How to get Raccoons out of your Garbage

We’ve all seen that movie scene where a burglar faced raccoon is ravaging the garbage late at night. These little rascals knock over and cause a headache for our beloved characters. This doesn’t only occur in the movies, but also happens in real life and can cause an annoyance. Raccoons are seen as mask-wielding burglars that run around quickly, steal, and leave. However, these animals can sometimes do away with stealth and annoy people. Not to mention the chances that they will trample over your garden, or other yard objects, while attempting to raid your garbage.

Raccoons are rather sly animals, and like humans, they are omnivorous. Raccoons have 40 sharp teeth and eat many different kinds of meats and plants. Their teeth aren’t their only tool, they are able to use their paws to skillfully catch other animals such as fish, or scavenge nuts or fruits from trees and bushes. Furthermore, although raccoons are mainly nocturnal, they may still scavenge during the day. Raccoon mothers may be awake during the day if they are in dire need of resources. Thus, protecting your garbage should not only be done at night but also during the day. In order to stop your garbage from being raided every night, causing a headache the next morning, you should try some of these methods to prevent raccoons.

DIY Options

  • Using a large sound source such as a very loud radio could help drive the raccoons away at night. Putting a radio near the garbage may scare the raccoons, preventing them from coming back. However, this does not come without its faults. Raccoons are smart animals, they may find a way to dismantle the radio or remove it. Not to mention, playing a loud radio late at night may annoy your neighbors or other people on your block. While this may be a logical option to try, it is definitely not the most practical in terms of social standing.
  • You could also try tying a tight band over your garbage that will stop the garbage from spilling over, keeping the contents inside, and leaving the raccoons with nothing. With no food for the raccoons, they will eventually stop coming to you and try a different food source. Some garbage bags already come with a tight band at the top, but may easily rip. To prevent ripping you could wrap your garbage in multiple bags or cover it in a non-rip material. Using a garbage lock and multiple garbage bags will prevent the smell from coming out of your trash can and will avoid spillage.
  • Animal repellent can also be sprayed on your garbage in order to drive out the raccoons. Spraying your garbage daily or weekly with animal repellent may stop the raccoons from coming. Cleaning your trash cans with animal repellent or even ammonia may also drive them away as these smells are unpleasant. Do not throw any chemical items onto your garbage that may be flammable, certain products can be lit on fire which is an even greater hassle to clean up in the long run. Use safe chemical products that mimic smells that raccoons dislike, these products can be bought online or in-store.
  • Securing your trash in a protected area can also keep out the raccoons. With no way for the raccoons to access your trash, they will be unable to knock them over or ravage it. Putting your trash cans in a garage for the night or putting it in a place where there is a spotlight will stop the raccoons from attempting to go for your garbage. Since raccoons prefer dark places, having a light shine on your garbage will startle them and scare them away.

Call in a professional


If you are still unable to stop the raccoons from hoarding your garbage, you should call animal control. This will ensure that your garbage will no longer be harbored by raccoons and that the animal is caught and relocated safely and humanely. Calling animal control should be your first priority if you do not want to handle the issue yourself. Staying safe and letting the professionals do the job will ensure the greatest success rate.

Overall, while raccoons are an annoyance to many sleeping individuals at night, keeping yourself and the animals of your vicinity safe are of the utmost importance. Remember not to engage in activity with the animal without knowing the correct safety precautions. While raccoons look harmless on the outside, their teeth and claws could seriously injure a human. Following safety precautions and the correct ways of dealing with raccoons will ensure the safety of both you and the raccoons.