How To Keep A Bear Out Of The Garden

SONY DSC
Image by Robert Snache

By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)

For those of you living in rural areas, chances are that you may on occasion have encountered a bear or two. Whether they’re trampling the garden or rummaging through your trash, learning how to keep bears away is important.

Bear Control Deterrents

The most common bear enticers include garbage cans, bird or pet food, and grills. They are also adept at digging and will enter gardens looking for roots and tubers, as well as vegetation. Bears also favor fruit trees and vegetables. When making plans for bear control, remember that these animals spend lots of time and energy trying to gain access to food. They will even open containers when necessary.

How to get rid of a bear may be as simply as employing noisy deterrents in the landscape. For instance, loud noises such as boat horns, gunshots, and barking dogs can oftentimes be enough to frighten off bears. In some cases, using chili pepper spray on plants may help.

Keep a Bear Out of the Garden & Yard

Advertisement

Other than employing repellant tactics, you should also spray garbage areas with disinfectants regularly to reduce odors that attract bears. Double bagging and storing in airtight containers is also helpful for stopping bears. Cleaning up grills after each use and keeping all pet food and bird feeders put away is another good idea.

For those with compost piles, be sure not to add any meat or sweet scraps. Keep it aerated by turning frequently and add some lime to help speed up the decomposition process. You could even try enclosing the compost heap with electric fence.

Fencing also goes a long way in protecting garden areas, as well as fruit trees. Remember, bears are good climbers and diggers. Therefore, when erecting a fence, use heavy, chain-link or woven wire. Keep it at least eight feet high with another two feet below the ground. Install a strand or two of barbed wire or electric fencing along the top as well. Simply using electric fencing (12-gauge wire and a minimum of 5,000 volts) spaced about 4 to 6 inches apart up to eight feet is also effective. Keeping fallen fruits and vegetables picked up is another good tip.

How to Get Rid of a Bear When All Else Fails

Sometimes even with the best of efforts, stopping bears in their tracks becomes nearly impossible. In these situations, it’s often best to contact wildlife professionals that specialize in trapping and relocating bears. If all else fails and if the bear poses a risk to humans, putting the animal down may be necessary. However, this is normally a last resort and should only be attempted only by professionals and only after you have gotten permission from the local authorities as it is illegal to kill a bear without proper authority in many parts of the country.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Animals.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: