Scaring a bear away from a home is possible with loud noises. Bears are generally scared of loud noises such as air horns, clanging pots and pans, loud yelling, or the sound of a rifle. If bears are undeterred by your noise, do not approach them. Contact your local wildlife authority to remove the bears safely.
People who live in bear areas can take some preventative steps to reduce the likelihood of bears approaching, such as using bear-proof garbage cans and tidying up any pet food that might attract them.
This significantly reduces the risk of fatalities on both sides. When natural food sources are scarce, bears may venture further from their habitat and reach people’s yards in search of food in dumpsters, cornfields, dog food, etc.
Considering their size and the number of calories they need to survive, these mammals can wreak havoc in gardens, fields, and yards. People must never try to remove bears themselves, but always contact wildlife authorities!
Disclaimer: This is information for entertainment and educational purposes only. Do not approach a wild animal and keep your distance. Only professionals should handle wild animals. Seek professional help immediately if you have been bitten or otherwise harmed. Consult your local wildlife authority for the right advice for your situation and locality.
The best think you can do is employ preventative measures to keep them away, which we’ll discuss here.
How to Scare Away Bears From Your Home
Although bears look ferocious, most common bears found around human dwellings are easily scared off by loud noises. A sharp blast from an air horn, clanging pots and pans together, or even just yelling loudly is often enough to scare off a bear.
Some methods to scare off a bear from your property include:
- Loudly yelling at the bear
- Clanging pots and pans together
- Using an air horn or vehicle horn
- Using a rifle if legally entitled (do not shoot the bear!)
In situations where a bear is not deterred by your efforts, it’s extremely important to get yourself somewhere safe rather than to continue trying to scare the bear. Get inside a vehicle or building and shut the door and wait for the bear to leave on its own, or call animal control to remove it safely.
Why Do Bears Go into Urban Areas & How this Affects Them?
Bears can venture into urban areas for a variety of reasons, although the most common one is the lack of food in their natural habitat and their keen sense of smell. They are attracted to human areas with food like open garbage cans, barbecues, pet food left outside, etc.
According to Heather Johnson, a research biologist with the US Geological Survey, bears’ venturing into human habitat causes them to face issues they wouldn’t otherwise experience in the wild.
The study that Johnson and her co-authors conducted was focused on finding out the influence that entering urban areas has on black bears. They tracked female black bears on Durango (Colorado) streets between 2011 and 2017.
The goal was to determine how developed areas affect these bears’ reproductive success, body fat, survival, and survival of their cubs.
Although the results showed some benefits like an increase in fat and more cubs, they discovered that bears that spend more time in urban areas had an increase in mortality rates, mostly due to being exposed to vehicles or killed due to human conflict.
Some of the bears also died from accidental poisoning. The study notes that the cost of mortality outweighed the bears’ boost in reproduction.
Increasing people’s tolerance of large carnivores is important to lower conflict and mortality, but this study emphasizes the necessity of taking the right precautionary measures that will minimize bears’ presence in urban regions in the first place.
Related Article: What Sounds do Bears Make?
How To Prevent Bears From Entering Your Property
People who live in bear country need to employ the right bear-proof measures to lower the risk of conflict and mortality. Applying these measures is easy and it involves removing the bear attractants.
Here are a few methods you can use to prevent bears from entering your property in the first place
1. Switch to Bear-proof Garbage Cans
Garbage is the top bear attractant, especially if it’s full and open or easy to open. A bear-proof garbage can prevents the bear from getting to the waste.
These bins aren’t much different from regular garbage cans. The only difference is their clip or a lock that won’t allow the bear to open it, despite how hard it may try.
Moreover, these cans come in various sizes and shapes and people can easily choose the best one for them. There’s also a cheaper option to make your own bear-proof garbage can. People who are ready for the project can find step-by-step tutorials on YouTube.
Read More: How Strong are Bears?
The video below shows a grizzly trying to open a bear-proof garbage can:
2. Clean and Close Barbecues
Having a barbecue outdoors is common, but people who live in bear areas should know that it’s a potential to attract bears. If it’s not properly cleaned or closed after use, it can easily attract bears with its smell.
Although closing it is recommended if it has that type of option, it’s always better to store it in a closed area such as a shed or somewhere secure inside your home.
3. Put Away Pet Food
Pet food is abundant with meat and grains that bears would love to get to. This is why it’s essential to store all pet food inside. If possible, feed your pet indoors so that the food is never outside where the bears can smell it.
Otherwise, the risk of a bear approaching the area is much higher. This puts both the pets and the people in the household at risk.
Read More: Can Bears Eat Cats?
4. Use an Electric Fence
People who keep goats, bees, chickens, pigs or other livestock on their property and live near a bear area should consider installing electric fences.These fences are an easy and cost-effective way to prevent the livestock from being attacked or eaten by the bears.
This specially-designed fence deters bears through the release of electric shock when the animal touches the charged wires. This is an incomplete circuit with repetitive electricity pulses that the energizer generates through the wires.
Although the shock is unpleasant for the bear, it isn’t deadly.
This video shows a testing of an electric fence with the goal of keeping bears away from human properties and human food:
5. Never Feed a Bear Intentionally
Feeding bears must always be avoided. No matter if they enter homes or are seen on the side of the road.
Many people believe that giving the bear food will make the bears appreciate them. However, according to Bear Wise, this isn’t true. Feeding a bear also includes the “unintentional” ways that were mentioned previously.
When a bear is fed, it doesn’t learn anything, besides overcoming its instinctive fear of humans. With this in mind, by giving the bear food, they’re rewarded for approaching people like a dog is taught by a treat to come on command.
Coming close to a bear is also potentially lethal! A bear will defend itself if it feels threatened. In case of a bear encounter, the best solution is to move away slowly and get to a safe place and call wildlife control.
Read More: Can a Bear Outrun a Human?
Bears can enter human areas for multiple reasons and this increases the risk of conflicts and mortality on both sides. Therefore, it’s pivotal to apply the best protective and preventative measures to scare away bears from homes.
Research notes that though bears in urban areas can experience positive effects like more body fat and offspring, their risk of mortality is higher due to the increased conflict and exposure to situations they wouldn’t experience in their natural habitat.
Bear-proofing homes for people who live near bear areas is essential because it directly influences the frequency of bear visits to urban areas.
Some of the most beneficial methods are using bear-proof trash cans, installing electric fences, and never leaving barbecues or pet food outside.
People must never feed or try to remove a bear on their own, but rather move away slowly and call wildlife control and hide until help arrives!
Stuart is the editor of Fauna Facts. He edits our writers’ work as well as contributing his own content. Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site.