Tips for Bear-Proofing Your Home

Safeguard Your Property
Do Not Feed ANY Wildlife
Keep Them ALL Alive and Wild

  • Never feed the bears! Not even once! It’s illegal and will get bears killed.
  • Don’t leave any garbage near the house or on decks. Bear-proof trash cans are available at Stage Stop Mercantile in Lebec.
  • Don’t leave pets or pet food outside and don’t feed pets outside.
  • Don’t leave food in cars. Roll up windows and lock doors. Don’t leave behind gum, mints, chapstick or even empty wrappers.
  • Make bird feeders inaccessible to bears or take them down.
  • Don’t leave accessible windows or doors open, especially lower level windows. Screens are not bear-proof.
  • Brush Original Scent Pine-Sol on window and door casings to mask food odors coming from inside. Repeat often. Place open pans of Pine-Sol in garage to mask garbage and food in freezers.
  • After BBQing outside, make sure the grill is thoroughly cleaned. Bears will destroy BBQs that have even the slightest lingering scent of food.
  • Replace single-pane windows with double-pane.
  • If your house is not permanently occupied (i.e., a vacation home or a vacant rental), remove all food when the house is unoccupied. Bears smell spices, teas, pasta and other food through the walls, and they use their claws, teeth and incredible strength to get at it. Even canned food is not bear-proof.
  • Be sure your doors are solid wood or metal and install and use heavy dead bolts.
  • Securely block access to under-house crawl spaces. This keeps raccoons out as well.
  • Leave lights and radio or TV on when not at home.
  • Don’t use DeCon. It attracts bears.
  • Don’t talk nicely to bears who come near your house. Make them think you will harm them. Be aggressive with them.
  • Pick fruit up off ground from around fruit trees.
  • Yell or blow an air horn to let the bear know he’s unwelcome in your yard. When he turns to run, throw a rock at him.
  • Be dominant, not submissive, if a bear comes onto your property.


This is part of the July 10, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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