How to Keep Your Dumpster Rental Clear from Pests


Renting a unit from a rental dumpster is easy. Maintaining its condition can be tedious.

A pest-free dumpster ensures the maintenance of the unit for as long as you use it. Many factors need to be considered to keep your unit's condition clean.  

Even if the dumpster rental is only under your care for a short while, pests can easily make it their haven. They can multiply in a couple of hours, which can ruin or hamper the progress of your projects.  

Why You Should Rent a Dumpster for Your Next Project

DIY projects in your backyard or your house can take a long while to complete. Different types of waste can accumulate over time if you do not keep your waste segregation in check.  

Dumpster rentals are a great way to keep your work area clean. Dumpster rentals are convenient because you can put them on your driveway or near your house. 

However, you must ensure that you keep it in its proper condition to avoid paying extra fees. You can ask your dumpster rental provider for tips when you borrow them.  

As noted earlier, pests can ruin your project progress. These come in different sizes and create different types of damage to your unit, depending on the contents of your dumpster unit.  

Unfortunately, many homeowners or individuals who borrow dumpster rentals tend to dispose of everything in their unit. The convenience is tempting, but the costs can skyrocket.  

To avoid damaging your borrowed unit and incurring too many costs for your project, here are the things you can do to keep your dumpster rental clear of pests.  

1. Avoid Food Waste

Food waste is the number one culprit of pests infiltrating your dumpster unit. You may have seen incidents where the community dumpsters contained such creatures.  

Dumpsters with pests usually stay in the dumpster because of food waste. The microorganisms and nutrients of food wastes become their nests and habitats. Mold may eventually be your concern if you leave your food waste inside your dumpster unit.  

To prevent this, you should ensure your dumpster unit does not contain food waste. Refrain from eating and disposing of food containers or plates in your dumpsters.  

Although dumpster rentals typically prohibit hazardous waste from their units, you may pay an additional cleaning fee if you dispose of food waste in your container.  

You also cannot help that your dumpster unit rests outside. The rot and smell from food waste will attract different kinds of pests, ranging from flies and mosquitos to larger rodents.  

There is also the problem of moisture. It usually comes from cutting branches of plants, trees, or other materials with water content. Pests love to stay on still, clean water as it can help them survive in the environment.  

2. Use Concrete and Avoid Grass

Grass can host living organisms inside, while concrete cannot act as such. Most owners may think it is okay to place their dumpster unit on top of grass because of the open space. Concrete prevents that from happening as long as the dumpster unit stays clean.  

Although you may not foresee it, sometimes dumpster units may have leaks that make them moist underneath.  

When that happens, however, pests are more likely to stick or live on the exterior of your unit. Usually, liquid spills or stains on it may also cause the creation of nests underneath.  

Make sure you talk to your dumpster rental service provider when planning the delivery to your driveway. Ensure the unit stays over concrete and not grass for your prevention and convenience.  

3. Use Repellents

Repellents are for both precaution and treatment. Although this works best on tiny pests, such as flies, mosquitos, or small cockroaches, removing the presence of such pests decreases the probability of bigger pests or rodents infesting your dumpster unit.  

You can buy repellent with the rest of your groceries, but you may need to buy a larger container if you plan to rent a large unit. Not to mention that you must apply it consistently throughout the time that you are borrowing the dumpster unit.  

An ammonia and water mixture is an effective and cheap repellent you can use to deter pests. You must be careful when applying them because it is also harmful when it comes into contact with human skin or when exposed to others near you.  

If your problem is bigger pests such as skunks, squirrels, and rabbits, a trip to your local hardware and lawn care store may contain a more appropriate repellent.  

Purchase fox and coyote urine and place it around the dumpster as it imitates the smell of the predators of these even bigger pests. The thought of even approaching your dumpster will cause them fear, which will make them leave your dumpster unit alone.  

4. Put a Cover on Your Dumpster Unit

Because you leave your dumpster unit outside, you must put a cover on it. This is all-in-one protection for your dumpster unit as it prevents all kinds of pests from infesting your accumulated waste.  

You should do this even after you empty your dumpster rental. Emptying your dumpster unit a couple of times may still leave an odor which can attract pests.  

Even if your dumpster unit is a top-load type, where big pests cannot climb over, putting a cover on it will benefit you in the long run. Others may mistakenly dispose of their waste in your dumpster unit, thinking it is a garbage bin.  

Precipitation can also be a problem if you do not put a cover on your dumpster unit. Rainfall may collect within your dumpster unit and make it a nest for small pests.  

