Toggle menu
1-844-TRASHCAN (844-872-7422)
9 Ways to Keep Raccoons Out of Garbage Cans

9 Ways to Keep Raccoons Out of Garbage Cans

Posted by Trash Cans Unlimited on 7th Jan 2020

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.