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 doubt ammonia or any other chemical will keep the critter out of your trash. And it may not be a dog either. It could very well be a skunk, raccoon or some other noctural rascal. The best solution is to build or buy a wooden box to place the trash cans into with a lid that can be secured. The other solution is to stop putting food in the trash. That would also include containers that held food items. The food smell is what attracts the varmits.
I can tell you one alternative that we used. We use the metal trash cans. Go to any local hardware store or hardware supply store & buy clamps which you can affix to your trash can & fit up over the lid. These will keep the critters from getting the lids off as they are kept on by applied pressure
We keep a stretchable bungee cord across the top of our garbage containers. It is tight and hooked to the handles on the container. If I have food in the container I use two bungee cords that are crisscrossed. I try to keep the food scraps in the freezer until time to take the trash off especially during the summer months. This keeps the garbage from attracting flies and smelling.
Our two containers are small and easy to handle so when it's time to take the trash to the dump, we put them in the back of the truck. With the bungee cord holding the lid on tight, there's no risk of the lid blowing off and us losing trash out of the back of our truck.
What about throwing in a mothball or two. They stink, but maybe that would help? Good luck! Pam
Ammonia works BUT remember the garbage men. My mother always sprayed bug spray on her cans and bags any cheap kind. One taste and the pests run away. Also the smell does not overwhelm your garbage men.
I second the bungee cord. It's the only thing that works for us. The animals learn fast that our garbage is useless for them, and they move on.
I have used both ammonia and bleach successfully to keep the animals out of MY trash. However, what do I do about the dogs dragging other peoples trash into my yard. Example today, I cleaned up trash from house #629 on my street and I live at #616. So the animal is not only dragging trash across, but also down the street and goes to the same place in my back yard every time. I have tried mothballs (bought 2 boxes) and they haven't keep the animals out of my yard. And yes they do stink really bad. I have thought about putting a note in all of my neighbors mailboxes about the problem and asking them to spray bleach or ammonia on their trash. I have already done this with my closest neighbors who have also had to clean up garbage. Is this going to far?
I used spray-on oven cleaner. Seems just a tiny bit works well. We had skunks in the neighborhood. After using that, they avoided us.
I don't know what kind of trash can you have.
We have the big heavy duty plastic one with the flip cover.
Well, we had the same problem with animals getting into it so this is what my husband did.
He drilled two small holes, spaced apart, on the front of the cover and two small holes midway down in the trash can and hooked small bungee cords in a crisscross to the holes and we never had an animal touch the trash again.
Plus, they are easy to remove the day the trash company comes to pick up the trash.
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.
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