In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“What to do if a raccoon is in your garbage?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what you can do if you find a raccoon in your garbage, then you’ll get a list of steps to follow to safely remove a raccoon that’s rummaging through your trash.
Raccoons are medium-sized mammals in the family Procyonidae under the order Carnivora. These omnivores are native to North America but are also distributed across mainland Europe, the Caucasus, and Japan, and are well-known for their striped ring-tail appearance.
Raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, or roundworms that can be transmitted to humans or pets. Therefore, it is important to know what to do if a raccoon is in your garbage and how to prevent it from happening again.
What to Do If a Raccoon Is In Your Garbage
If a raccoon is in your garbage you should act quickly and carefully to avoid any confrontation or injury by keeping a safe distance from the raccoon, making loud noises, using repellent spray, or calling a professional wildlife removal service.
Do Not Approach or Touch the Raccoon
Raccoons are wild animals that can be aggressive or defensive when they feel threatened or cornered. They can bite or scratch if they are handled improperly or provoked. They can also carry diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, or roundworms that can be transmitted to humans or pets through saliva, urine, feces, or blood.
Therefore, you should keep a safe distance from the raccoon and do not attempt to touch it or remove it from your garbage by yourself.
Make Loud Noise
Raccoons are nocturnal animals that prefer to avoid humans and bright lights. They may be startled by loud noises and run away from the source of the disturbance. You can try making some noise by clapping your hands, banging pots and pans, honking your car horn, or playing a radio near your garbage cans.
This may scare off the raccoon and make it leave your garbage alone. However, this may not work if the raccoon is used to human activity and noise, or if it is very hungry or protective of its food.
Use a Repellent Spray
You can use a repellent spray that contains a smell or taste that raccoons hate, such as hot pepper, ammonia, vinegar, citrus, or mint. You can spray this on your garbage bags or cans, or around the area where the raccoon is located.
This may deter the raccoon from eating your garbage and make it leave your property. However, this may not work if the raccoon is very hungry or accustomed to the repellent smell or taste. You may also need to reapply the repellent frequently to maintain its effectiveness.
Call a Professional Wildlife Removal Service
If none of the above methods work, or if you are dealing with a persistent or aggressive raccoon, you may need to call a professional wildlife removal service for assistance. They have the expertise and equipment to safely trap and relocate the raccoon without harming it or yourself. They can also provide you with advice on how to prevent future raccoon problems on your property.
You should check the local laws and regulations regarding raccoon trapping and removal before hiring a professional service, as they may vary by state or municipality.
How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Garbage
The best way to deal with raccoons in your garbage is to prevent them from getting into it in the first place. There are several methods that you can use to keep raccoons out of your trash cans and deter them from entering your property.
Secure Your Trash Cans
One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep raccoons out of your garbage is to secure your trash cans with lids that lock or latch. You can use trash cans that are made specifically for wildlife-proofing, such as the Toter 64 Gallon Bear-Tight Wheeled Trash Can or the Behrens 31 Gallon Galvanized Steel Animal Proof Trash Can.
You can also use bungee cords, rope tie-downs, weights, or bricks to keep the lids shut and prevent raccoons from opening them.
You should also take your trash cans to the curb on the day of pick-up rather than the night before, as this will reduce the time that raccoons have to access your garbage.
Clean Your Trash Cans Regularly
Another way to keep raccoons out of your garbage is to clean your trash cans regularly and remove any food residue or odor that may attract them. You can use dish soap and water, vinegar and water, or bleach and water to wash your trash cans inside and out.
You should also clean the area around your trash cans and clear any spills or leaks from the walls or ground. You can also freeze smelly food items such as fish or meat between pick-ups, as this will reduce the odor and appeal of your garbage.
Use Devices That Repel Raccoons
You can also use devices that repel raccoons by using sounds, lights, or water that they find unpleasant or frightening.
For example, you can use ultrasonic sound devices that emit a high-pitched noise that raccoons can hear but humans cannot, such as the Broox Solar Animal Repeller.
You can also use motion-activated sprinklers that spray water when they detect movement near your trash cans, such as the Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler.
You can use motion-activated floodlights that illuminate the area when they sense motion near your trash cans, such as the LEPOWER 35W LED Security Lights Motion Sensor Light.
These devices may scare off raccoons and make them avoid your property. However, they may not work if the raccoons are used to human activity and noise, or if they are very hungry or desperate for food.
Should I Throw Something at a Raccoon That Is In My Garbage?
You should not throw something at a raccoon that is in your garbage. This may provoke the raccoon and cause it to attack you. It may also injure the raccoon or make it more stressed and scared.
Instead, you should use other methods to scare off or repel the raccoon, such as making noise, using a repellent spray, or calling a professional wildlife removal service.
Can a Raccoon Get Out of Garbage Can?
A raccoon can get out of a garbage can, even if it is a large wheeled bin. Raccoons are excellent climbers and can use their nimble hands and feet to escape from any container. They are rarely trapped inside a garbage can, unless they are injured or sick. Most raccoons will leave overnight, especially if you leave the lid propped open.
What to Do If a Raccoon Is Stuck In a Dumpster?
If a raccoon is stuck in a dumpster, you should try to help it out without putting yourself or the raccoon in danger. You can use a long stick or pole to prop up the lid of the dumpster and create an opening for the raccoon to escape. You can also place a sturdy board or plank inside the dumpster to create a ramp for the raccoon to climb out. You should keep a safe distance from the dumpster and avoid touching or approaching the raccoon. You should also call a professional wildlife removal service if you need assistance or if the raccoon is injured or sick.
Learn More About Raccoons
Now that you know more about the things to do if a raccoon is in your garbage, you may also be interested in these other educational guides on these mammals:
- What do raccoons eat?
- What eats raccoons?
- Are raccoons dangerous?
- Are raccoons friendly?
- What attracts raccoons?
- What repels raccoons?
- What kills raccoons?
- What are raccoons afraid of?
- What gets rid of raccoons in your yard?
- What to put in a raccoon trap
- What to do if a raccoon is in your garbage
- What smells do raccoons hate?
- What can raccoons not climb?
- Where do raccoons live?
- Who catches raccoons?
- Raccoon in the house (What to do)
- How do raccoons get into attics?
Things to Do If a Raccoon Is In Your Garbage Summary
You now know what to do if a raccoon is in your garbage.
As you discovered, you should act quickly and carefully to avoid any confrontation or injury by keeping a safe distance from the raccoon, making loud noises, using a repellent spray, or calling a professional wildlife removal service.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.