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.
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
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
- 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