Black Bear

Operation Bear Scare !!

How to Prevent Bears

From Lurking Around Your House


Over the years, our human desire to locate our homes in lush green valleys and quiet areas from bigger cities has also meant that we’re stepping into regions that truly belong to the wildlife. Consequently, reports of wild animal sightings in and around  homes have also increased. While human expansion will only increase, animal home will be encroached upon.

Coming into contact with a bear in your yard can be scary but simple efforts on your part can help in preventing bears coming around your home. To begin with, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that bear attacks on humans are extremely rare. Bears generally try to avoid contact with humans. Thus scaring bears away is not a very difficult task. It helps to know what bears like and do not like to come up with answers that will work for us.

When you see a bear in your yard, it’s advisable to not panic and see what the bear is up to first. Try staying quiet and keep yourself safe (inside your home preferably). Once you know why the bear is there, you may have your answer.

Why do they lurk around homes?

Bears do exactly what we had to do a few hundred years ago- hunt for food. The scent of food is the prime reason that attracts bears around your house. Their olfactory abilities are almost seven times that of a bloodhound’s. If they locate a source of their day’s meal around your area, like your garbage bin or barbeque leftovers, they often come back looking for food in the same places. Mother bears who’ve recently born cubs may also stroll into unknown territories for food.

While the first reason is the most common one, it isn’t the only determinant of bear behavior and intrusion. Often within a sleuth of bears, young male bears aren’t tolerated by the adults in the group. This leads to young male bears to wander into territories looking for shelter. Often it is this very type of bears that tend be lesser frightened of humans and a commonly known as “nuisance bears”.
What do they eat?

Essentially omnivores, fresh water fish, berries and succulent vegetation are a part of the common bear diet. But hunting for them during off season is a laborious task for which bears travel almost hundreds of miles to stock and eat before their hibernation period begins. Quick access to human food and often leftovers, becomes a favorable choice as the bear becomes aware of a very EASY food source. A possible reason for a bear to lurk around your home’s vicinity is because it has found food around.  Bird feeders are like candy to a bear.

Bears do not prey on humans. But in extremely rare cases, if the bear has tasted human flesh before then there may be danger. Also pets can be in danger, especially if you feed your pets outside.  Chicken coups and Rabbit hutches make easy prey for bears.


Does this happen during a particular time of the year?

Yes, fall and spring. During fall, bears enter a stage of hyperphagia. They begin to consume as much as 20,000 calories a day. But in lower altitudes where food is available throughout a year and their diet isn’t affected because of snow and frost, they do not hibernate. This is quite common in urban and sub-urban areas, where, by human provisions like pet food, bird food, uncovered garbage and birdseeds, have allowed bears to have access to food.

In spring, Mom bears need to feed their cibs and are always looking for easy food sources.  Once a Mom has taught her cubs where to find food at homes, those cubs will be looking for similar sources as they grow older.


How do I keep them away?

Preventing bears around your home is easy and can be done so by implementing some basic rules for all your house members.


Bear proof Garbage bags and Garbage Cans

If you’re new to the area or haven’t done this before, pay a visit to a local departmental store. They usually keep all bear-proof necessities and all those items that would aid in scaring bears away. These cans and bags keep the scent of food air locked, so that the animals cannot smell them and also, some of them have a complicated lock system that the bear would fail to open.


No left overs

Bears do come around if you happen to have fruit trees, bird feeders, pet food dishes,  leftovers, and your barbeque grease pan underneath.  Make sure all of them are cleaned in regular intervals so that they aren’t attracted to the scent of leftover food.


Electrical Fence

If you have livestock, beehives or pets at home, and the bear happens to be hungry, you may want to invest in an electrical fence.


Chemical Cleaners

You can either use ammonia or bleach, to clean your house surroundings and garbage cans.  This will eliminate food scents and prevent attracting bears around your home.


Bear Sprays

This one is only and only for serious emergencies. Only if you see that the bear happens to be charging towards you for an attack, should you use a Bear pepper spray. The spray may or may not stop him and you may miss spraying him in the right place (face) at the right time. It is better to be far away or in your home.  Bears are very fast and can out run you.


Loud and Noisy

Bears usually like quiet areas to lurk and feed in. When a bear is spotted most people pear out their windows and take pictures trying not to disturb the bears.  THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT BEARS WANT, PEACE AND QUIET. You want to make your yard unpleasant. So, noise, noise, noise.  Find radios that have motion sensors to turn on, scaring the bear as it walks to your home.  Put it on talk radio.  Most wild animals will go away from human voices.  Or put it on a rock station with loud booming music.  This may not be pleasant if you are close to your neighbors.


More Noise

These are simple hacks to keep them away. Loud noises using pots and pans and using Air horns can scare them away. You can buy an Air Horn from Walmart for $10.

I have successfully, scared bears from my house with pots and pans.  Bears would visit around my home weekly. We have lots of wild blueberry bushes around my home. Every time I saw any bears around my house, I would open a window or go outside if I was a safe distance and just yell, scream and bang pots and pans until they ran away.  Usually, they were gone in a few minutes.  Doing this consistently, I have had no bear sightings in the past 2 years.


Motion Sensor Lights

If you don’t prefer much noise all the time then motion sensor lights are also a good idea to alert people at home that someone or some animal may have entered your yard. Although, this may not suffice in scaring bears away.


Motion Sensor Water Sprayers

Install these sprayers by attaching to a garden hose, they work along motion sensory traps and it sprays water at the bear or any other animal (or person) when motion is detected in that area.

Good luck and be safe!  It is good for you, your family, your pets and the bears.


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