Tips to Minimize Bear Activity Near Your Cottage
by Elizabeth Quinn
- Don't leave food, garbage, compost, bird feeders around the cottage.
- Put bear "unwelcome mats" -- plywood with protruding 3/4-inch nails beneath thresholds and windows.
- Install motion lights, sprinklers and/or sirens.
- Keep an air horn or whistle handy to scare off bears.
- Use bear spray, a hose or Super Soaker filled with water and a touch of vinegar to scare away a bear. Never chase the bear.
- String empty cans filled with pebbles 3 feet off the ground to startle bears.
- Leave the television or radio on -- bears try to avoid people. Consider doing this when you leave for the year. The cost of electricity compared to the cost of repairs justifies the expense.
- Close the curtains, hang beach towels over windows, or drape the fridge with a coloured sheet so the bears can't see or recognize the refrigerator.
- Saturate or paint window sills and doorways with Pine-Sol or ammonia -- but never squirt it in bears' eyes, because it can blind them.
- Leave a wind chime hanging in a location likely to catch prevailing west and autumn north winds.
- Install electric fencing.
- Consider getting a dog, or install barking-dog devices to deter bears.
Non-emergency encounters: Call the Bear Wise reporting line: 1-866-514-2327 (April 1-November 30)
If a bear is:
- roaming around, checking garbage cans
- breaking into a shed where garbage or food is stored
- in a tree
- pulling down a bird feeder or knocking over a barbecue
- moving through a backyard or field but is not lingering
Ontario Bear Wise: Bear Encounters