How To Get Rid Of Squirrels In Garbage Cans

Spread the love

Squirrels are vegetarians by nature, and their daily diet comprises insects, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Squirrels, when hungry, are capable of eating anything that they can find. They can even scrounge for food particles in garbage cans. This can get messy for people living in residential areas.

Here are some of the ways by which you can squirrel-proof your garbage cans and keep the squirrels out of them for good.

  • Placing Cans In An Enclosed Space
  • Use Of Metallic Garbage Cans
  • Securing The Lids Of Trash Cans
  • Using Deterrents To Keep Squirrels Away
  • Installing Motion Sensors
  • Calling In Wild-Life Professionals
  • Getting Rid Of Food Remnants
  • Placing Your Bins In the Garage
  • Making Use of Coffee Beans
  • Planting Pepper Mint Plants

In this article, we are going on provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to keep squirrels away for good and what you can do to prevent them from coming back and making a fuss in your residing area.

[10] Tips To Getting Rid Of Squirrels In Garbage Cans

Placing Cans In An Enclosed Space

An enclosed area should be allotted for keeping the trash cans. This could be a wooden block or a small cemented square where you place your garbage can. This way, the squirrels will not be able to reach the garbage cans, and their direct access will be blocked.

Having cans in an enclosed space will also prevent them from toppling over by the squirrels. This way, they will remain tall, and the contents will not be spilled over once the squirrels push them down. Furthermore, it will spare you from the mess of cleaning after a squirrel has just attacked.

Use Of Metallic Garbage Cans

If you are using plastic cans for garbage, you need to stop immediately for the plastic is chewable by the squirrels, and right after eating it, they will be able to have direct access to the content of the garbage. Through this, they can eat up remnants of seeds and fruits quickly.

Plastic trash cans should be replaced with metallic ones as they are non-chewable, and the squirrels will not be able to make their way into them. Metals are complex, and the squirrels do not have enough strength to topple them over.

Securing The Lids Of Trash Cans

It is not sufficient to replace the plastic trash cans with metallic ones; you also need to secure their lids. The lids are the central opening for the squirrels, and if they can find a way to enter through them, the chances of all your contents being spilled over are much higher.

You can secure the lids of your trash cans in several ways. Preferably it would be best if you used a bungee cord so that the lid is secured tightly. This will keep all the squirrels out. You can also use a plastic bag and wrap it around the trash cans so that the opening is sealed tightly.

Using Deterrents To Keep Squirrels Away

If you are done trying the methods mentioned above and need to explore more, then you need to read on. You can also use deterrents to keep the squirrels away. This includes the use of hot pepper sauce and water. All you have to do is mix one-part hot pepper sauce into four parts of water to make it a ratio of 1:4.

You can add this mixture to a spray bottle and sprinkle it on and around your trash cans. The squirrels will smell this mixture and not come near it. This is a very effective repellant in keeping the squirrels away.

Installing Motion Sensors

Another way to prevent squirrels from coming near your trash cans is by installing motion sensors. This involves setting up motion sensors around trash cans, which will activate once the squirrels go near them. You should place one motion sensor in each direction to ensure that the squirrels keep away from your garbage area.

Also, these motion sensors can sprinkle water out of them. The squirrels are afraid of water being sprayed on them and will immediately run away from the trash cans. This way, you can protect your garbage cans from being prowled over by squirrels.

Calling In Wild-Life Professionals

If nothing seems to be working, perhaps you need professional advice. You should search out pest control authorities and contact them to keep the squirrels away from your trash cans. They will be able to come and have a look at your problem and then advise accordingly.

Despite all your precautions, the wildlife populations sometimes resist your efforts. Wildlife control services can set up a permeant parameter to keep the squirrels off your property. Permeant barriers can help keep the squirrels far away from your residency and trash cans.

Getting Rid Of Food Remnants

Food act as an open invitation for the squirrels to come. If you eliminate or minimize the food sources from your trash cans, you will succeed in driving the squirrels away. Every night, all you have to do is that filter out the food particles and keep them aside.

You have to remove fruit, seed, and nuts remnants from the trash and throw them away far away from the place you live. If you only have dry trash like papers, wood chipping, etc., it will not attract the squirrels; hence, they will not enter the trash cans to explore them.

Placing Your Bins In the Garage

Placing your bins in the garage will provide them with a secure location and out of the reach of squirrels. The garage can be sealed as the inlets and outlets are the same. You can close the entrance after throwing your garbage in the can.

Furthermore, it will discourage the squirrels from entering the garage again. The squirrels fear enclosed spaces, and with time they will know not to enter that place again. You do not need to worry if you do not have a garage. You can place the bins inside your home in the basement after emptying them at night.

Making Use of Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are disliked by squirrels so much that they prefer keeping away from them. It is not bearable for a squirrel to withstand the smell of coffee. That is why a squirrel should maintain its distance from the presence of coffee.

You can either place the coffee beans as it is around the trash cans or sprinkle them on top of the trash. A squirrel will smell them from far away and run away from them in no time. It will also discourage future visits from the squirrels and keep them at the edge of your residency.

Planting Pepper Mint Plants

You can do several things to keep squirrels away naturally. For instance, you can plant peppermint plants in your garden or yard. This will keep the squirrels away from your garbage cans. Moreover, you can also place the cans in an area that has a lot of peppermint plants in it.

The use of garlic, onion, or peppermint oil is also effective when it comes to getting rid of squirrels from your vicinity. The squirrels are repelled away by their smells. Natural remedies are quite effective as you do not have to spend money on them. They are easily available at home.

What Can I Spray On My Garbage To Keep Animals Away?

There are methods of keeping squirrels away from your garbage altogether. Firstly, you must tie your trash correctly in brown or white garbage bags. The smell of food particles attracts the squirrels. They are compelled by it and will go to any length to get what they want.

Next, you need to prepare a mixture of ammonia and water to spray on the surface of the garbage. To prepare this, you need to add one-part ammonia and one-part water. This makes it a ratio of 1:1. Next, you have to add this mixture to a spray bottle and then spray it on your garbage.

Squirrels do not like the smell of ammonia and prefer to keep away from it. The scent is pungent, and the squirrels hate it. Another advantage is that ammonia makes good food smell bad. So, the chances of squirrels returning to it are close to zero.

Wrapping It Up

The outdoor garbage bins can be an all-you-can-eat buffet for critters like squirrels, and it does not matter even if your can is shut. The squirrels still know how to chew through such materials to reach inside for what they want.  There is a dire need to squirrel-proof your trash cans in residential areas.

That is why you must keep squirrels out and away from your trash cans and adopt every measure you can to trick the squirrels away from them. This article has guided you with all the necessary steps needed. Otherwise, they will land you in a mess you are unprepared for.


Mohan, C., Josephrajkumar, A., Thube, S.H., Saneera, E.K., Mani, M. (2022). Pests and Their Management in Cocoa. In: Mani, M. (eds) Trends in Horticultural Entomology. Springer, Singapore