Trash Dumpsters And Raccoons: What Business Owners Need To Know

Unfortunately, trash-filled dumpsters are an attractive proposition for marauding pests, and raccoons are a common sight in and around many North American towns and cities. In fact, as the human population has increased across the United States, raccoons have also adapted and grown in number. Raccoons are a nuisance around dumpsters, and it's important for business owners to take steps to stop these naughty animals making a mess. Learn more about raccoon habits around dumpsters, and find out how to protect your business from these pests.

Raccoon habits

Raccoons are largely solitary creatures, but if your dumpster offers plenty of treats, you may see more than one of these animals raiding the receptacle for food. Raccoons are omnivorous, which means they will eat almost anything, including meat, vegetables, fruit and fish. As such, almost any organic waste in your dumpster is a possible raccoon meal, so if you need to dispose of unwanted food, your dumpster is a target for raccoons.

Some people mistakenly believe that only people in rural areas need to worry about raccoons. In fact, these animals will travel significant distances to feed, and a raccoon will happily use underground sewers and pipes to travel between feeding destinations. As such, business owners in towns and cities may still suffer from a raccoon problem. You're less likely to see one of these animals during the winter, but raccoons will feed as much as possible during the summer and fall because they need to pile on fat reserves.

Reasons to get rid of raccoons

Raccoons are certainly cute to look at, and popular films make these creatures rather likeable. That aside, these animals can cause various problems.

While foraging for food, raccoons can damage your business premises. As well as breaking your dumpster, the animals can damage things like insulation or pipes in a quest to find material for their bedding. What's more, while feeding and foraging in and around your dumpster, the animals will often poop, which creates an unpleasant smell and a biohazard. For food retailers or café owners, this is bad for your reputation.

Raccoons aren't normally dangerous, although they can become aggressive when cornered. Raccoons may also attack if they are unwell or injured. The animals can carry zoonotic diseases that they can pass on to humans, including rabies. What's more, the animals can also create a terrible mess, as they will often drag the contents of a dumpster out to get to the food they want to eat.

Ways to secure your dumpster

If the raccoons cannot get inside the dumpster, they will normally give up and go elsewhere, so the best way to protect your business is to securely close the receptacle. If your dumpster lid is broken or you cannot secure it properly, talk to your supplier about a suitable replacement. Many suppliers now offer lockable dumpsters that will defeat these wily creatures. In the meantime, you can secure unlockable dumpster lids with bungee cords.

Of course, if staff members use the dumpster all day, it's easy to forget to secure the lid every time, so make sure your employees never leave the lid open. You should also make sure workers don't leave any food waste or debris around the dumpster, as this will soon attract raccoons and other pests.

If you find a raccoon trapped in a dumpster, you should call a pest control company straight away. When cornered in this way, the frightened animal may scratch or bite one of your workers. Pest control experts can use special traps to humanely remove the animals.

Raccoons are common in American cities, and these naughty animals may love the contents of your dumpster. Talk to your dumpster rental service for more information and advice about how to deter these creatures from business's waste.