The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is warning people to keep their doors closed as the summer continues in order to combat a bear’s strong nose guiding it into a home in search of food.
During last year’s heat wave, conservation officers responded to three cases of a bear entering a home through an open door on the same day in one region.
Preventing bears from entering your home is essential, even when the heat makes it challenging, conservation officers said on Facebook in late July.
☀️ With hot weather in the forecast in many parts of BC, this is your friendly reminder that leaving your doors open to beat the heat could bring an unwanted visitor.— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) July 22, 2022
Bears have amazing noses and could follow the scent of food right into your home.
Many regions in the province saw the first heatwave of the summer this past week, with plenty of summer heat in the forecast through August.
Keeping doors and unattended windows locked is a good strategy to avoid a bear entering a home, according to the charity Bear Smart. To avoid attracting bears into a yard, store garbage in a secure indoor area, use a bear-resistant compost bin and ensure food residue is burnt off outdoor barbecues after they are used.
Estimates of the black bear population in B.C. ranges from 120,000 to 150,000, and most of the province is considered bear country, according to WildSafeBC.
Some areas are at a higher risk for a bear home invasion than others, and many municipalities have individualized rules, guidelines and educational resources about living with bears.
Wild Safe BC also has a map that tracks wildlife encounters reported to the conservation service.