Keep bears in the wilderness where they belong and away from your home. Here are 8 ways to bear-proof your home and keep your family safe.

1. Bring Garbage Cans Inside

Bears will eat almost anything when given the opportunity, which is why it’s so important to properly store your garbage cans. Avoid run-ins with bears by bringing trash cans inside and waiting to put them out until the morning of collection.

Trash Photo Credit: SPmemory (iStock).

Photo Credit: SPmemory (iStock).

2. Keep Your Garage Door Shut

Never leave your garage door open and unattended. Common items found in garages like a refrigerator, garbage cans, and pet food can attract bears from miles away. Bears are curious creatures and could enter your home at any time. Don’t make it easy for them to enter by keeping your garage door shut.

3. Be Careful Planting Fruit Trees

Bears love to feed on all kinds of fruit trees. If bears are local in your area, you don’t want to plant fruit trees in your backyard. Keep bear-attracting plants away from your home including apple trees, berry bushes, nut trees, and even herbs.

4. Never Leave Pet Food Outside

Don’t forget about food bowls left outside for your pets. Feeding pets outdoors is certainly not an issue as long as you remember to clean up. Be smart and never leave any type of food outside the home.

Berries Photo Credit: ysbrandcosijn (iStock).

Photo Credit: ysbrandcosijn (iStock).

5. Clean Your Grill

For those who live in bear country, make sure you’re taking the right steps to keep bears away from your home. An important tip for bear-proofing your home is to clean your grill after each and every use. Grease and food left in grills can attract hungry bears.

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6. Remove Bird Feeders

With bears in the area, remove bird feeders from mid-April to late October. Even if bird feeders are hanging from trees, most bears will find a way to reach them. To avoid feeding the bears, use bird feeders in the winter during hibernation.

Bird Feeders Photo Credit: blightylad-infocus (iStock).

Photo Credit: blightylad-infocus (iStock).

7.  Compost Carefully

Food sources like a compost bin will bring bears even closer to your home. Carelessly storing compost could result in a dangerous bear encounter or expensive property damage. Avoid putting fruits, meats, or sweet-smelling food in your compost bin when bears are active. In addition to securing compost bins, protect your garden from bears with a metal fence.

8. Keep Windows Shut

If bears are lurking around your neighborhood, you’ll want to be extra careful about leaving doors and windows open. Food scents from cooking can actually lure bears into your home and possibly lead to a scary encounter. Shut windows to keep your home safe and bear-free.