The best way to keep a black bear out of your neighborhood is to keep food out of the sight and smell of hungry bears. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says this becomes more important this year when natural foods such as acorns and berries are in short supply, possibly due to heavy rains.
According to the DNR, there are three areas of Georgia where black bears are usually found: the North Georgia mountains, the Ocmulgee River drainage system in central Georgia, and the Okefenokee Swamp in southeastern Georgia.
Garbage is just one of the attractions for hungry bears. Birdseed and pet food round out the top three. Homeowners in known bear areas are advised to bring pet food inside and remove birdfeeders from April through November.
Other tips for homeowners include: converting to bear-proof garbage containers; wait until the day of to put out the garbage for pickup instead of the night before; remove food scraps from grills and fire pits daily; and rinse food cans and wrappers before disposing in the garbage.
For more information, contact Melissa Cummings with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.