Bear-Proofing Your Home

Living in Harmony with our Wildlife

Tips for Homeowners

Close and lock those windows

Close and lock all accessible windows whenever you leave the house, and every night before you go to bed. If you leave a window open even a crack, it’s child’s play for a bear to slip a paw underneath and push it open. If you must keep your downstairs windows open at night you can put a heavy dowel in the window track so the window only opens an inch or two. 

Bears love French doors and Screen doors 

French doors are a big hit with bears; bears have learned to push down on the handle and quietly let themselves into the house. You may want to replace lever style door handles with sturdy round knobs bears can’t get a grip on. Pet doors are used by more than dogs and cats Mama bears sometimes send their cubs into a home through a handy pet door. So lock your pet door at night or install a one-way door, where your pet can get out, but can’t get back in.

Porches can be dangerous 

A screened-in porch, sunroom or three-season room might seem like a convenient place to store trash, pet food, birdseed, canned goods, beer and wine or any number of other things. Screens won’t keep out bears. If you don’t want to clean up a big mess, keep anything that could be an attractant inside. 

Trees make great ladders

Trim back all tree limbs with in 10 feet of the upper decks and windows.

Birdfeeders kill bears 

Birdfeeders kill bears because they attract bears to place they shouldn’t be. Plant native seed-bearing plants or use water features to attract birds to your home. Put out plants that attract hummingbirds. Remember, it is prohibited to to have any bird feeders from March through November.

Secure your garbage 

Store garbage indoors, in a shed or garage, or in bear-proof containers and take your garbage frequently to the dump. – Don’t use Decon – it attracts bears.

Pick up pet food 

Feed pets only what they will eat in a single feeding or feed them indoors. Remove all uneaten food. Don’t leave food out overnight. 

Don’t leave food in cars 

Roll up windows and lock doors. 

Clean the grill often 

Do not dump drippings in your yard. Run the grill an extra 5 minutes to burn off grease. If you would like to learn more about living with bears, the book by Linda Masterson – “Living with Bears” is an excellent resource.


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