The Skunk Corner
Raccoon-Proof Your Trash
Updated: Aug 1, 2018
Don't let your trashcan end up like the one above, which is what happens when raccoons knock it over in search of food. Not only is this a hassle to clean up, it also makes the neighborhood raccoons more accustomed to us and more likely to cause problems in the future. Here are four tips for avoiding this problem and keeping raccoons wild!
1. Store trash away from bushes, trees, and fence rails.
As a general rule, if you want to avoid attracting wildlife to an item such as a trashcan, do not store the item near bushes or other cover. Animals are less likely to be attracted by it if they have to go out in the open, since this makes them more vulnerable to predators. For raccoons in particular, keep in mind that they climb, so try not to keep your trashcan within easy reach from a fence rail, tree branch, or other potential raccoon pathway.
2. Don't put smelly items in an outdoor trash until trash day.
Raccoons overturn trashcans because they want food. Therefore, if you're throwing away chicken bones, fish scraps, leftover pet food, or other items that raccoons might smell and want to eat, it may be best to keep them in a bag in the freezer until the morning of trash day. This way, you'll avoid having them outside at night when raccoons are active. If you can't wait until trash day, at least double-bag them (preferably in Ziplock bags, since these seal) before you put them out.
3. Secure the lid.
Find a way to keep raccoons from opening the lid of the can, such as using carabiners or rope to secure it to the bin. Trashcans with flip-up lids are better than ones with separate lids because there is only one way of opening the can and therefore only one place to secure.
4. Tie the can to something sturdy.
To prevent raccoons from knocking a garbage can over, tie or chain it to an object that doesn't move, such as a pole anchored firmly into the ground.