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I Need Your Help . . . Raccoons Want In (to My Garbage)

In spirit of Earth Day, I thought we'd tackle a problem with wild animals. Sonoma b is having a big problem with some masked creatures. The very hungry raccoons seem determined to make a mess of her garbage. It's a company-issued, heavy-duty blue industrial plastic "can" filled with plastic kitchen bags. Even though it's emptied once a week, the pesky critters seem to find their way in before then! To hear what she has to say,

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"I have even put a cinderblock on top of the garbage can and they still toppled it over – and survived and ate and ran! I am going nuts each morning picking up their leftovers on my driveway!"

Of course, they want nothing to do with the separate brown recycling cans, but do any of you have tips for keeping them away from toppling the garbage (short of leaving the stinky can inside the garage)? Please help out in your comments below.

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freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
We have raccoons crawling all over our neighborhood every night causing all sorts of chaos. The only fool-proof way I can think of to avoid them is to just take out the trash first thing in the morning on the day your trash gets taken out. Raccoons rarely get so bold as to do things like that during the day.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 9 years
We had this problem my whole life because we lived in a very wooded area--raccoons are the worst and literally drove my dad crazy. We had to call the local "Trapper". Usually he would catch them and let them out in woods away from houses--it worked for the time being a guess. We also had to put the garbage cans in the garage! I feel bad for you! I remember how TERRIBLE picking up that garbage was!
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
Sorry Wren - our raccoons were able to open those trash cans anyway. The best thing we found to do is a build a "fence" around the trash cans - with a lid. And have a lock to keep the lid down. I didn't have much luck with the bungee cords, either ... but they weren't extremely tight, either. Racoons are smart little suckers!!
Rally-RE Rally-RE 9 years
i second ufshutterbabe's suggestion of bungee cords. make sure they are tight across the top and be sure to make the 'x' - otherwise the little trickers will be able to get in. this trick worked for us.
Katydid620 Katydid620 9 years
I live in Pennsylvania and we have to deal with Bear's getting into our garbage. The thing that works here is getting a bottle of ammonia. Just open your garbage can and pour some all over the bags and put the lid back on. When they get the top off the smell over powers them and they run. Hope this helps!
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
Can you use bungee cords to secure the lid? Use 2 and make an "x" across the lid.
wren1 wren1 9 years
At our cabin, this used to be a problem. We got these and they no longer get in because of the clamp. They even keep out bears! We built a wooden frame (super easy with some 2x4s)around it so they couldn't be tipped, either.
ALSW ALSW 9 years
Is there any sort of scent that would overpower the garbage and that the raccoons wouldn't like? Something like deer urine in order to keep animals away from plants kinda thing.
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