Raccoon Deterrent | 4 Ways to Keep Raccoons Out of Garbage Cans

Sometimes a practical raccoon deterrent can yield surprising results. Learn four ways to keep raccoons out of your garbage cans for good.

By Earl Proulx

Apr 25 2022

raccoon deterrent
Photo Credit : Brenda Darroch
A reader wrote to tell me that raccoons had raided his garbage cans three nights in a row. He wondered whether I had a solution for a raccoon deterrent short of staying up all night with a gun or keeping the garbage cans indoors. My initial advice was to place a small radio near the cans and leave it playing all night. I got a letter from him later saying that my recommendation had worked. The raccoons left his garbage alone, but there had been some complications. It seems that the radio had not been well anchored, and the raccoons had walked off with it. “Somehow in the process of transporting the radio, the raccoons turned it up very loud, and the whole woods radiated with music,” he wrote. “The coons placed the radio on the hollow of a high tree, so all we could do was let the batteries wear out — which took two days and two nights. The raccoons seem to like disco music best, but we don’t.” I wrote back to suggest that if he liked country music better, he should try leaving a banjo out by the trash. Still looking for ways to deter raccoons from your garbage? Here are 3 more raccoon deterrent ideas to try.

3 More Raccoon Deterrent Ideas

  1. To keep raccoons out of your garbage, stretch a rubber bungee cord tight from one handle over the top of the lid to the other handle.
  2. Hang a string of blinking Christmas lights around trash cans and leave them on all night to act as a raccoon deterrent.
  3. To keep persistent and clever raccoons out of your trash, sprinkle a little ammonia on each trash bag you put in the can. This will keep dogs out, too.
We love hearing your raccoon deterrent and raccoon trash prevention tips. Be sure to leave them in the comments below! This post was first published in 2012 and has been updated. 

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