TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) gives a few reminders on bearproofing your home to protect bears and your property.

To keep bears out, CPW says:

  • Many bears that enter homes do so through an unlocked or open window or door. Close and lock all bear-accessible windows and doors when you leave the house and at night before you go to bed.
  • If you must leave a downstairs windows open, install sturdy grates or bars. Screens do not keep out bears.
  • Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked at night and when you are not home. Install extra-sturdy doors if you have a freezer, refrigerator, pet food, bird seed, or other attractants in your garage.
  • Keep car doors and windows closed and locked if you park outside. Make sure there is nothing with an odor in your vehicle including candy, gum, air refreshers, trash, lotions and lip balms.
  • Bears are great climbers. Remove any tree limbs that might provide access to upper-level decks and windows.
  • Replace exterior level-style door handles with good quality round door knobs that bears cannot pull or push open.
  • Put on talk radio (not music) when you leave home. Human voices startle most bears.

CPW says to get rid of attractants

  • Bears follow their super-sensitive noses to anything that smells like food and can follow scents from up to five miles away.
  • Do not leave trash out overnight unless it is in a bear-proof enclosure or container. Obey all local regulations.
  • CPW recommends feeding birds only when bears are hibernating.
  • Do not store food of any kind in an unlocked garage, flimsy shed, or on or under your deck.
  • Do not leave anything with an odor outside, near open windows, or in your vehicle, even if you are home. That includes scented candles, air fresheners, soaps and lotions.
Bear sneaks into fridge. (Credit: Amy Franklin)

Teach bears they are not welcome

  • If a bear comes into your yard or close to your home, scare the bear away. A confident attitude and loud noise such as a firm yell, clapping your hands, banging pots and pans or blowing an air horn sends most bears running.
  • If a bear enters your home, open doors and windows and make sure it can leave the same way it got in. Do not approach the bear or block escape routes.
  • Never approach a bear. If a bear will not leave, call your local CPW office. If a bear presents an immediate threat to human safety, call 911.