How to keep your yard safe from bears: 6 tips
A bear encounter in your home can be alarming, but there are ways to protect your property and keep them from getting too close. Although bears avoid humans, they may be attracted to food sources in residential areas. Edition Westchester News 12 shared six tips on how to protect your property from bears.
Check out these helpful tips from Humane Society of the United States, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection и Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection how to prevent encounters with bears.
Protect trash cans
Try to take out the trash cans right before they are picked up and don't leave them overnight. If possible, keep the tanks indoors, such as in a garage or shed, but be aware that bears can break through the protection. The same goes for recyclables, not just regular household waste. You can pour some ammonia into trash bags and bins to mask the smell. Or, alternatively, buy bear-resistant bins and dumpster cases.
Clean the BBQ
Bears can smell your BBQ, so try to keep the unit away from home when not in use, and clean your BBQ regularly and thoroughly with ammonia or bleach. As with trash cans, store meat roasting equipment in a shed or garage after use if possible.
Redo bird feeders and compost heaps
Food scraps in the compost pile and bird seeds in the feeder are easy prey for the bear. The Humane Society says birds can "make do with naturally available food," but people who prefer to use bird feeders should keep them away from their homes. Be sure to remove any seeds that have fallen to the ground.
The smell of food in the compost pit, even if it is buried, will attract bears, so keep the compost in a closed enclosure. Avoid using meat or sweet-smelling fruit rinds in your compost. To interrupt the smell of compost, it is recommended to use lime.
Protect pets and livestock
Be sure to supervise your pets when they are in the yard. If possible, move livestock to a secure indoor area for the night. Use electric fencing or reinforced wire with metal strapping around chicken coops, beehives and livestock, even around crops or berry bushes. Experts say that bears rarely harm horses, cattle, cats, and dogs, but they can attack sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, llamas, and rabbits.
Keep your dogs on a short leash while walking and hiking, as an off-leash dog can be perceived as a threat.
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Don't leave food available overnight
Fans of The Sopranos may remember the bear that was attracted to Tony's backyard duck food. It's true that bears can smell pet or livestock food left outside. Try not to leave anything, especially at night. Use an airtight storage container if it must be stored outside.
Don't feed the bears
It may seem obvious, but don't intentionally feed bears or leave food for them. This animal is usually afraid of people, but if you feed it, it can begin to associate people and their habitats with a food source, as a result of which it will become aggressive and dangerous.
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