How to Keep Raccoons Out of Trash – 9 Effective Ways

how to keep raccoons out of trash

Raccoons are clever and resourceful creatures that can wreak havoc on your trash bins, leaving a trail of debris in their wake. If you’re tired of cleaning up after these masked bandits, it’s time to take action. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective and humane ways to keep raccoons out of your trash, helping you maintain a cleaner and more orderly outdoor space.

How to Keep Raccoons Out of Trash

Secure Trash Can Lids

One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to invest in trash cans with secure lids. Raccoons are adept at prying open lids, so opt for cans with locking mechanisms or heavy-duty lids that are more difficult to manipulate.

Use Bungee Cords or Clamps

For those who already have trash cans with lids, consider adding an extra layer of security by using bungee cords or clamps to fasten the lid tightly. This additional measure makes it significantly harder for raccoons to gain access.


Raccoons have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to the scent of food. Double-bagging your trash can help minimize odors, making it less enticing for these nocturnal foragers. Consider using trash bags with built-in odor-neutralizing technology for added effectiveness.

Apply Ammonia or Pepper

Raccoons dislike strong smells, such as ammonia or pepper. Spraying a mixture of water and these substances around your trash cans can act as a deterrent. 

Install Motion-Activated Lights

Raccoons prefer darkness, so installing motion-activated lights near your trash cans can startle them and discourage late-night visits. This not only helps protect your trash but also adds an extra layer of security to your property.

Build or Buy a Raccoon-Resistant Bin

If raccoons persist despite your efforts, you might want to invest in a specialized raccoon-resistant trash bin. These bins are designed with features like locking mechanisms and sturdy construction to prevent raccoons from accessing the contents.

Install Fences

Erecting a sturdy fence around your trash area can act as a physical barrier, preventing raccoons from reaching your garbage. Ensure the fence is tall enough and extends below ground to discourage digging.

Ultrasonic Sound and Sprinklers

Explore modern technology by using ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds undetectable to humans but irritating to raccoons. Additionally, motion-activated sprinklers can startle raccoons with a sudden burst of water, discouraging them from approaching.

Clean Trash Bin Regularly

Regularly clean your trash bin to remove any lingering odors that might attract raccoons. A clean bin is less likely to be an appealing target for these scavengers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Keeping Raccoons Out of Trash

Q1: Why are raccoons attracted to trash bins?

A: Raccoons are attracted to trash bins because they contain a potential food source. The smell of discarded food can lure them, making garbage bins an appealing target for scavenging.

Q2: What are some signs that raccoons have been in my trash?

A: Signs of raccoon activity in your trash include scattered garbage, overturned bins, and paw prints around the vicinity. Raccoons are notorious for leaving a mess while searching for food.

Q3: Are there specific types of bins that deter raccoons?

A: Using bins with tight-fitting lids and securing them with bungee cords or locks can be effective in deterring raccoons. Additionally, heavy-duty bins with sturdy construction make it harder for raccoons to access the contents.

Q4: How can I make my trash area less attractive to raccoons?

A: To make your trash area less attractive, rinse food containers before disposing of them, double-bagging food scraps, and regularly clean your bins to reduce lingering odors can help discourage raccoons.

Q5: Are there eco-friendly methods to keep raccoons away from trash?

A: Yes, eco-friendly methods include using natural deterrents like vinegar or ammonia around the trash area. Planting certain repellent plants or using motion-activated lights can also help deter raccoons in an environmentally friendly way.


By implementing these practical tips, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of raccoons invading your trash. Remember, the key is to make your trash cans less appealing and more challenging for these clever creatures to breach. With a proactive approach, you can enjoy a cleaner and more raccoon-resistant outdoor space.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.