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How to Get Rid of Raccoons in Your Garbage? (A Simple Guide)

We all know a raccoon when we see one: bandit-faced and sinister, prowling around trash bins, looking for a snack.

It should come as no surprise to find out, then, that raccoons are one of the most common pests in the United States.

These animals can be found in almost every environment across the country and have adapted to city life.

keep raccoons out of garbage

Unfortunately for you, this means they'll like your yard, trash can, or garbage area since these all translate to food sources for them.

How can you stamp out these creatures? Let's take a look at some top tactics below!

What Do Raccoons Like To Eat?

Commonly called "trash pandas" or "bandits," because of their feeding habits, raccoons are a common sight throughout North America. These mammals have dexterous paws, distinctive black and white markings, and a passion for human food and housing. They are mammals and can weigh up to 23 lbs.

Will a Raccoon Eat That...?

Raccoons are extreme omnivores, which means they eat plants, animals, insects, and really, whatever they can get their paws on. Many of these creatures adapted to be able to eat human foods like pizza and crackers, since trash bins provide an excellent supply of junk. Some of raccoons' favorite foods include:

  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Fruit like strawberries
  • Insects
  • Frogs

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your raccoon problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

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Where Can You Find a Raccoon?

Raccoons actually prefer to live in heavily wooded areas because they have access to water, vegetation, and many hiding places. A lot of these creatures sleep in holes in trees, while others will make small underground burrows.

Unfortunately for you and other people, sometimes raccoons will break into homes and sleep in unused places like attics, chimneys, and behind walls. These animals are extremely intelligent, and will spend as little time around humans as possible. Their main goals in life: find ample food and undisturbed shelter.

According to National Geographic, there's probably a raccoon living on your street! 

How to Get Rid of Raccoons In Your Yard And Trash Can?

The last thing people want is a raccoon colony rifling through their rutabagas or rummaging through the trash. Aside from making a horrible mess, these animals can damage growing plants, and might even attack pets who disturb them!

There are a few measures you can take to make sure they don't come back. Some are home remedies, while others will require that you purchase specialized equipment. If you gives these methods a shot and none of them end up working for you, consider calling a professional pest control company for assistance.

Read Also: How to get rid of raccoons (safe and natural ways)?

In Your Yard

The first steps towards getting rid of raccoons is to make your yard completely undesirable to the pests. This means doing things like:

  • Bringing any pet food inside at night
  • Keeping bird feeders out of the way or inside at night
  • Raking up any fallen fruit
  • Picking vegetables as soon as they are ripe
  • Installing a fence around your garden
  • Applying a repellent around fruits and vegetables
  • Making sure chickens and their eggs have a sturdy coop

People struggling with persistent raccoons can also look at using live traps to catch the creatures. These are simple to use and have a switch on the inside which will close the trap door when triggered by a raccoon. All you have to do is place a bait inside and wait.

Read Also: Can you use ammonia to remove raccoons?

Once you have a raccoon in a trap, you can take it to a wildlife shelter or center for release or potentially let it go yourself. Some people also choose to kill the raccoon, but there is a large movement in the pest control community to take care of nuisance animals humanely.

get rid of raccoons in trash facts

Before you do anything with a trapped raccoon, be sure to check the wildlife laws in your state. Some allow for personal release while others require a professional. Some also prohibit killing, so it's important to look.

If you're unsure of where to find information, your local Fish and Wildlife division is an excellent place to begin. If they don't have the correct information, they'll be able to point you in the right direction. 

Around Your Trash Can or Garbage

Keeping raccoons away from trash bins is a task which seems insurmountable at first, but in reality, is really very simple.

The main thing to focus on is to make sure your bin or container can be properly sealed. Raccoons are smart creatures, and know they can knock over a bin or tear open a plastic trash bag to reach the grand prize: food. If the can has a solid lid that doesn't pop off, then the raccoon isn't going to waste its energy prowling around your trash area. This is explained in greater detail in the video below.

If you don't want to invest in a new trash can, you can try placing something heavy on the lid like a brick, or bring the bin inside until trash pickup day. As an added measure of protection, you can also spray a repellent around the designated area. Finally, make sure the bins are clean and not full of residue or rotting bits of food which fell out of the bags.

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your raccoon problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

(Process takes about 30 seconds)

Raccoons & Trash Cans Final Thoughts...

Raccoons are smart, but it's time you outsmarted them once and for all. These sleek-tailed dumpster divers may have had their days around your trash cans for a while, but it's time to take back your own property.

If you keep having problems with these devious creatures, make sure to take the proper steps to keep them in check. By using the tips in our guide, you can effectively take out the trash—and all its uninvited dwellers!

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