How To Stop Raccoons From Digging In Your Garbage

Raccoons Digging GarbageFrom the looks of things, raccoons are the innocent, fluffy and cute creatures we often see running around the neighborhood, city and streets. On the other hand, aside from their adorable looks, the black mask of fur that surrounds their eyes tells us another story. Raccoons can also be the clever, sneaky and thrifty troublemakers on the block!

Raccoon habitats range from North and Central America to places in Europe and Japan, and although raccoons come from the wild, this species has grown accustomed to the human city life as well. Raccoons are highly adaptive animals that have been able to learn and thrive in new environments. As natural habitats are torn apart by urbanization, many animals including raccoons have no choice but to develop a way of living in the city. With the loss of natural food sources, raccoons have discovered a way to survive on the streets -digging through our trash cans!

Food and scavenging plays a major role in the lives of raccoons. By scavenging for food in the wild, raccoons generally have a lifespan of 2-3 years while raccoons held in captivity can have a lifespan of up to 20 years. Based on the lifespan differences, wild raccoons must really dig deep and work hard to find food to survive. No wonder they leave such a mess on our yards.  

It’s not uncommon to come across a raccoon (or two) when driving through the neighbourhood. Often when cars come by, the bright lights startle them and they scatter away. More often than not, where you’ll find them is by a trash bin or compost box searching for their meal of the day to feed themselves and their family. While although this is an innocent feat to the raccoons merely going about their day, to the people who experience the other end of it know the difficulties and unpleasantness of picking up week old garbage off their driveway (and sometimes it isn’t all dry!) plus not to mention, if they find your place to be a reliable food resource, they’ll likely return.

While we’re throwing out our weeks worth of trash without batting an eye, nearby raccoons are getting a treat. Our garbage bins are filled with a buffet’s worth of food for raccoons to eat and feed their young with and they aren’t very concerned about leaving a mess. In the morning you might find evidence of this with torn trash bags, bin lids wide open and garbage scattered across the ground. How to prevent this? Keep reading!

Dealing with the cleanup, smell and mess of clearing out trash from the ground is something you definitely don’t want to get use to. The solution? Here are five different ways on how to keep raccoons out of trash cans.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of the Garbage

  1. Keep the lids shut, sealed and secure

Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and have paws with opposable thumbs that make it easy for them to grip and hold things the way that people do. That being said, this gives raccoons the advantage of being able to lift lids and pull levers to get what they want! Keep your trash raccoon free by ensuring that the lid closed and secure enough to prevent raccoons (and other wildlife) from getting through. A great way to help prevent this is by investing in a trash bin that has locking mechanism to keep these sly raccoons out of the way!

2. Use the garage or shed until morning

Many garbage trucks come around in the morning which is why we take our trash out the night before. While leaving them out by the curb may feel harmless, there’s a chance that a couple of raccoons might wreak havoc and go through the bins during the night. Taking out the trash the morning of might seem like a hassle to begin with, but it’s nothing compared to picking up bits and pieces of old food off the driveway. Try taking your trash out in the morning instead of night- you’ll be glad you did.

3. Store bought wildlife repellents or ammonia

While it’s often argued whether this works or not, you never truly know until you try it. Ammonia or purchasing any other commercial wildlife repellents are another method you can use to try and keep the raccoons out of your garbage. The idea is that spraying out the repellents on and around the trash bins will deter raccoons from getting too close! You can grab wildlife repellent sprays at your local hardware store or online!

4. Light up the night!

Like the everyday burglar, a raccoon will startle if a sudden light comes on during it’s scavenge. Caught red-handed, the culprit will look up and run away from the scene of the crime. Installing a motion detecting light will activate when there’s any movement within the vicinity of the sensor. If you keep your trash bin within this area, when a raccoon comes through you’ll scare it off – and you might catch a burglar too!

5. Weigh down the lid

Raccoons may be pretty handy but their strength can only go so far! If you have something heavy, like a couple bricks laying around, try placing them on top of the lid of your trash bin. Weighing it down will make it more difficult for raccoons to open up your trash bin and make a mess!

While although these options may be great at offering immediate solutions to prevent raccoons in your trash, they’re limited to short term and using them may not be the answer to end your raccoon problems. If you feel you might be experiencing raccoons digging through your garbage, its’ likely their home isn’t too far away either and it’s best to take measures before any serious issues make it more complicated. The best solution to raccoons and other wildlife issues is through a professional service like SOS Wildlife Control, a trusted humane wildlife removal company. If there are raccoons on your property, it’s not too late.

If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS Wildlife Control Inc., we provide raccoon control services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results every single time. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, and can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait, call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection, removal and prevention to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.

Call SOS Wildlife Control 1.800.981.0330!