How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Trash

Are raccoons constantly digging through your trash and making a mess?  Having trouble keeping these smart and curious creatures out of your rubbish? Try these simple steps to send those furry bandits looking elsewhere for their delectable dumpster dinners.

Things You May Need:

  • Ammonia
  • Old rags
  • Bungie tie-down cords
  • 1 or more mischievous raccoons

STEP 1 –  Of course, making sure your garbage cans are securely covered is a prerequisite. An open trash receptacle is an open invitation to a hungry raccoon!

STEP 2 – If these clever creatures have figured out how to open your closed trash containers, strap the lids down securely using one or more elastic tie-down cords, which are found at your loal home improvement or hardware store.

STEP 3 – If the prior steps didn’t work, soak some old rags (an old T-shirt or old hand towel will do) in ammonia and drop the wet rags into the trash can along with your rubbish. Raccoons cannot tolerate the scent of the ammonia vapors and will seek their sustenance elsewhere.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may need to perform these steps a few times if your masked invader is particularly determined.
  • If all else fails and you believe the raccoons are becoming too much of a nuisance, you may need to call in animal control and have the animal captured and released to another location.
  • Raccoons are sometimes aggressive and can be carriers of rabies. Never get too close and risk a bite.
  • Be careful when using ammonia. Do not let it come into direct contact with your skin and do not inhale the vapors.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach and ammonia. It is a deadly combination!
  • if you don’t want to use ammonia, you may want to consider moth balls or coyote urine (yes, really).

3 Replies to “How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Trash”

  1. A cheap and easy solution is a strap lock. Unlike bungee cords, straps cannot be stretched and opened by raccoons. The only way to open a strap lock is a buckle and raccoons do not have opposable thumbs to open it. That’s why it works. Check out

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