Generally speaking, the trash you set outside your home isn’t of much interest to other humans. Your garbage will sit there and wait for trash day to roll around, when they will be picked up and hauled off. That is, unless an animal gets to them first. There are two types of critters specifically that tend to be interested in the trash that city-dwellers place out by the curb—rats and raccoons. In this article, we’d like to provide some helpful tips to keep raccoons out of your trash.

Contain Aromas

You know that smell that comes from the garbage after it has been sitting around for a couple of days? That smell that reminded you to take the garbage out of the house in the first place? While that might be offensive to you, it’s an alluring aroma to raccoons. These little critters have a strong sense of smell, and the odor put off by your garbage will likely be the first thing to draw them over. While you can’t necessarily stop your garbage from stinking, you can use quality garbage bags that are designed to contain odor. For particularly pungent loads, consider using two bags to keep that stink as tightly contained as possible.

Don’t Underestimate Their Skills

If you use a standard trash can with a metal lid that you place on top, don’t think that’s going to be enough to keep a raccoon from making a meal of your trash. Simply setting a lid on top is unlikely to hold a raccoon at bay for long. To use this type of trash can effectively, one option is to take a bungee cord and stretch it through the handles and across the lid to add some tension to the closure. Even so, raccoons are crafty, and this approach may not be enough to ensure your trash is raccoon-proof.

Use Light to Your Advantage

When given the option, raccoons would rather work for their food in the dark. They are nocturnal creatures by nature, and they are more comfortable in the darkness than they are in the light. So, as a step toward keeping them away from your garbage, shining some light on the area can help. Of course, you may not want to keep a light on all night, every night, so consider adding a motion-sensing light that will pop on when an animal creeps into the area. These types of lights are not particularly expensive and are relatively easy to set up. With enough light, the raccoons in your neighborhood may decide to look elsewhere for a meal.

Add Animal Repellant

You can purchase animal repellant in liquid form and spray it on and around the trash you are putting out. Quickly spraying down a bag of trash in accordance with the directions on the animal repellant container may be enough to turn raccoons away. Different repellants work in different ways, so you might need to try a few versions before you find one that is particularly effective against the raccoons in your neighborhood.

Use A Trash Enclosure

CITIBIN keeps rodents out. If you do opt to use a trash enclosure, be sure to invest in a quality product, like CITIBIN. If you don’t want to deal with raccoon trash troubles any longer, consider ordering a CITIBIN today. Made with quality, durable materials, our trash enclosure does a great job of keeping critters at bay. Just take a look at how it deals with rats: Thanks to the high-quality materials we use to create each unit and the attention to detail that has gone into the design, we’re sure you will be impressed with the performance of your CITIBIN for years to come!

How To Keep Raccoons Away from Your Trash

There are quite a few different methods for keeping raccoons away from your trash, and it’s a good idea to try all of them and see which ones work the best for your particular home. Changing the raccoon repellent methods now and then will also keep new raccoons from showing up and getting around your deterrents.

1. Clean Your Trash Cans

Raccoons have an excellent sense of smell, and they’ll have a much easier time finding your garbage cans if they’re dirty. Rotten food and fermenting fruits and vegetables will leave residue on your cans and make them more attractive to raccoons and other pests like cockroaches. Spray your cans with soap and water every time they get emptied to ensure they won’t alert any critters of food sources.

2. Secure Your Trash Bins

Keeping your trash cans locked away in a storage cabinet is one of the best ways to keep raccoons out of them. Storage cabinets can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and will match almost any outdoor decor. By locking your cans away after you take the trash out, you can be sure that no animals will be able to get in, and they can be a lot more raccoon-proof.

3. Double Bag Trash

If you have trash that is especially pungent or contains a lot of food scraps, it’s best to double bag it. While a second bag won’t deter raccoons from getting into the trash, it will contain the smell much better than a single bag will. This is especially true if you use scented trash bags. Make sure they are sealed all the way up at the top and that both of the bags are closed tightly.

4. Bungee Cord Your Can Lids

If you don’t want to purchase a trash can storage cabinet, you can also secure your trash can and recycling bin lids with bungee cords. Raccoons are incredibly dextrous, but they will have trouble getting the cords off the lids and won’t get to the trash inside. Bungee cords come in many different sizes, so you should be able to find some that will fit your cans perfectly so you can use them on trash day.

5. Sprinkle Ammonia on Garbage Bags

Ammonia is one of the best ways to neutralize any smells on your garbage bins or trash bags. A little liquid ammonia sprinkled on your bags before they get put into the cans will cut any smells that might be attractive to raccoons. It also works as an animal repellent and will help keep mice, rats, and other rodents away. There are a number of rodent repellents on the market that will usually work to keep raccoons away from your trash as well.

