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photo of bearBears generally avoid humans, but when searching for food they sometimes wander into residential areas. If bears are provided a regular food source near humans, they can cause property damage and lose their fear of people.

Follow these tips so  you don’t accidentally provide a food source to bears!

  • Secure your garbage 
  • Pick up pet food- Feed pets indoors and do not leave pet food out overnight.
  • Remove the bird feeder- Bears consume seeds and nuts found in the wild, so bird feeders can become a target for bears.
  • Clean the outdoor grill often.
  • Do not put meat scraps or any other strong-smelling food in the compost pile. You can also consider an enclosed compost bin.
  • Pick up and remove ripe fruit from fruit trees and which may attract bears.
  • Talk to your neighbors- Make sure your neighbors and community are aware of the ways to prevent nuisance bear problems.

If you do see a bear on or near your property, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Do not approach, crowd, or chase the bear. This also applies to bears that have climbed up a tree. Keep people and pets away from the bear to give it the best chance to come down from the tree and leave your property on its own.

Contact the Department of Animal Services at 703-777-0406 or 540-882-3211, for more information about bears and other wildlife.  You may also want to visit: 

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