One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially when one of them is less a man and more a wild animal. Raccoons and other critters can’t resist the scraps and leftovers most homeowners leave in their garbage bins, evidenced by their determination and the resulting mess of their efforts. The following tips may help prevent critters from turning your trash into a buffet.

The Can Itself

The first step in securing your trash is to choose a garbage bin that will best deter any unwanted entry. If possible, purchase a metal can with a lid that locks in place; plastic cans are built to be sturdy but can be chewed through over time. Of course, the point of buying an interlocking lid is to keep it locked at all times. This step alone should significantly help keep out any creature too small to deal with the combined weight and locking mechanism.

Secure the Lid

If your lid doesn’t lock in place, or you want to add some extra layers of security, consider tying down the trash can lid with a bungee cord. You could also use clamps or a chain and padlock. These would not only add more weight to the lid but also seal the can, keeping the smell of food contained. If you have nothing else available, simply put a heavy brick or cinderblock on top!

Stop the Smells

Raccoons and other animals only come around because of the sweet smell of rotting trash. If they keep getting into your garbage bin, you can try to eliminate what’s attracting them by minimizing the pungent odor. One solution is to double-bag whatever you put outside into the bin; this will hopefully keep the smell in and the critters away.

Another option is to simply mask the scent of trash with something less appealing. Most animals hate the smell of ammonia, raccoons included. Try spraying Windex or other glass cleaner around and in the garbage can. This should help eliminate the garbage smell and discourage anything from going near the can.

Animal Repellent

There are several types of commercial repellent available specifically for raccoons. If you’d prefer to use something from home, give hot peppers or mothballs a try. Both the scent and taste will make anything curious enough to come by regret its decision.

Lighting

Raccoons are just like any other burglar: they’re not fans of getting caught. Raccoons prefer darkness and might be startled by a bright light. Consider installing motion-detecting lighting near where you leave your trash cans. The bright flash can scare an animal into running away from the area.

Placement

Try to place your cans in an area inaccessible to raccoons and other animals. You obviously don’t want to keep the bins inside, but storing them in a garage or shed will prevent anything from getting to them without your permission. A simple door can be the most effective deterrent.

If you have any questions or concerns about waste removal or keeping your neighborhood clean, contact us.