Raccoons are one of the most common pests that your yard and garden may suffer from. These rambunctious and intelligent pests are able to cause all sorts of mischief, such as getting into your trash cans while searching for food and leaving a massive mess for you to clean up the next day. Fortunately, there are a handful of different things that you can do to encourage your resident raccoons to stay away from your garbage.


The simplest thing that you can do to make it harder for raccoons to actually gain access to your garbage is to install some sort of locking mechanism onto your garbage can lids. For a budget option, bungee cords or actual locks work well (if you're able to punch a hole through the lid and the rim, a common gym lock is a great solution). However, for a price, you can purchase specialized garbage cans that have built-in locking mechanisms that are designed to make access harder for raccoons and other pests.

Secure the Can

In line with the above point, you may also want to secure your trash can to a stake or strap it against something to keep it upright. This is because a family of raccoons that knock over your cans may knock the lock loose and gain access anyway: ensuring that the lid is locked shut and the can is secured upwards can make that less likely.


Another straightforward thing that you can do to prevent raccoons from gaining access to your trash is to make sure that they are properly stored within a sealed enclosure. Your garage is the best option, but if you're worried about smell or simply don't have the space, you can construct a relatively inexpensive and unobtrusive housing area out of wire mesh somewhere along the side of your home. Make sure that the enclosure is covered with wire mesh on top as well, since raccoons are adept climbers.


Beyond physical deterrents, you can also employ a number of different repellents as short-term solutions to keep raccoons, insects, and other types of pests away. Most hardware stores will carry animal repellents, including specialized formulations that include coyote urine or other substances that will keep raccoons away. Alternatively, you can try sprinkling ammonia over the top of your trash cans—the harsh scent of the chemical will act as a powerful repellent on its own. 

If you still have a problem with raccoons, contact a pest control service for professional assistance.