Tips for Preventing Bear Break-Ins

Beth Litchfield, the Supervisor of the Sudbury Bear Wise program, suggests the following proactive measures cottagers can take to keep bears out of their camps. Food and garbage are your primary attractants, but according to Litchfield, bears will consider anything that has an aroma as an edible substance, including lubricants, gas cans, toothpaste, soap, etc.

  • Garbage should be kept in sealed containers and if possible in a shed away from the cottage.
  • Make sure that when you leave you take your garbage with you.
  • A good dose of Jatex or Pine-Sol into your garbage containers will discourage bears because it takes away the odour.
  • Baby diapers are very attractive to a bear and need to be well sealed and kept away from the cottage in a shed, for example.
  • Make sure BBQs are cleaned up after use. Burn off the grill. Remove and clean grease containers underneath the grill.
  • Keep meat residues in the freezer until you can remove your garbage from your camp.
  • Wash out your recyclables containers. Don’t just rinse them.
  • Don’t put your pies and other baking outside to cool.
  • Refrain from feeding pets on the outside deck unless it’s at a time compatible with your mealtime. Remove your pets’ dishes after the meal. Store pet food away from windows.
  • Make sure after you fill the boat that you clean up your gas cans, seal them up and store them away from your cottage in your shed.
  • Use your composter for leaves and stems only, not for the fruit or vegetable part of the plant. Cover the contents well and turn it regularly.
  • Bear boards, wind chimes, noise from a radio or TV and the smell of Pine-Sol can help keep bears away.