Raccoons love a free meal. And your garbage provides them this privilege every night. To make matters worse, raccoons are smart, and will remember where all the good food spots are at. This means they will continue to rummage your trashcans, spreading garbage all over the place, unless you finally take matters into your own hands.
Continue reading to learn 4 safe and humane tricks to keep raccoons out of trashcans.
Keep in mind that raccoons are nocturnal, so they are most active between the hours of dusk and dawn. While you sleep is when they make their massive mess all over your lawn and driveway. So in order to combat their destruction, you must do something that will prevent them from accessing your garbage behind your back. T
he best method for this is to simply keep your trashcans in an enclosed space, like a garage or shed, and only take them out on the morning on trash collection day. If there are no trashcans to rummage, raccoons will move on to the next easily-accessible food source.
If keep your trashcans enclosed in a garage or shed is not an option, there are still some other things you can try. Here are 4 effective methods for protecting your trashcans from raccoons:
❶ Bungee Cords and Lid Locks
Raccoons have human-like paws that are highly dexterous. Opening doors and lids is not a challenge for them at all, which is why you need to lock them down tight. Use some standard 24 inch bungee cords with hooks at each end to keep your trashcan lids secured overnight. You can also purchase trashcan lid locks, which may be available at your local home improvement store.
If you want to keep raccoons and other nuisance animals (like dogs) away from your trash, sprinkle each bag with a few dashes of ammonia. Ammonia is the common chemical found in urine. Raccoons will avoid the smell of ammonia because it will tell them that the area is soiled. It will trick them into thinking the area is ruined. Just be careful handling ammonia, and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
❸ Talk Radio
Have you ever tried to approach a wild animal? They usually run away before you can get too close. Raccoons are just like most other animals; they avoid threats and potential predators, which would be us. If you place a boom box set on a talk radio station next to the garbage cans, it will trick raccoons into thinking there are humans nearby; so they will not come close. After a few nights or so, they will remember that your garbage is near humans, and will stop coming around.
❹ String Lights
Another element that scares away raccoons is lack of privacy. You can install motion-detection lighting outside to flash on when animals scurry by, but this can sometimes be costly. As a cheaper alternative, try streaming string lights (i.e. Christmas lights) around the basin of the trashcans. The added lighting will turn raccoons off from your property because they do not have a safe place to rummage in the dark.