Try using metal covers and tarps as covers for your unit. Tarps are easier to fit with any dumpster unit, regardless of size. It is also easier to store tarps once you are done renting your unit.  

Lastly, you may consider using straps to seal your dumpster unit tightly when not in use. Straps are convenient, but if big pests can reach them, they might claw or bite them—leaving your dumpster unit exposed. Depending on your residence, bears or raccoons might be common culprits of such a mess.  

5. Maintain a Clean Working Space

Maintaining a clean working space starts with your dumpster unit delivered in top condition. You can ensure this by requesting it from your dumpster rental service.  

If you are making several trips to dispose of the contents of your dumpster rental, you can take a few minutes to clean the spot where you usually keep your dumpster rental.  

This way, you can prevent any build-up of waste that may catch you off-guard. It will be extra work for you if you have to clean more because of pests making a habitat in the blind spots of your workspace.

Also, get rid of debris in your working space. This can act as small hiding spots for pests. Pest breeding usually happens when you work with materials or furniture made of timeworn wood. 

6. Avoid Grassy Areas and Branchy Areas

You already know putting your dumpster unit on grass only sends an invitation for pests to check out your dumpster. You should also watch out for nearby trees and branches around your dumpster unit.

Trees are also breeding grounds for various pests. These can be used by pests to climb and get into your dumpster unit. Keeping your unit beside tall grasses can also have the same effect.  

Trim the surrounding branches and grass where you plan to keep your dumpster unit. Also, do not throw away the branches in your dumpster when you cut them unless you plan to dispose of them immediately. There might already be in grown insects inside the branches.  

7. Know Your Needs

To avoid the hassle of maintaining your dumpster unit, ensure you rent the right size for your project.

You may be going the extra mile only for extra fees. Going for the largest size to avoid worrying about the amount of your waste can only lead to more worry and work. 

Planning the scale of your project and its timeline may help you estimate the most suitable dumpster unit for you. 

If you are unsure about what the right size is for your project, consult your dumpster rental service to know which of their dumpsters best fits your plans. 

8. Put LED Lights Near the Dumpster

Installing lights around your dumpster can serve a dual purpose: (1) extend working on your project at night and (2) warn you of the incoming threat of big pests.  

Extending your work through the night requires illumination to prevent you from getting injured, and to help you see better. Since the dumpster unit is beside your workspace, installing lights near it will lighten up your workspace as well.  

If you want to save money on your light installation, you can opt to buy smart lights or motion sensors. This feature also automates the turning on and off of your lights. 

When something is lingering or moving around your dumpster unit or work area, the lights turning indicate that you might need to ensure the lid of your dumpster unit is still intact.  

9. Segregate Your Waste

Although it may become tedious, try segregating your waste before disposing of it in your dumpster unit. Segregation ensures that you will not mix food waste with the different materials used in your project.

You can try keeping your food waste or hazardous materials in a separate bag, but be sure they will not linger around your workspace.  

10. Schedule Your Disposal

Connected to the last point, once you have separated your waste, it is time to get rid of it all.

To do this efficiently, create a disposal schedule. A disposal schedule will ensure that you will not waste trips and that you maintain your dumpster unit. Having a schedule is especially helpful when you are planning to rent a dumpster unit for more than just a few days.  

Having that routine reinforces cleanliness regardless of the phase of your project that you are in.  

11. Inform Your Assistants or Helpers

You usually will not do your home projects or renovations alone. You will have helpers or assistants who will help you along the way.  

Brief them of the policies and routines you made for yourself to ensure the condition of your dumpster unit. Doing this can be helpful for you whether you plan to have them around for the whole project or hire different people part-time. 


Maintaining a pest-free dumpster unit can be a cumbersome task for many. There can be so much waste that can attract different kinds of pests and interfere with your work over time.  

Avoid putting food waste into the dumpster unit. Food waste usually contains the preferable nutrients and living conditions the pests prefer.  

You will benefit a lot from using repellents and a cover. Metal casings or tarps are great covers because they prevent pests from infiltrating your dumpster unit. Just beware of using straps to bind your dumpster cover in place, as large pests (raccoons or bears) may be able to destroy it and break into your dumpster unit.  

Choose to put your dumpster unit on concrete and not on grass. Grassy areas are usually damp and are near branches that pests can use to climb into your dumpster unit. Trim your grass or branches and dispose of them separately to ensure that pests do not damage the exterior of your dumpster.  

Assess your needs and create a schedule for your disposal if you plan to make disposal trips with your dumpster unit. Purchasing the right size for your dumpster and planning your trips can help you save money through long project timelines.

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