Information on Bears as Garden Nuisances

Information on Bears as Garden Nuisances - Pest Control

By Jennifer Olvera, Garden Guides Contributor
Bear eating Tree

About Bears

Bears,known for their intelligence, adaptability and keen sense of smell,can cause extensive damage to gardens as well as pose a threat to humans if confronted. Add that to the fact that bears that are accustomed to seeing people are not nearly as timid as those who live in isolated areas. Although known primarily as inhabitants of wilderness areas, bears can be found in forested areas throughout the country and will readily go through garbage and forage for food wherever it can be found.

Prevention and Control

Preventing damage from bears demands taking specific measures. Clean your charcoal or gas grill after use, and do not leave food of any kind in your yard. Do not allow fruit or vegetables to rot on the ground. While it's best to avoid having a compost pile,you should never have one that incorporates food of any kind,the addition of lime will help it to decompose and reduce odor. Loud music, barking dogs, fireworks, nightlights and scarecrows can provide relief, albeit temporary.

Affected Plants

Fruits and vegetables in the garden.


Bears are hearty feeders and can plow through a season's worth of crops in no time, destroy beehives and harm or kill humans.

Natural Insecticides

Solar-powered electric fences can be erected around fruit trees and gardens to deter bears from munching on crops.

Other Methods of Control

Do not leave pet food outdoors. Take down, clean and put away bird feeders during winter months. Keep garbage double-bagged in airtight, sealed containers in a storage area until the morning of garbage pickup. Do not put food in a compost pile.

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