Looking down at a young raccoon stuck in a garbage container

How To Deter Pests From Outdoor Dumpsters

Dumpsters are great for keeping trash away from your building. But what about the pests who love your garbage?

Well, insects run the gamut from annoying but harmless to painful or poisonous, and you don’t want to endanger people with bee or wasp allergies. Raccoons are cute, but they carry diseases and have been known to harm pets. Bears can be cute, but they’re definitely best kept at a distance. And most pests larger than a gecko will make a big mess as they extract the tastiest morsels of garbage from your dumpster.

Overall, you’re better off doing whatever you can to deter unwanted critters from your outdoor dumpsters — and you can succeed by following these seven guidelines.

1.     Build a home for your dumpsters instead of local wildlife.

Dumpster placement is essential. Ideally, your dumpsters should be on a concrete pad on a slope. The concrete stops rodents from digging their way in from underneath, and the slope will sluice rainwater or runoff from cleaning into a sewer drain.

If you have particularly strong or clever animals in your area (like raccoons and bears), you may want to consider a dumpster enclosure with a door that only humans can easily open and close.

2.     Location, Location, Location

To prevent pests from infesting your building, you should place your dumpster’s home at least 50 feet, but preferably, 100 feet away. The location should also be away from thick shrubs, and nearby grass and weeds should be trimmed short. Birds and rodents feel safer with dense plant life to hide in, which encourages them to nest or dig burrows next door to your garbage buffet.

3.     Maintain barriers

The first barrier between pests and your trash should be heavy-duty, tear-resistant trash bags, especially if you throw out lots of food waste. You should also monitor your dumpsters for cracks, wear, and holes. Patch up any openings with fiberglass reinforcement tape or epoxy, or rent a new dumpster in good repair. Rodents will squeeze through tiny spaces, not just to scavenge, but to make a home and raise baby pests.

4.     Pay attention — those barriers don’t work unless they stay in place.

Always keep your dumpster lids closed and secured, with all trash bags inside, and periodically check to ensure others have done the same. Don’t let the trash overflow the dumpster, and if your lids can’t be securely closed, rig up some bungees or clips to prevent easy access to animals.

5.     Don’t attract critters with “good smells.”

Garbage that smells foul to us smells tempting to pests. Seal all food trash you put in the dumpster inside bags and promptly clean any spills around or inside the dumpster with soapy water. Rinsing food and drink containers will also minimize the stink that pests find so inviting.

6.     Do repel critters with “bad smells.”

Ammonia is irritating to most animals — including humans. Spraying an ammonia solution in and around your dumpster will kill many insects — even cockroaches — and repel animals like raccoons, possums, and rats.

But be careful with the solution. You don’t want the stench of ammonia to spread inside your building, and never mix ammonia with bleach, as it produces toxic fumes.

7.     Scare the pests away

Installing motion-activated security lights will help scare off nocturnal animals like rats and possums, who’ll try to infiltrate your dumpsters when no one is around. Motion-activated lights are also great for deterring crime and improving safety when working late or during winter’s shorter, darker days.

Get the Right Dumpster for your Building From Next Day Dumpsters

You can keep pest infestations at bay with a little effort while also minimizing the mess and odors that humans hate. For best results, rent a quality dumpster from Next Day Dumpsters. We’ll bring you a dumpster in whatever size you need, then remove the garbage whenever you want. With a dumpster rental from Next Day Dumpsters, you’ll have no holes, no trash overflow, no pests, and no problems.

Call Next Day Dumpsters at 888-616-3495, or reach out to us online!

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