Trash bags and wild animals

Normally we put our trash out in trash cans. But next week we’re leaving for the holidays on trash day, and if I put the trash out in cans the empty cans will sit there for a week (Hey, thieves! This house is unoccupied!), so I’m thinking of leaving the trash out in bags.

But if I do that, I risk animals tearing open the bags to get at what’s inside. Is there something I can spray on the bags that will keep animals away from them for a couple of hours?

(Mods, I didn’t know if this should go in GQ or IMHO. Please move if appropriate.)

I ask my neighbors to put my trash cans away when I’m in this situation. They put them on the car port. I do similar favors for them when they ask.

You could also call your trash removal company and schedule them to pick it up a day early. My company allows this service 1 time for free, after that they charge a nominal fee.

Or, you could make a hot pepper spray by boiling up a few habaneros in water and filling a spray bottle with it. Or spray ammonia on the bags.

Where do you live? At my house in Indiana, I put the trash out in bags (no cans) every week and it’s never been touched. At cabins I’ve stayed at in Tennessee, you have to lock up your trash in a very solid crate to avoid bear problems.

Different environments might call for vastly different solutions.

It’s just pure luck whether or not animals (wild or domestic) will get into your trash. I don’t think there is anything you can spray on them that would guarantee a hungry animal won’t brave it.

Best thing is the neighbor option, or just let the trash sit for a while until you are back.

Thanks for all the answers.

I live in the Philadelphia suburbs. Our trash is picked up by the township, and asking them to change their pickup schedule is not an option. Aside from the occasional deer (none of which will be around mid-day), the most prevalent animals in my neighborhood are squirrels and rabbits. Leaving trash in bags out overnight just doesn’t work, but leaving it out for a few hours during the day might.

I may well ask one of the neighbors if I can put my trash can in his driveway and would he drag the empty into his garage for a week.

The other option is, just don’t put your garbage out that week. Our garbage can is very seldom over 1/2 full, and this time of year, leaving garbage in a can for a week is zero problem. It’s fully frozen.

That’s what I was going to suggest, I don’t put my garbage out for pickup unless it’s getting full, smells or I anticipate a lot of garbage in the coming week (say, a birthday party). It works out to about every other or every third week. I just don’t feel the need to wheel the big giant bin/cart out to the street for one or two bags just to pull it back in the next day. Especially in winter when it’s freezing cold out.

There are so many things that you can do like those suggested here. If your garbage collection service cannot reschedule their date you can try out any of those options. If your neighbor is a friendly person I don’t think he will mind taking in and out your garbage bags once.
@Taste of Chocolate also have a good advice. If your garbage isn’t full yet and it won’t start to stink by the time you are back then let it be. You can turn it over the next week.