Keep your Trash Vermin-Proof

Eew! Opening up the trashcan and finding it full of bugs is one life’s more unpleasant surprises. Just the thought of all those creepy-crawlies is enough to make your skin … well … crawl. Vermin in your garbage pail is not only gross; even worse, these pests often bring disease and destruction as well. Fortunately, though, there are steps you can take to decrease the possibility of providing rest and comfort for your enemies in the garbage. Read our tips and find out how to keep your trash vermin-proof, both indoors and out.

Keep Vermin out of Your Home 

1. The Number One tactic you can use to prevent vermin venturing inside your house is to take out the trash regularly – meaning every day. Vermin navigate by their sense of smell, and your garbage, after about 48 hours “ripening” at room temperature, will broadcast the odorous message loud and clear, "Calling all vermin!"

2. Keep your trashcan super clean, as well. When you remove the bag from your bin, clean up any seepage immediately -- preferably with bleach -- before it becomes liquid lunch for some bug.

3. Use a trashcan liner with a bottom "star" seal (in other words, the sides of the bag are gathered together and rolled before heat sealing), rather than a "gusset" (folded like the bottom of a paper bag) or flat bottom seal. A star seal liner will be stronger, a better fit for your can, and less likely to leak.

4. Try the following useful little trick if you have an active infestation of crawling bugs like ants or roaches. Put a tray under your trashcan and fill it with water. This creates a moat which will work to stop any bug that can't swim … and that includes just about every common household pest you might find.

5. To treat serious infestation in your trash storage area or anywhere else in your home, hire a licensed pest control expert.

Keep Pests at Bay in the Backyard

6. Make sure the outdoor garbage area is clean; that’s usually the best way to keep vermin at bay in your backyard. Smelly trash and old spills in or around your outside cans will attract bugs and rodents to your house’s exterior. Once the outdoor area is infested, it's just a short hop to the inside of your home.

7. Be sure to use a garbage can with a tight, heavy-duty lid. Some of the best commonly available trashcans feature lids equipped with integral clips that lock the top onto the can.

Make it a Neighborhood Effort

8. You need neighborhood cooperation to keep your trash totally vermin-free. Every so often, check on how your neighbors are doing with their waste management practices, because a litter-strewn backyard is likely to invite pests into the whole neighborhood.

9. You might want to follow the example of some urban neighborhoods, such as San Diego. They have teamed up with the American Lung Association and similar organizations, hosting an annual trash clean-up day to lessen dangers such as the increase of asthma in proximity to cockroaches, mice, and rats.

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