6. Eliminate Standing Water

While raccoons are very focused on food, they are also always on the lookout for water sources. Not only do they drink it, but they also use it to grip food, so they need water to rinse off dirt and dust and get a better handle on it. If your front or backyard has any standing water, it’s best to eliminate it as soon as possible. Planters and buckets should all be turned over during heavy rains, and it’s always a good idea to install proper drainage in your yard.

7. Use Motion Detection Lights

Raccoons are primarily nocturnal animals that look for food at night and sleep during the day. Because of this, they are especially averse to bright lights. Motion detector lights in your backyard around your trash cans can be an excellent deterrent against raccoons. You can also install bright string lights around your cans and keep them plugged in overnight. 9 Ways to Keep Raccoons Out of Garbage Cans If you’ve ever had an encounter with a raccoon, you likely have plenty of opinions about these furry pests. They can range in size, from roughly cat-sized to Tony Soprano levels of girth. This guide will give you some tips and tricks to keep these fluffy gangsters out of your trash, and what you can do to keep clean and tidy. How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Garbage

1. Know your enemy

Raccoons are omnivorous mammals that can weigh anywhere from 11 to 57 pounds. They eat basically anything, and have a wide range of areas that they can call their habitat, and can also roam around quite freely. This means a couple of things:

  1. They will eat trash if it’s available to them, and they can live in a wide area, so you shouldn’t feel too bad about kicking them off your property.
  2. They have very dexterous fingers, which means that they can get into things that other animals struggle with.

2. Keep your trash on lockdown

The first thing to work around when you’ve got a raccoon problem is to survey your trash area.

  • Where do your cans currently sit?
  • What does the area around them look like?

Sometimes solving a raccoon problem can be as simple as moving your cans to a different spot that’s out of range of their usual habits. But, let’s tackle more in the next step.

3. Do a clean sweep

You want to make sure that the area around your recycling and garbage cans is fairly clean. They call raccoons trash pandas for a reason—they are lazy creatures that will take the path of least resistance. If that means that your trash, then so be it.

  • Take the time to rent a pressure washer and hose down everything in your garbage area to make sure that it’s scent free and relatively clean. If the cans don’t look like easy pickings, the raccoons are more likely to leave it alone.
  • Will bleach keep raccoons away? It depends. Some raccoons are more resilient and determined than others, but it’s another effective step.

4. Try repellent

While the effectiveness of raccoon repellent can often be suspect in your war against vermin, it’s better to try as many things as you can so you can ensure that your anti-raccoon campaign is successful.

5. Fence them out

Once again, this comes back to ease of access. If your cans are street-level or easily accessed by people, that means they’re easier access for pests like raccoons. This tip can be costly, but it can also end up raising the property value of your home or living space: Put up a fence!

  • Fencing in your home can give you some much needed privacy while also protecting your trash area from unwanted pests (like the aforementioned raccoons).
  • If fencing in your home seems like a bit too much right now, you can also build an enclosure for your trash cans. There’s plenty of plans for these to be found online, and with a quality enclosure, it will be next to impossible for raccoons to get in and eat your trash.

7. No food, no problem

You can also lock down the cans at the source. If the raccoons discover that they can’t make their way into your cans and get the food, they’ll likely stop coming back. Raccoon garbage can straps can be a very effective tool for eliminating this pest problem. Something like this one will likely do the trick, though you have to remember to use it every time you throw out the trash, as well as being aware that some raccoons are craftier than others.

8. Remove the food and trim up the yard

Like many mammals, raccoons like to nest, and find cozy, warm places to do it. Piles of leaves, debris, untrimmed shrubbery and bushes, chimneys, and other openings and hidey-holes can be the perfect places for these critters to nest and start causing problems. An itinerant raccoon is one thing, but one that takes up residence on your property can be hard to remove.

  • Make sure that if your chimney isn’t seeing regular use, it’s cleaned out frequently and, if need be, is sealed.
  • Clear up yard debris and do the necessary trimming and yard work to keep things pristine. That will ensure that there isn’t a lovely habitat for pesky critters!
  • This is more of a safety tip: make sure that your pet doors are locked down at night, because you don’t want your pets to end up getting into a scrap with a raccoon, which sometimes carry rabies and other nasty ailments and infections that you want to keep your pets away from.

9. Get better garbage cans

We saved the best for last. Quality garbage cans can be the best way to handle pesky raccoons that just won’t quit. And, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to acquire them. Sure, you might be thinking about going to get raccoon proof garbage cans at Home Depot, but we have a better solution. Trashcans Unlimited has some of the best trash cans in the business, and we have a wide variety of cans that will help you deal with any pesky raccoon—and other pesky trash-lover—infestation. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us with any questions, or start browsing our product lines right away.

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