How To Keep Raccoons Out Of The Trash

How To Keep Raccoons Out Of The Trash

When it comes to having raccoons as your unwanted house guests, it’s not so much the quantity that matters – it’s quality. That is, how often and for how long they appear on your property. So if you have a raccoon problem in your backyard, what can you do about it? Well, there are plenty of solutions available. But first, let’s get to know our guests a little better…

How to keep raccoons out of the trash

Scare them away

Raccoons are naturally afraid of humans. But they are also very curious creatures, and they’ll often get too close for comfort. It has been proven that an effective way to keep raccoons out of your backyard is to scare them by making loud noises or by using bright lights. One thing you should keep in mind is that you should do this only in the evening or at night when raccoons are active.

Use a dog

Another great way to keep raccoons out of your backyard is to use dogs. Raccoons see dogs as a real threat and will try to avoid them at all costs. So if you want to protect your trash cans from these critters, get yourself a dog! (Image Source: Pixabay)

Keep the trash covered

The best way to keep raccoons out of the trash is simple – just don’t give them anything worth looking for! When you leave any type of food uncovered inside your garage or shed, it will be sure to attract raccoons – especially if they can smell it from afar! So make sure you always cover your trash cans properly and never leave pet food outside – that’s what most wild animals like raccoons are looking for in residential areas anyway! (Image Source: Pixabay)

Install a fence

If you have a raccoon problem, you might want to consider installing a fence around the trash cans in your backyard. This will keep them out of your yard and will also ensure that they don’t come back once they leave. Of course, this solution is only effective if it’s installed properly. The fence should be at least 4 feet tall and should have a solid bottom. Also, make sure that it’s installed far away from the trash cans so that raccoons can’t climb over it.

Install an electric fence

If you want to keep raccoons out of your trash cans, but don’t want to install any type of fencing, then you might want to consider using an electric fence. This type of fence is made up of three wires that are spaced apart by 2 inches on each side (the distance between wires should be at least 6 inches). These wires can be positioned in such a way as to create an electric field around the area where the trash can is located. The electricity produced by this fence will shock raccoons if they touch any part of the wire and this will automatically trigger their instinct to avoid human contact altogether! (Image Source: Pixabay)

Use a motion-activated sprinkler system

Another great way to keep raccoons out of your trash cans is by installing an automatic sprinkler system. When water from these sprinklers hits the ground, it will spray up and make noise (and this is usually enough to scare raccoons away). This system can be set up in such a way that it will activate only when people leave the trash cans outside unprotected. So if you live in an area with many raccoons, you might want to consider installing one of these sprinkler systems in your trash cans. (Image Source: Pixabay)

Who Are These Masked Bandits?


Raccoons are the most common type of raccoon found in the United States. They are also called “masked bandits” because they have distinctive black masks on their faces (the mask is usually made out of fur).


Opossums are also known as “possums” and they are usually found in the southern states of America. However, they can also be found in other parts of the world too! These animals have a very distinctive tail (it looks almost like a rat’s tail) and an extremely long nose. They can be found in different colors but their most common color is dark brown.


Nutria is another type of raccoon that you might come across if you live in America or Canada. These animals look very similar to rabbits and they often use their tails to swim through water! They can be brownish or blackish, depending upon where you live.


Coypu is another type of raccoon that you might come across if you live in South America. These animals are pretty rare and there aren’t many people who know about them though! They can be brown, grey, tan, or white colored and their fur looks almost like human hair! But it has no hair on its face!

Masked bandicoots

Masked bandicoots are yet another type of raccoon that you might come across in Australia. They look very similar to opossums but they are marsupials (meaning, they give birth to their young in the pouch) and they are carnivores (meaning, their diet consists of meat). The only difference between them and opossums is that the former ones have a tail, while the latter ones don’t.

Squirrel-like animals

These animals do not belong to any type of raccoon family but they have a lot of similarities with raccoons. These animals can be found in North America, Central America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. You will find them living near forests or woodlands. They tend to live in small groups and like other types of raccoons, squirrel-like animals can be found in different colors (their fur may be brown, black, or grey).

How To Deter Raccoons With Smell-Based Repellents

1) Place several scented items (like a shampoo bottle or a perfume bottle) in your trash. An important tip is to make sure that the scented items are spaced apart so that the smell doesn’t get thrown away and you can use one to deter raccoons. The reason why I say this is because it will be less effective if they smell everything at once.

2) Wipe down your containers (including the inside of your trash bags) with a product called Orange Oil. It comes in various brands but the brand that I have found works best is Orange Guard. Please note that you should not use products like Pine Oil, Lemon Oil, Peppermint Oil, etc because they do not deter raccoons.

3) When you throw away things, empty them into large trash bags, wrap them tightly and tie them up with a rubber band (make sure to change out these rubber bands as soon as possible).

4) Before putting your trash bag into a bin, tie up any loose ends of the bag so that it doesn’t unravel. If it does unravel and it opens at one end, then raccoons will have easier access to all of the food in it!

5) Try not to leave anything lying around outside your house for raccoons to find. If this means buying certain things from places like K-Mart or Target, then it might be better than putting them back inside out of reach (it’s ok if they get eaten by raccoons).

6) Make sure that you have some sort of deterrent (with or without Orange Oil ) outside the perimeter of your house (near your trash and near any places where raccoons could go). Concerning Orange Oil, please note that it has a funny smell. This is because it is meant to be used on dogs, not humans. If you do not like the smell, I would suggest using other products with a non-smelly scent instead (like Pine Oil ).

7) Finally, throw away all of the things that you put out for raccoons in the first place!


Keeping raccoons out of your trash is one of the best ways to prevent them from becoming regular house guests. Fortunately, there are plenty of convenient and effective solutions out there to choose from. Raccoons are common, clever, and resourceful creatures that thrive in forest ecosystems and urban environments alike. While they are, of course, adorable animals, you don’t want them raiding your trash cans for an easy meal. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, so you’ll likely find them setting their sights on your trash cans at night – making them easier to spot and deter. Fortunately, there are plenty of convenient and effective ways to keep raccoons out of your trash.