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How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Yard

Posted by Trash Cans Unlimited on 2nd Mar 2020

Raccoons and their antics can become a real nuisance--property damage, holes, nests, and messes for you to deal with. They can end up getting into scraps with pets, putting you and other animals in your household at risk for rabies and other nasty ailments and infections.


Raccoons are clever adversaries. Their tiny, oddly human-looking hands give them enormous amounts of dexterity as well as granting them excellent climbing ability. They’ll eat basically anything and have a wide range of areas that they can call home. They’re also known to be little wandering vagabonds as well, which can result in these little folks moving around to different places in your yard, on your deck, and worst-case scenario, in your house your house.

Best case scenario, you want to keep these dextrous vermin away from anything that they might want to call a habitat. Animals will do just about anything for food, but they will often choose the path of least resistance. So, if you notice the little bandits on raccoonaissance missions, you can make sure their efforts are fruitless and your territory remains secure.

Step 1. Fence Them Out

If you’ve got fruit trees, a vegetable garden, or anything that has a regular and steady supply of food, put up a fence. And while Raccoons are both excellent climbers and diggers, there are plenty of raccoon-specific spikes and barriers that you can apply to keep them away. If raccoons are still managing to climb your fence, some people report having success with making the surface slippery with soap or oil, although, not everyone is keen on the idea of greasing up their fence.

Step 2. Trash Can Enclosures

If the main supply of food for raccoons is your garbage cans, build an enclosure. You can browse our selection, including wood, concrete, and more. If you’re interested in a project, you can build your own. Some people build entire fences, walls, or use lattices and trellises to enclose their garbage cans. With a quality enclosure, it will be next to impossible for the oversized rodents to get into and eat your trash. They have the added bonus of hiding unsightly trash cans and can even be considered an attractive feature of your property.

Step 3. Sturdy Trash Cans

If a trash can enclosure isn’t your jam, sturdy trash cans might be. Sturdy trash cans with a lid that can seal tight will likely be too much effort for a furry invader. If they can’t find food, they’re less inclined to stick around and cause trouble.

Step 4. Lock Those Lids

If you don’t want to buy all new trash cans, lid locks are a handy option. Some people have taken to using elastic bungee cords to hold cans shut, but raccoons have been known to still be able to find their inside, and get trapped. In the event that happens to you or someone you know, we have a handy guide to help. A metal can with a lid lock is enough to keep those prying paws away and you don’t have to worry about raccoons trapping themselves in your cans.

Step 5. Clean the Area Where Cans are Stored

If you have a dedicated garbage area, take the time to thoroughly wash everything in your garbage area to make sure there are no scraps or scents to attract raccoons and other vermin. Power washers or some bleach, a hose, and a good scrubbing will have your trash cans sparkling and pest-free.

Step 6. Clean the Yard

Take the opportunity to tidy up. Like many mammals, raccoons like to 5nest and find 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. If your chimney is mostly used for decoration, make sure it’s clean, and if need be, sealed as well.

Seal up your doors and various openings. Pet doors should be locked down at night, and garage doors, greenhouse doors, and shed doors should all be shut. If you have a lot of yard cleaning to do, check out our outdoor trash cans to help haul away debris and potential homes for raccoons.

Step 7. Remove Pet and Bird Food

You don’t want raccoons camping out in your yard, and you especially don’t want to invite them over for a dinner party. Pet food left outdoors, along with bird food in bird feeders, are ripe sources for animal burglary. Until your pest problem goes away, limit the amount of food you have available outside.

Raccoon DeterrentsStep 8. Repellent

If the furry bandits are still finding their way around enclosures and looking for food, there are a few methods to discourage them from sticking around or coming back.

  1. Commercial chemicals can be effective at keeping raccoons at bay.
  2. Some people have found bleach or vinegar to be effective, while others less so.
  3. A sprinkle of hot sauce or cayenne pepper is pleasant on our food, but is an irritant to many animals and can also make raccoons reluctant to trespass.
  4. Sound and light emitters and other electronics can be effective too, though they might annoy your pets or neighbors.

Some raccoons are more resilient and determined than others, but it’s another step to try.

Step 9. Set a Trap

If the raccoons won’t stay gone, it might be time to capture and relocate them. This is often a last resort because if you remove the food, the raccoons will likely go with it. But, if not, get in touch with your local animal control. They’ll give you advice and options on traps and you can schedule a pickup for the critters once you’ve caught them.

Many hardware stores sell traps and cages, and you want to make sure you set the trap with bait at night, so you can maintain the cover of darkness. Once you’ve caught your furry friends, find a place to release them, or get in touch with animal control.

Keep ‘em Gone

We hope your (mis)adventures with raccoons are going well, and we’re here to help. If you need outdoor trash cans, heavy-duty trash cans, or wood trash cans, we’re here to help. We have a well of resources to help you manage your waste disposal needs, and massive inventory with tons of different looks, sizes, and material types. Get in touch with us with questions, or start browsing our products now!