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Keeping Animals Out of Your Garbage

Category Raccoons
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.
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October 1, 2010

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 Linda from Bloomington, IL from Bloomington, IL

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Comments

October 1, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

I know a black bear isn't a pet, but the ammonia in the garbage does not work to keep him/her out. The garbage is next to my carport so I wanted the bears to stop pushing the thing over and spreading the contents down to the creek. It was my husband's job to pick garbage up after the bears.

After realizing that the bear was still getting into my garbage, I had the sickest feeling in the pit of my stomach that I may have harmed the bear with the ammonia.

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I just about cried. No, I did cry.

The best idea I came up with is leaving the radio on during the night with a light shining at the garbage container. I have not had to pick up bear poop since. (Giggle) They may think that the radio is a bunch of campers. And that the light is the campfire.

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
March 15, 2007

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

Answers

March 16, 20070 found this helpful

We had dogs in our garbage and nothing was stopping them. I finally got fed up and sprinkled hot sauce over the bags, they never touched it again.

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I don't know if it will work for squirrels, but i hope this helps. You could also try putting out some corn to keep them occupied.

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March 19, 20070 found this helpful

We use hot red pepper in our bird feeder. Since birds don't have salivary glands, they can't taste it. But, boy-oh-boy, the squirrels can! They leave the bird feeder alone. Once in a while, one will try to see if the pepper is gone, but quickly leaves! Only problem with the pepper would be if the trash collectors "get wind" if it.

Another trick would be to put a metal nut on each side of the can and bungi the lid shut. Never have known a squirrel who can figure out a bungi cord!

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March 19, 20070 found this helpful

You can use the Old Style Toliet Deodorizer. The kind that hang on the side of the toilet. We had the same problem with Squirrels and Raccoons.

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It kept them out, but try to remember to take them out when putting garbage out for pickup. They are very inexpensive to use and does the job.

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March 19, 20070 found this helpful

Not sure if the smells stay in the garbage cans or not, but didn't have any problems with them after I started using the deordziers. Give them a try and let me know what happens. Good Luck
Terri

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By kstatter (Guest Post)
March 20, 20070 found this helpful

Why not put out sunflower seeds to keep them occupied. Most likely it's opossum, not squirrels. If it's squirrels, they prefer nuts of any kind, and vegetables. I rescued 2 orphaned squirrels, and they even loved my begonias,----to eat!

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I now leave out nuts nearly every day, peanuts to pumpkin seeds, and walnuts to pecans. I leave out fruits and veggies in nice weather. I made a small platform and hung it on side of a tree.

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By LRP (Guest Post)
March 21, 20070 found this helpful

try leaving mothballs or flakes in bottom of can.

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December 12, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Adele,

I don't know if this will work for you, but I use mothballs in my attic to keep all kinds of critters away. I have had very good luck with this.
Maybe this would help you. However, for me, it would be a pain to have to keep replacing mothballs every time the trash man comes to collect the garbage every Monday.

But I did buy my mothballs at the Dollar Store and got a box of them.
Good luck and Merry Christmas to you!
Smoochie :)

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By 0 found this helpful
October 6, 2008

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.

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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?

Zevia

Answers

By Harry (Guest Post)
October 6, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 3, 2004

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?

Answers

November 3, 20040 found this helpful

Full strength ammonia sprayed on sacks or cans will keep critters away. They can't stand the smell.

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By (Guest Post)
November 3, 20040 found this helpful

We have problems with raccoons, skunks and squirrels getting into the garbage on our acreage. Of course, our dog would also like to get into the garbage sometimes too. My husband built a box, 3' deep at the front and 3 1/2' deep at the back and then 2' wide by 4' long. The depth is deeper at the back so that rain will run off it. He put the wooden box next to the garage on 4 concrete blocks so nothing can "live" under it and the wood won't be on the ground. It has been wonderful. The lid is heavy enough for the animals not to be able to open and yet just the right height for us to put garbage bags in and take out later. My husband did use pressure treated lumber and it IS worth the investment. We have used the plastic garbage cans and metal garbage cans for garbage in the past but they both can be tipped and they get dinged and damaged over the years.

As a reply to the other posting...if you use ammonia for the other animals not to go into your garbage would you not have to put up with the strong smell of ammonia also?

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By Lee-Ann (Guest Post)
November 4, 20040 found this helpful

My husband used a broken freezer once. He removed the latch for safety reasons, cut drain holes in the bottom and even decorated it with leftover siding from the house. Just an idea.

Good Luck!

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By (Guest Post)
November 4, 20040 found this helpful

this would be free- every time the teen didn't put the garbage out properly and an animal made a mess, the teen would be out cleaning it up. Wouldn't take them long to learn a job worth doing is worth doing right- the first time!

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By Debb (Guest Post)
July 30, 20070 found this helpful

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!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 23, 2005

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.

Kathie

Answers

By Lee (Guest Post)
August 23, 20050 found this helpful

would it be possible to suspend the garbage bags on a piece of rope? keep it off the ground, that will make it difficult for all but the most agile creatures will be able to get at it

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By sandy. (Guest Post)
August 23, 20050 found this helpful

1st you will probably then have rodents at the dumpster so you will always have something in your area.
you can pour lysol over the bags. they dont like the odor. but i would recomend a trash can really.

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By Annette (Guest Post)
August 24, 20050 found this helpful

Buy a trash can, you can always use it for : out of season clothes, christmas items, storage of extra linens, many more ideas. I'm going to wallmart today they have one for about $5.00 and one for $10.00 a little sturdier.

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By Becky (Guest Post)
August 25, 20050 found this helpful

I agree with the others about getting a trash can, however if the animal is determined it will find a way to get into the can. We would always put the lid on our trash can and ferral cats would always find a way to get into them. Then one day I sprayed the bag with amonina (sp?) before I put it in the can and I've never had a problem since. But you do have to spray your bags before you put them in the can each time.

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August 29, 20050 found this helpful

We have bear in our area and my friend uses ammonia in a spray bottle and sprays her trash can. When she puts a bag in, she sprays the bag and then sprays the outside of the can. She hasn't had any problems with any critters in her trash. Maybe you can spray inside the bag and then spray a rag and keep it on top of the trash bag. I don't know how strong the odor will be for you since it is on your porch. Good luck.

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By Brian W. (Guest Post)
October 15, 20050 found this helpful

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

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June 10, 20130 found this helpful

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

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By 0 found this helpful
September 27, 2015

I have tried to bungee the can to a pole, I have sprayed the can and the trash with lots of ammonia and still I find it all over my yard. They eat through the lids. I do not have a garage or anywhere to keep this trash instead of outside. I am far away from the street so I can't get a metal one as they do not have wheels on them. I am desperate!

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By 0 found this helpful
February 25, 2010

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

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September 29, 20140 found this helpful

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

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October 6, 20080 found this helpful

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.

Poopsey

Answers:

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

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

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

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 it's.only.me

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

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