Northern 
Bear Awareness 
Society

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Managing Attractants

There are several key tips to follow to eliminate bear attractants in your backyard. 

Unnatural attractants refer to items that are not usually found in the wilderness and that attract bears into the city, such as garbage, pet food, bird-feeders, compost, fruit trees, etc.

By eliminating or managing the unnatural attractants in your backyard, you can reduce the chance of human-bear conflict.

GARBAGE

  • Keep garbage indoors or in a bear-resistant closed shed. 
  • Garbage should only be put out by the curbside for pickup on the morning of garbage day. 
  • Cleaning your garbage can to reduce odors will also make the container less attractive to bears.
  •  If you have food waste that is particularly smelly (i.e. bones, fish, etc) you can put it in your freezer until garbage day, to minimize the odor of your garbage.

FRUIT TREES

  • Make sure ripened fruit is picked from the branches of fruit trees and that all fallen fruit is regularly picked up off the ground. 
  • When landscaping, consider non-fruit bearing trees for your backyard. 
  • Consider replacing fruit trees in your backyard with non-fruiting trees or use a fruit retardant to prevent fruit from growing.

BIRD FEEDERS

  • Make sure birdseed is kept inside or in a bear-resistant closed shed. 
  • Take bird feeders down for the summer months. They can be replaced in the winter.
  • Install a bird bath in your yard to attract birds.
  • Plant plants that attract birds and not bears.

COMPOST

  • Ensure that your compost is turned regularly (once a week).
  • No meat, dairy, fish, un-rinsed eggshells or oils should be put into the compost.

BARBEQUES

  • keep barbeques clean and, if possible, store inside a bear-resistant closed shed. 
  • If not possible, consider purchasing a cover or tarp to reduce odors being carried by the wind and enticing a bear into your backyard.

PET FOOD

  • Pets should be fed inside, or, if they must be fed outside the food should be brought indoors immediately if pets do not finish it.
  • Bags of pet food should be stored inside or in a bear-resistant closed shed.