Bear-proofing your home and property helps keep bears wild

Bear proofing you home
Posted at 12:28 PM, Jul 16, 2019

COLORADO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife want to remind you to bear-proof your property and cars to help keep your neighbors and Colorado's bears safe this summer.

Black bears are curious animals that are always on the lookout for a meal according to CPW. Cars, garages, and houses are easily accessible for bears because they can find human food, garbage, pet food and other items that attract them. When you give bears access to those, their instinctive drive to eat can overcome its fear of humans.

To help keep bears wild, it is important that those living and recreating in bear country are bear-proofing their home and property, including cars and campers. Don’t make it easy and appealing for bears to visit your property, and you'll help prevent conflicts between humans and bears.

Here is what Colorado Parks and Wild recommend you do to keep bears out:

  • Close and lock all bear-accessible windows and doors when you leave the house and at night before you go to bed.
  • Install sturdy grates or bars on windows if you must leave them open.
  • Keep car doors and windows closed and locked if you park outside. Make sure there’s nothing with an odor in your vehicle, including food, air fresheners, trash, and cosmetics.
  • Close and lock garage doors and windows at night and when you’re not home; garage doors should be down if you are home but not outside.
  • Install extra-sturdy doors if you have a freezer, refrigerator, pet food, birdseed, or other attractants stored in your garage.
  • Remove any tree limbs that might provide access to upper-level decks and windows.
  • Replace exterior lever-style door handles with good quality round door knobs that bears can’t pull or push open.

Get Rid of Attractants

  • Don’t leave trash out overnight unless it’s in a bear-proof enclosure or container.
  • Don’t store food of any kind in an unlocked garage, flimsy shed or on or under your deck.
  • Don’t leave anything with an odor outside, near open windows or in your vehicle, even if you’re home. That includes scented candles, air fresheners, lip balms and lotions.
  • Only feed birds when bears are hibernating. Birds have plenty of natural foods this time of year.

Teach Bears They’re Not Welcome

  • If a bear comes close to your home, scare it away. Loud noises like a firm yell, clapping your hands, banging on pots and pans or blowing an air horn sends most bears running.
  • Utilize electric fencing, unwelcome mats and scent deterrents like ammonia to teach bears that your property is not bear-friendly.
  • If a bear enters your home, open doors and windows and ensure it can leave the same way it got in. Don’t approach the bear or block escape routes.
  • If a bear won’t leave your area, call your local CPW office. If a bear presents an immediate threat to human safety, call 911.

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