How to Keep Raccoons Out of Trash Cans

It's common to underestimate the abilities and resourcefulness of the average pack of raccoons, but it when it comes to invading your garbage, it seems like nothing can stop them.

It is possible to keep these roaming critters out of your garbage cans, and with some proactive measure we hope your trash will be left undisturbed.

#1. The Easy Solution

The easiest solution is often the best solution, and the easiest way to keep raccoons out of your trash is to keep it somewhere they can't reach it. It likely goes without saying, but if you have an enclosed garage or shed where your trash cans can be stored until the morning of garbage day, this will be the best method. If you can't, follow along with the next few steps.

#2. Get metal trash cans

If raccoons are a serious issue in your area, it is often best to avoid plastic trash cans. Metal cans can be harder to find, but raccoons can (and do) chew through some plastic cans. The latching mechanisms on metal trash cans are often better sealed as well.

#3. Secure the trash can with clamps

Most hardware stores sell some sort of additional clamps or lock that can fit tightly on garbage cans. If you cannot find any that fit yours, you may want to try bungee cords, but these are more raccoon-resistant than raccoon-proof.

#4. Seal your trash can lid

It's one this to secure the lid, but if it doesn't seal well against the can, raccoons can (and do) pry the lid off from any small gap they can find. If your lid doesn't seal any more, find some rubber tubing you no longer need, like an old garden hose. Cut along it and run it around the rim of the can to create a realy tight seal.

#5. Use raccoon repellents

Ammonia or bleach is often highly effective at repelling raccoons. Keep a spray bottle on hand and spray around the can every few days. The offensive scent should help, but if it is not enough there are many commercially available raccoon repellents on the market. Some work better than others, so try to find reviews of the product before you purchase. Some natural alternatives include cayenne pepper flakes and baby powder. Please do not use naptha flakes or mothballs, even if they are still legal in your area. They are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and can be especially harmful to children and pets.

#6. Shine light on the problem

Consider installing motion-detection lighting wherever you keep your garbage cans. This method requires a little more work and investment, but it will be beneficial to you when navigating your yard at night too.

#7. Call Nimby!

If you're still having regular problems with raccoons, then they may be nesting in your yard, or worse, in your attic. A raccoon problem is often mistaken as a common nuisance and not handled accordingly. If your pest problem is beyond your control, call the experts at Nimby Pest Management. Our thorough property inspection will find potential nest areas that can be repaired, and our live-trapping programs can remove the problem raccoon from your yard permanently.