Trash and Recycling

Please click here for Melville Town Center Information 

Trash and Recycling Links
Contact Print

How To Keep Raccoons Out of Your Trash

Raccoons may be cute and furry, but they can be destructive pests. Discovering garbage strewn across your yard or driveway every morning is an indication that you have a raccoon raiding your trash cans.

Luckily there are several preventative measures that you can take to keep raccoons out of your trash:

  • Securing Trash Cans: Raccoons are omnivores so they will eat both plants and meat. As natural scavengers, they are drawn to the discarded foods in your full garbage cans. Raccoons are very dexterous, so they can easily pry off a loose lid. To prevent this, make sure your trashcan lids are tightly sealed.
  • A Raccoon Follows Its Nose: Raccoons are attracted to your garbage because of the smell. Double bag your waste to diminish the odor.Two scents that raccoons find unpleasant are ammonia and mothballs. Pour a small amount of ammonia on your garbage, or spread mothballs around the outside of your trash cans to deter animals from getting too close.
  • Scaring Off Raccoons: Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so they prowl around at night. You can stop raccoons with motion detection lights or sprinklers that are activated by a sensor. Keeping your trash can area brightly lit with flood lights can also be a deterrent to raccoons.
  • Raccoons Don’t Like Dusty Paws: The feel of powder on its paws is annoying to a raccoon. Sprinkle baby powder or even sand around your trashcans to keep animals away.
  • Raccoons Don’t Like Humans: A raccoon will shy away from human contact as well as human voices. Place a radio near your trash cans at night and tune to a talk station. This can fool a raccoon into believing that humans are present.
  • Raccoons and Water: Raccoons like to have a water source not only to drink from, but also to wash their food. Eliminate any water that you have outside your home, including birdbaths and pet dishes.
  • Raccoons are Clever: All of the methods mentioned for discouraging a raccoon can be effective, but don’t underestimate the intelligence of this animal. Raccoons may eventually figure out a way to get around the obstacles that you have set up for it. To confuse the raccoon, it is a good idea to frequently change your tactics.