Intermountain Disposal Blog

The "Bear" Facts

Candice Ross - Thursday, November 30, 2017


  • • The first thing a bear thinks about and his-prime motivation is FOOD!
  • • Bears have a tremendous sense of smell which guides them on their search for food.
  • • Bears are attracted to residences in the quest for an easy meal.
  • • Bear problems tend to be temporary. If the bear doesn't find food, he moves on.
  • • Bear problems need to be addressed on a neighborhood basis. You can do all the right things but, if your neighbors do not the bear will stay around.


  • • When given a way to avoid conflict with people, they usually take it.
  • • Bears are not vindictive and do not "get mad" when garbage or food is removed.

  • • They learn rapidly and know where they have found food in the past. Once they have hit "pay dirt" they may damage property to get the food source again.
  • • Bears can pry open doors, windows, dumpsters or other structures if they can get their claws or teeth into a crack or opening. Normally they will do this only if they smell food inside or have "been lucky" before. They can easily tear through screens.
  • Treed bears will usually come down if left alone. They may remain in a tree for several days.
  • • There is NO bear relocation program in the state of California.
  • • The California Department of Fish and Game WILL NOT relocate bears.


**When a complaint is registered about a problem bear that involves a threat to personal safety, or property damage, a depredation permit is issued. A trap is set and ANY bear that enters the trap is destroyed,**
People who create situations where bears get food, begin a cycle which usually results in death of the bear.
Note: County ordinances throughout the Tahoe Basin require Bear Proof enclosures be installed and used whenever bears have gained access to garbage.



Eliminate or Mask Garbage and Food Odors.



  • • Put unscented ammonia or unscented PineSol* ON THE FOOD inside every bag.
  • • Deodorize garbage cans with bleach, unscented ammonia or unscented PineSol.*
  • • Separate "wet garbage and keep in an air tight odor tight container. Use garbage disposal whenever possible. Freeze meat bones or other smelly items until pick-up day.
  • • "Deodorize" soil or other porous surfaces where garbage has been stored and other areas where the bear may have spread garbage around.
  • Clean the BBQ, especially the drip pan.

Eliminate the source.

  • • Install a "Bear Resistant " garbage container. There are several excellent examples now available for purchase.
  • • Request a "Bear Resistant" dumpster for neighbors or homeowner groups, cabin or apartment complexes, and especially restaurants. Call your disposal company.
  • • Put garbage out on the morning of pick-up, not on the night before (and certainly not all week long!!). If you cannot be there to put it out, ask a neighbor to help or take it with you for disposal somewhere else.
  • • Do not feed pets outside and don't leave pet food outside.
  • • Do not leave food in vehicles or tents. This includes toothpaste, lotions, gum or candy.
  • • Clean food from baby seats. Leave NO diapers, clean or soiled, in the vehicles.
  • • Remove freezers, refrigerators, picnic baskets and ice chests stored in open porches, garages and breezeways.
  • • Compost piles can be a serious attractant.
  • • Rinsing recyclables isn't enough, they recognize this as garbage and will still forage through it. Keep it out of sight.
  • • Bring bird feeders and suet in at night or whenever there is no one at home. Bears will climb trees to reach an upper deck feeder.



Inspect your property

  • • Close windows at night on accessible ground floors and decks.
  • • Don't leave pies, baked goods, or any food in or near a window sill or on a counter where visible. Sights and smells can be invitations to bears.
  • • Securely block any access to any potential hibernation/den sites, i.e. under decks, houses or sheds before a bear decides to take up residence.
  • • Strengthen or fortify outside doors and windows on sheds, cellars, workshops, garages or any place where food or garbage is kept.
  • • Pine Sol's oil base evaporates slower and the scent remains
  • Homeowners & Renters Guide To Living In Bear Country

BEAR League

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