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Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage

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Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage, Raccoon Scavenging Garbage

Whether it's neighborhood dogs, raccoons or some other animal, if they are getting into your garbage it's bound to be a mess. Keep unwanted animals out of your garbage with these handy tips. This is a guide about keeping animals out of your garbage.


Solutions: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage

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Tip: Ammonia to Keep Pests Out of Garbage

Recently someone asked about keeping pets/animals from tearing open garbage bags. I don't have that problem now, but I learned this trick from my mother years ago. Before tying off your garbage bag, pour a dab of ammonia in the bag. When an animal tries to tear it open and gets a whiff of the ammonia, it will be long gone.

By knitter926 from Bloomington, IL

Tip: Keeping Puppies Out of Trash

Puppies are naturally curious and scent-driven, which makes your kitchen trash can irresistible to them. Keep them out by pouring a scant cap full of ammonia into the can. I only had to do this a few times for my pup. He's now 46 inches tall and walks right past it, not even taking a look!

By tahloolabelle from Ventura, CA

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Here are questions related to Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage.

Question: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

We have been having a problem in my neighborhood for the last 2-3 months with some animal (we assume it is a dog) coming in the middle of the night, knocking over trash cans, dragging the trash bag out of it, and then dragging the trash bag into someone else's yard (mostly mine) and digging through the bag.

I have contacted animal control and was informed that the small city that I live in only contracts for 1 hour of county animal control services a month. So they may or may not be able to catch the dog. I have bought dog repellent granules from Home Depot, they worked about 1 week. I have tried black pepper, red pepper and chili powder.

I have sprayed my can repeatedly with bleach which keeps them out of my garbage. I have even sprinkled bleach around the perimeter of my yard. This is getting expensive. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Has anyone tried the ultrasonic dog repellents in the yard, do they work?



Most Recent Answer

By cr11/20/2008

Install motion sensor lights or noise machines (discount spooky halloween sound machines are good), or motion sensored sprinkler systems, keep garbage inside garage until trash day, use bungy cords on lids, recycling and composting produces less trash for critters to go through...

Don't use bleach - Toxins produced as a result of bleach use build up in the environment, cause dangers to the water supply, kill fish, harm animals, and get back to people through the food chain.

Question: Squirrels In Garbage Cans

Does anyone out there know what I can use to keep the squirrels from eating out of my garbage can... and yes, I do have a lid but that doesn't work.

Adele from Belford, New Jersey


Most Recent Answer

By Tom S05/12/2009

Although the clang and bang of metal trash cans on pickup day may awaken you, a metal can with metal lid will insure the little buggers don't ransack your trash cans. We tend to forget they are rodents, and can gnaw their way through just about any material.

Question: Small Wildlife Getting Into Trash

I recently moved to a new apartment. They are supposed to be putting dumpsters in. Until that time, what should I do to keep animals out of my trash? I am getting tired of cleaning up garbage on my back porch every morning and don't want to invest in a trash barrel that I won't have any use for later.


Most Recent Answer

By Brian W. (Guest Post)10/15/2005

Like the man said, hang it up off the ground. A nail and a coat hanger, whatever works. Good luck

Question: Garbage Can Organization?

Does anyone have suggestions for storage of outside garbage? We have a lot of squirrels and my teens don't always put the garbage in efficiently. I was thinking of some kind of little shed but am trying to keep the cost down as 4x8 pressure treated wood is about $25 a sheet-any thoughts?

Most Recent Answer

By Debb (Guest Post)07/30/2007

Has anyone seen a storage rack on wheels that you can store a couple of garbage cans outside, then roll to the curb on pick up day? This would be so handy!

Question: Animal Chewing Trash Can Lid

I live in a wooded area and am aware there is wildlife around. There has been an animal chewing at my trash can lid and took a large portion off of it. I'm wondering what animal would do this. And how I could prevent this from happening again?

By Amy

Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. [5]06/12/2013

I would suspect raccoons, however, I do not know how to keep them out. Buy a very heavy duty trash can, maybe?

Question: Composting Without Attracting Animals

Can anyone give me any information about composting? Is it OK to do it in Arizona? We have animals like bobcats and coyotes and I don't want to draw them into my yard.

By Michelle from Phoenix, AZ

Most Recent Answer

By begonia02/25/2010

You can compost anywhere that you have enough warmth, water, oxygen, and "food" to support life. A good book to buy or get from the library is Let It Rot by Stu Campbell. It is fun reading and covers it all without being overwhelming.

My bins are made of wire and metal fence posts with boards across the front to keep stuff from tumbling out. What is important is what you put in the bin. Don't put any meat, fat, oil, or dairy in the compost bin--stick only with vegetable matter. Use herbivore or chicken manure for an activator. You can also buy commercial activators. Don't use any high-nitrogen animal-based substance like dried blood or fish meal as they will attract meat-eating pests. Bury your "wet" vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, etc. in your rough, dry carbon layer--leaves, rotted straw, rotted hay, rough stuff from cleaning out the garden, or deadheading.

I've been composting for 20 years now, and my bins have always been open to all weathers and anything (deer, coons, coyotes, fox, cats, dogs, opossums, you name it!) that walks by with no problems. Have fun composting. Begonia

Question: Keeping Squirrels Out of the Dumpster

We got new dumpsters and they chewed through the lid of dumpster. Do we have to get metal tops? Ideas would be great. Thanks.

By lc


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

How can I keep animals from upending my garbage pail all over my lawn? I have put bungy cords on lids with heavy rocks on top! Short of building a box large enought to hold cans, I'm stymied.


RE: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

Try sprinkling clear ammonia over your trash barrels. Voila! Animals will stay out. (06/29/2005)

By Karen

RE: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

If your garbage can has handles, drive a metal rod into the ground then put the handle through the rod. The garbage can will not tip over and the animals will not be able to get at the contents. (06/30/2005)

By Tedebear

RE: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

We cleaned our trash cans out with Lysol disinfectant. Then every time I put the trash out we poured Lysol on the lid. We never had anymore problems. (06/30/2005)

By Sandy

RE: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

The ammonia does work. My friend had a problem with bears getting into her trash. She was told by the game warden to spray her trash with ammonia. She keeps a spray bottle filled with ammonia handy and every time trash goes out, she sprays the bag and then puts it into the can. She then sprays the can. After a rain, it must be reapplied. She hasn't had any problems for years by doing this. (06/30/2005)

By mkymlp

RE: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage Can

Ammonia! So many wonderful uses, and I can attest to what the others said about it keeping animals out of your garbage.. I don't have trash cans, only trash bags, and it works just as well.. If you put a few tablespoons inside the bag before tying it up, even if they bite into the bag they get a snoot-full of the ammonia and run off... works great! (07/01/2005)

By Glendacarr