One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – especially for raccoons. Household garbage contains many foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables which are favorable food items for raccoons. As a result, they can pose a nuisance to homeowners who must clean up their late-night messes. Ready to shut down their dumpster diving? Here’s how to help raccoon-proof your garbage can.
To understand why you might find evidence of a raccoon in the trash, let’s first explore their dietary habits. Raccoons are opportunistic eaters. In other words, they may eat anything they can get their hands on. This can include the food in your trash can and leftover pet food. Most often, raccoons will search for clams, frogs, fish and snails. Since these species live near water, they may be attracting raccoons to your property if you live near a water source. Raccoons may also eat common foods like insects, slugs, animals, birds and eggs. They don’t neglect homegrown foods, either. Raccoons may also munch on fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Be aware that raccoons may also hunt young gophers and other young rodents. If you have either of these species in your yard or around home, they could be luring these pests to your property. As a best practice, contact a wildlife professional to help determine what is attracting raccoons to your home.
Since raccoons have an extensive diet, there are many food-related ways to help deter them. Small actions like taking in leftover food from outdoor meals or cleaning up pet food can have a great effect. Think about eliminating any potential sources that may be drawing raccoons near your home.
If there is a raccoon in your trash can, there are a few steps you could take to help prevent it from returning. Fastening the lid may help to raccoon-proof your trash can only if you use the proper tools. For example, raccoons have sensory signals in their hands, allowing them to feel for objects nearby. Thus, lids fastened with clips can easily be identified and removed by raccoons. Instead, consider driving a stake into the ground to secure the handle. This may make it more difficult for raccoons to open the lid since they may not have the strength to remove it. Raccoons also tend to knock over garbage cans so they may easily crawl inside. If this is happening on your property, you may need to tie the can against a pole to help secure it upright.
Raccoons often find their way into garages, too. If there is a raccoon in your garage, consider similar steps. You should check all openings around the area and identify possible entry points. Additionally, you should keep your garage door closed whenever possible.
If raccoons are in your home or business, schedule an appointment with Terminix®. Our trained technicians can not only help remove them. By identifying appealing attributes around your home, Terminix technicians can also help get to the root of the problem, so you (and your trash can) can rest undisturbed.