Be Bear Smart at Home

Black bears have an extraordinary sense of smell and can be attracted to many things in residential communities. Having bears around increases both the risk of damage to property and the odds of something unfortunate happening. Residents can take simple, proactive measures in keeping themselves, their neighbors, their property and bears safe.



•  Use a bear-resistant trash container or keep trash in a secure structure like a garage or shed. Bear-resistant trash containers help in avoiding property damage as they can be left outside of structures.

•  Set out your trash container only on the morning of collection, never the night before.

•  Occasionally clean your trash container with a disinfectant to remove odors.

•  Remove bird feeders from April 1 thru November.  At the very least, make them inaccessible to bears and clean up fallen seed. Hanging flower baskets work great in attracting hummingbirds, not bears.

•  Never leave food, beverages, pet food or trash in vehicles.

•  Remove fruit from the tree before it ripens. Remove fallen fruit to discourage bears from lingering in yards.

•  Feed pets indoors.

•  Think green when composting! Do not add meat, kitchen scraps, fruit or vegetables.

•  Clean barbecue grills, especially the grease trap, after each use and store away.

•  Store livestock feed and grain, bird seed, pet food in a bear-resistant container or secure structure. 55-gallon steel drums with locking lids work well for feed.

•  Use electric fencing to protect chickens and livestock, beehives, compost, fruit trees, gardens and more.


Be Safe:

•  Keep bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including garage doors.

•  Replace lever-style handles with round door knobs.  Bears learn to open lever-style handled doors.

•  Do not allow bears to become accustomed to hanging around your property.  Stay safe, but do your best to run bears off by yelling, banging pots and pans or blowing an air horn.  Never approach or corner a bear.

•  Talk to your children about bears and have a plan in place with them for a bear encounter.

•  If a bear gets into your home, make sure it has a way out.  A bear will usually exit the same way it came in, but give the bear other exits and space by opening other doors or low windows.  If the bear will not leave your home, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife immediately at 247-0855 – or 911 after hours, emergencies only.

•  To deter bears from entering vacation or second homes or a specific bear from re-entering a home, consider the use of unwelcome mats or electric fencing designed for home use.




•  Be aware that water features attract bears.

•  Bears are attracted to petroleum products. Please secure as any other attractant.

•  Let new neighbors, especially new homebuyers, know about bear issues. New Homebuyers Guide.

•  Promptly report bear in trash incidents to City: City Code at 375-4930, or County: Central Dispatch at 385-2900.

•  Use bear deterrents to discourage bears from your property, especially when you are away for extended periods.

•  Encourage your neighbors to follow Bear Smart practices as well.

•  Establish a neighborhood phone or email tree, social media site to notify everyone about bear activity and the need to remove attractants.

•  Make Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 247-0855 aware of aggressive or potentially dangerous bears.

•  Wipe down hot tub covers with ammonia on occasion.  Bears are attracted the insulation found in hot tub covers – made with formaldehyde that gives off formic acid (also found in ant colonies, a favorite food of bears).













If a bear is displaying aggressive behavior or presenting a threat to public safety or property, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife immediately at 247-0855, or call 911 – after hours and emergencies only.