The quote “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” could have been coined by a raccoon, opossum, or squirrel. What you throw out in your garbage is a smorgasbord of delight to any of these four-legged scavengers. It’s frustrating as a homeowner to wake up to trash strewn about your yard. Here’s how to deal with wild animals getting into your dumpster or trash can.
Secure Your Trash Cans
Raccoons are smart creatures. Squirrels can be persistent. And since urban wildlife is flourishing in all types of neighbourhoods, you’re not going to be able to completely eradicate all wildlife on your property. So, you’ll have to be smarter and more diligent. Start by making sure that wildlife can’t get into your trash. Use a bungee cord to secure the lids or place a weight on top to make their quest more difficult. You may want to look for a trash can that has been designed to withstand wildlife.
If you can avoid it, don’t put trash out at night. Place it out the morning it is to be picked up to eliminate the time wild animals have to make their move. Typically, wildlife is more active at night. If they have eight or more hours to work their way into your trash, they’ll take it.
Protect Your Garbage
Keep trash cans on level ground, which makes it more difficult for raccoons to turn the bins over. Place the receptacles away from other objects, such as brick walls or fences, that wildlife can use to climb into them. If you have a secure area where you can store trash, that could be enough to deter wildlife. Securing trash cans to a stable object, like the side of your garage, may prevent wildlife from getting to it if they can’t open the lid.
Raccoons, squirrels, and skunks are attracted to the smell of food in your trash cans. Double-bagging your trash or using a heavier bag can limit odors that attract squirrels or raccoons. Clean and disinfect trash cans regularly to remove lingering odors. Using ammonia to clean the trash can is a good repellent for raccoons because they do not like the odor. Be cautious when using ammonia to clean, however, and never mix it with bleach.
Another option to discourage wildlife is to find methods that keep them away from your property. Keep your yard clean of trash and other items that draw them to your yard. Seal off entry points to your home and garage. You may want to invest in some of the following natural repellants:
- Motion-detecting lights will startle raccoons and opossums who prefer darkness. Installing spotlights or a string of sparkling holiday lights may deter most wildlife.
- Natural animal repellents, either sprays or granules, may be placed on trash bags or around trash cans. Be sure to follow directions and reapply as necessary.
- Electronic repellents use water, motion, sound, or a combination of sensations to scare off foraging animals. The key is finding the right placement because you want to repel wildlife before they get to your trash can.
Wildlife Is Stuck in Your Trash, What Do You Do?
Even with all your best efforts, if a raccoon or squirrel gets trapped in your trash bin, you shouldn’t try to deal with it yourself. If an animal is in your trash can without a way to get out, call a professional wildlife removal service to manage this problem. Raccoons, squirrels, and skunks may carry rabies and pose other threats such as being attacked or scratched in the process. A trapped animal can be dangerous, as they may panic when they feel threatened. Teach your children to walk away from all wildlife, even babies that appear innocent.
Contact Skedaddle Milwaukee for humane wildlife removal. Our technicians are experienced and trained to deal with all types of wildlife that may invade your property. We offer wildlife removal and clean-up to prevent future re-entry in your home.