Scavenge No More

April 26th, 2013 No Comments

Preventing a Trashy Situation

Having trouble with animals raiding your garbage cans and creating an awful mess? You’re not alone. Dogs, cats, raccoons, opossums, rats and other animals can have a king-sized buffet if they get into your trash—even if the lids on your cans are latched on properly.

First, let’s cover some common DON’Ts regarding pest management:

Don’t put your trash out early. Don’t put your cans out until the morning, before the scheduled pickup. More time out in the open, just increases the risk of critters visiting for a meal. Leaving a can curb side overnight may be asking for trouble.

Don’t use chemicals. Animals might be repelled only temporarily, and the chemicals can damage your yard and environment. Also, garbage handlers aren’t fond of strong chemicals coating their hands and clothes. Natural repellents can be produced at home. The following is just one example:

6 eggs
4 hot peppers or enough to make it very hot
6-12 gloves of garlic, enough to make it stink
5 cups of warm water.

Place all ingredients in a blender and liquefy the mixture. Put it in an old milk jug. Set it out for a couple of days in the sun. Strain it, if you want to use it in a sprayer. You can also pour it on and/or around your trash cans. This is also a great deterrent around vegetable gardens.

Don’t shoot or poison the animals. They’re hungry, they smell food and they need to eat to survive. They don’t realize they’re causing you trouble. If it’s a pet, such as a neighbor’s dog or cat, contact the owner and explain the problem. You should contact local animal control if you need help solving a persistent problem.

Here are some recommended DOs for deterring the scavengers:

Stake the handles. If your garbage cans have handles, drive stakes into the ground and place the handles around them. It prevents animals from knocking over the cans.

Try bungee cords. Connecting bungee cords helps secure the lids and, if you wrap them around multiple cans, this may keep them in an upright position. You can also try connecting the cords to a fence or other structure.

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