Over the years, we have discussed a number of different ways to keep critters like raccoons and skunks out of your trash cans. But, do all of these techniques work? In this article, we will discuss the effectiveness of motion sensor lights and keeping the wildlife away.

Why Use Motion Sensor Lights?

For nocturnal animals like raccoons, opossums, and skunks, bright lights can act as a deterrent in some cases. These animals want to stay hidden in the dark, and it is easier for them to navigate darker areas. Motion sensor floodlights allow you to brighten up your alleyway or backyard when an animal is detected, and limit energy use throughout the night. The lights are only on when they detect movement. Because of this, motion sensors are a practical and low-energy solution to lighting up your alleyway, for personal use, and as a critter-defense tool.
Additionally, animals tend to adjust to their environments. If the trash cans are well-lit at all times, they might get used to it and chow down anyway. However, motion sensor lights come on quickly, which may scare off and disorient the animals. This makes them less likely to return. If possible, invest in motion sensors with adjustable timing and sensitivity, so you can find the settings that work best for your home.

Light Positioning Matters

When investing in motion sensors, it is important to consider how your lighting should be laid out. You want to properly illuminate your alley or backyard without providing good hiding spots for the critters. Additionally, consider if the angles of the lights will catch the windows on your or your neighbor’s houses. No one wants a floodlight shining into their home late at night. Lastly, lights that are closer to or above the trash cans can provide more illumination in the target area.

Motion Sensor Lights are Not a Catch-All

While it may seem like a great investment to set up motion sensor lights, just remember that they may not solve your whole problem. Animals can be resourceful, especially when hungry. Motion sensor lights may only provide a temporary solution, or may only stop some wild animals. The best way to secure your trash cans is by using a multi-faceted approach. Invest in strong, animal-proof trash cans with locking lids. Consider using ropes or bungee cords to secure the cans to your fence or home. By increasing the difficulty of achieving your food scraps, you can deter even the most desperate critters from making an attempt.

We specialize in the humane removal of raccoons, rats, squirrels, and other pests in the New York/New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.