car engine, knock on the hood to awaken any sleeping animals. Also, most animals don’t like the smell of peppermint, so use it as a deterrent. To do this, dab cotton balls with peppermint oil and put them in cans inside your car or the engine bay.

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