Think like a bear, and remove anything that could smell good (to a bear) or look like food. Remember — bears can smell food from miles away. Bears also have great memories, and once they’ve found food around a home will check out other homes in hopes of finding more.
Here’s how to make sure they don’t find anything at your place:
• Store garbage inside a sturdy building, bear-resistant container or enclosure.
• Never leave trash outside overnight.
• Don’t feed birds until bears den up for the winter. (A birdfeeder with seven pounds of seed equals about 18,000 tempting calories.)
• Cage or electric fence your chickens and livestock.
• Pick fruit as soon as it ripens.
• Avoid planting fruits, berries, edible gardens near your home.
• Don’t store food, pet food, beverages, bird seed, coolers, etc. on your porch or deck.
• Avoid feeding pets outside; the smells remain after the food is gone.
• Close and lock garage doors.
• Clean out your car. Don’t leave behind anything with an odor.
—Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife