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How to keep wild animals out of my garbage cans

Animals can make a mess out of your garbage cans. The animal could be your pet, a neighbor’s pet or some wild animal such as a skunk or a raccoon. Cleaning up the mess now and then is not the solution; the solution is to keep the animal away from the trash can. There are many ways this can be achieved. However, you have to sacrifice some money, a few dollars, to keep animals away from garbage cans.

Keep the trash inside

Animals cannot mess up with the trash can when they cannot reach it. If possible keep the garbage can indoors and remove it on the day the trash vehicle comes around. This way, the animals cannot mess with the trash can. Of course, there is the danger that you will forget to take it out in the morning, but is it any better to pick up scattered trash in the morning?

A better garbage can

If you must leave the trash can outside focusing on the garbage can is also a good idea. Plastic bags will be torn apart by any animal, including your cat. Garbage cans with lids are a real solution. Some plastic garbage cans have lids which can be secured with screws. An animal will not make a mess out of you garbage when the lid is tightly secured. However, some animals, such as raccoons will chew the plastic. A metallic garbage can is, therefore, a good solution. Visit a plastics store or hardware to get good garbage that has a lid. Never leave the garbage can open.

Secure the lid

Even after purchasing a garbage can with a lid the animals might still be making a mess out of your garbage, probably by dropping the garbage can. Secure the lid of the garbage by a locking system or clamps. Animals might be mischievous, but I have never heard of an animal that can pick a lock. Placing a rock on the garbage can is also a good idea. The weight of the rock will not only out the lid in place but also make it difficult for the animals to drop the garbage can.

Spray the garbage with ammonia

Ammonia smells like urine. The smell is highly irritating to most animals. Spray the can and the garbage with ammonia. The animals will be irritated by the smell and will not go near the garbage can. The strong scent of ammonia may give the animal the impression that there is a bigger animal around.

Motion sensors

Installing motion sensors in the backyard is also a good idea. Animals, especially wild animals, are scared of being seen. The light will scare them away. Install motion sensitive lighting in the area where you put your garbage. Go back to the How to get rid of wildlife home page.

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