Keeping Raccoons Out of Your Garbage

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 14, 2011)

Last Sunday evening I watched the television show "America's Funniest Home Videos." One segment showed a video clip that, at first, was quite amusing. A man narrated his video while filming from his back door at night. At first, we saw only a few raccoons, but as the clip continued, there were more then forty of them scavenging for food in the dark. They were unabashed and brazen in their foraging, well aware of the people standing two feet from them. I was appalled at the end of the video and wanted desperately to chase them all away. Finally, the man's friend repeatedly banged two pans together and scared the raccoons back into the woods, but not before they utterly destroyed the three bags of garbage that had been neatly secured for pickup the next morning.

If you've endured the same scenario of an entire gaze of raccoons overturning your garbage the night before the garbage people come to fetch it, here are some tips for keeping raccoons our of your garbage:

  • Place mothballs in your garbage before bagging it and putting it inside of your garbage cans, and then place mothballs all around your garbage cans.
  • Put a small radio near the garbage after setting it to an all-talk radio station. Allow the radio to play all night long. The sound of human voices may deter the raccoons from coming closer.
  • If you live in a neighborhood that will allow it, build a garbage can keeper for your garbage cans. Enclose the box with fencing or plank, and then fashion a lid that you can lock with a padlock.
  • Use a bungee cord to secure lids onto trashcans, or place a heavy cement block or log onto the trashcan.
  • Pour about a cup of ammonia into your garbage before you bag it, and then pour another cup onto your trashcans after you lid them.
  • Generously sprinkle baby powder all over your garbage and trashcans. Raccoons don't like the feel of the talc on their paws and may be deterred from tearing into your garbage.

If raccoons are a real nuisance, consider installing motion detection lighting or sprinklers near your trash can area. Call your local cooperative extension agent for other ideas about how to rid your neighborhood of raccoons. They may send critter control to take care of the situation if it has gotten out of hand.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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