How to Keep Raccoons Out of a Trash Can

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Raccoons are smart, stealthy and extremely messy. It is no coincidence that they wear the mask of a bandit. Here are some tips for keeping your garbage in the can, where it belongs.

Things You'll Need

  • Mothballs
  • Plastic Bags
  • Bungee Cords
  • Plastic bags
  • motion detection lighting
  • portable radio
  • baby powder
  • cinder block or brick
  • motion detection sprinklers
  • old stinky socks
  • Purchase trash cans with tight-fitting lids.

  • Use a bungee cord to secure the lid to the can. Hook one end of the cord to the handle on the can, run it through the handle on the lid and secure on the opposite side.

  • Wrap particularly stinky garbage in double plastic bags before placing it in the garbage. Melon rinds and corn cobs are favorites of hungry raccoons.

  • Use motion detection sprinklers or lighting near the trash can area. Stealthy raccoons will shy away from detection.

  • Leave an article of human scented clothing near the trash can area.

  • Dust the trash can lids with baby powder. Raccoons don't like the feel of dust on their paws.

  • Consider enclosing the trash bin area with fencing. There must be no gaps between boards or gates. Think Fort Knox.

  • Place a heavy object, such as a cinder block or a brick, on top of the garbage can - the heavier the better.

  • Play a portable radio near the garbage area at night. Select an 'all-talk' station. Keep the volume low if neighbors are nearby.

  • Place mothballs around the garbage area. The unpleasant scent will mask the inviting odor of ripe garbage from sensitive raccoon noses.

Tips & Warnings

  • Raccoons are wily and will overcome obstacles over time. Use several of these steps at the same time and change them frequently.
  • These cute critters are opportunists always on the hunt for an easy meal. If you find your trash scattered to the four winds every morning, chances are that raccoons are the culprits.
  • Do not confront a raccoon. They are wild animals and may carry disease. Call the local Animal Control Agency if the problem persists.

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