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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys;
I live in northern NJ. Something has been getting into the trash at night. Three consecutive nights so far.
I have tried spraying wolf pee, but it did nothing. I have Googled and found various solutions from ammonia or bleach (but never both!) to a predator's pee, to something as wild as christmas lights. Lights? Really?


I know that part of the problem is that the can is a cheap plastic 32 gal with a very loose fitting lid. I put a heavy rock on top, but they knocked it off.
I have two old metal cans, but the lids don't fit all that well.


I would love to buy/build some sort of shed for the cans, but that's going to get expensive and/or time consuming.


At this point I don't know what the animal is. I'm thinking of installing a webcam outside the back door and recording video to my PC. I don't know if a motion sensor on the cam would detect small animals, so I may just have to fast-forward through the whole night video to see what animal(s) it is.


Any suggestions?
Thanks
Ultrarunner
 

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Hey guys;
I live in northern NJ. Something has been getting into the trash at night. Three consecutive nights so far.
I have tried spraying wolf pee, but it did nothing. I have Googled and found various solutions from ammonia or bleach (but never both!) to a predator's pee, to something as wild as christmas lights. Lights? Really?


I know that part of the problem is that the can is a cheap plastic 32 gal with a very loose fitting lid. I put a heavy rock on top, but they knocked it off.
I have two old metal cans, but the lids don't fit all that well.


I would love to buy/build some sort of shed for the cans, but that's going to get expensive and/or time consuming.


At this point I don't know what the animal is. I'm thinking of installing a webcam outside the back door and recording video to my PC. I don't know if a motion sensor on the cam would detect small animals, so I may just have to fast-forward through the whole night video to see what animal(s) it is.


Any suggestions?
Thanks
Ultrarunner
Nice to meet you!

I'm in California now, but used to live in northern Ohio, with climate, flora and fauna much like yours.

Without a picture, it's hard to say exactly what the critter(s) is(are).

But I'd almost bet my life it's a raccoon. It has to be powerful enough to move a heavy rock (how heavy? How many pounds?) agile enough to jump onto a container and dexterous enough to do all that. Mature male '***** can weigh about 40 pounds (Wikipedia says only 30, but once weighed a fat roadkill at 40.5 pounds). Dogs aren't that agile; possums aren't that powerful and cats aren't that powerful (except maybe bobcats). Rats, etc. not even close in my opinion.

Don't fiddle with repellants. They don't work, as you've seen. I've tried the repellants myself. Fantasy, in my opinion.

The best thing is a physical barrier. If you were thinking of doing it anyway for other reasons, you might want to commence with the shed/enclosure. You can try a heavier rock, though one that's too heavy can pose problems of its own, like crushing the can (or your toe). Another possible solution is to get a strap that wraps around the can which can be secured. Bungee cords are possible, or one of those tie-down straps; pretty much anything is worth a try, if you have it on hand.

Often, if you shut them out, raccoons will wander off looking for something easier, so you might be able to slack off after a while, like right before trash day.

Hope this helps.

Maybe a picture of the can?
 

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I agree with Dave... racoon. Skunks and opossums are opportunistic in that they'll get into it once it's dumped over, dogs will scatter it all over heck's half acre, and your idea of a camera would confirm it, but I wouldn't waste the time because you can almost bet on it being a '****. The problem with them is that they have so much going for them that they're hard to keep out, especially once they know something is in there. Shed would be good, but sounds like you've ruled that out for the time being anyway, so how about a cube made of pallets? Don't know how that would fit your environment, but easy enough to find and could be easily enough be trimmed to equal sizes and could even be painted if you wanted. Might sound extreme, but those buggers don't give up easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your advice guys. I agree that it's most likely a raccoon. I saw a YouTube video of three of them getting into a trash can that seemed pretty well secured - during the daylight! That was surprising, as I didn't think they were daytime animals (unless they're sick with rabies, but the animals in the video didn't appear sick at all);


I took another look at the situation later this morning:
I didn't think I could put the cans in the (detached) garage, because the side door was not able to be closed & latched due to severe mis-alignment. I thought of building some sort of box for the cans, but I'm not too handy with carpentry.
So I took another look at the garage, and found that I could secure the door (permanently) with a 1x2 and some long screws attached to the door and jamb, so now nothing can get in, so long as the main overhead doors are closed.
So I'll try that and see what happens. If the critters find a way into the garage (I haven't checked all the corners for openings, but don't believe there are any large enough), then I'll have to look into one of the other alternatives.


Now, I'll just have to remember to remove the cans from the garage and put them out for collection in the morning twice a week.
 

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When I lived in central fla I had issues with various critters getting in my trash. My solution was to build a fence around the cans [including top] I build it next to road where my trash was picked up. The trash man never had an issue with opening it up although he didn't always close it back. It worked well for the 13 yrs I lived there. I did live in the country so this solution might not work in a neighborhood.
 

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I vote for the raccoon as well. Their little hands can do just about anything.
They can open latches. They have come on my back porch and shook the bird feeder until empty.
You can buy a can with a hinged lid that you can strap down.
That is the most common solution in my area.
 

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Them '***** can get pretty inventive when they're hungry. It may require adding a padlock hasp to a can with a hinged lid. I had to go to steel cans to keep the squirrels out of my garbage - they chewed right through the lids on the plastic ones.


If you want to go the super-cheap enclosure route, you can make one for next to nothing with 5 pallets and some wire...
 

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I had a raccoon issue a few years ago. A family of them were living in the neighbor's tree. They would run down the tree at night every night without fail and tease my dogs. He got rid of the tree and got rid of the problem, they moved somewhere else but before that, I had issues with them breaking into my trash. They have small hands that are quite strong. I used bungee cords around the lids. They would sometimes tip them but they couldn't get into them anymore.
 
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