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How to Keep Squirrels out of Trash Cans

Well, the first order of the day is not to attract these critters in the first place.  That means no feeding of any kind of wildlife, including birds, anywhere close to your house.  Actually, you shouldn't feed them at all.  (Do I sound like a broken record?)
Forget the mothballs in the bottom, the red pepper on the outside, the animal urine, and all the other "tricks" you might have heard about.

Anyway, to keep them out, you must separate your trash.   That is, make sure that you don't put any food refuse in your "normal" trash.  Obtain a METAL trash can from the hardware store.  Get a good one made out of galvanized steel and make sure it has a tight-fitting lid.  Put all the food refuse in this can, you can use the standard plastic cans for the other trash.  If you have had food refuse in your plastic cans, wash them out thoroughly, so the squirrels will not mistake them for food invitations.

Take care of that metal can, a good one is expensive.  And watch out if you leave this can in the street, the trash men will make short work of them, bashing them against the lip of the truck when they empty them.  As a matter of fact, I never put my metal can out front.  I put the food refuse out on the morning of the pickup, not the night before. Doing it that way, you can be reasonably sure of not attracting the squirrels and not endangering your prized metal trash can.  (When I say ‘prized,' I mean it!  Mine cost over $80 several years ago.)  And remember - squirrels can chew through a plastic trash can in minutes - and will, if they expect some kind of reward inside.

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