According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service division there are between 25,000 and 30,000 black bears in California and roughly 200-300 black bears in Nevada. While most of them seek to avoid contact with humans, bear encounters are not rare events especially in mountainous areas such as Lake Tahoe. Many of these occurrences are the result of bears foraging for food in human populated areas as they are attracted to a wide variety of smells.
Feeding a hungry critter may seem like an act of kindness, but doing so has resulted in their increased appetite for human food. As a result bears are becoming more accustomed to cohabitating with people in many areas and often lose their fear of humans. To avoid the increased habituation, the Forestry Service has campaigned relentlessly to educate people about proper bear safety and precaution measures. It is actually illegal in the state of California to feed a bear, and there are many regulations on how to properly secure food from animals.
While having the right Lake Tahoe homeowners insurance can help protect your investment from damages, we recommend some extra caution when maintaining your property and protecting it from bears and other foragers. Here are a few tips on how to better keep your house secure from scavenging animals.
- Proper garbage handling and disposal. Specified bear-proof garbage containers can be obtained to minimize the chances of an animal raid. Also waiting to put trash out until collection day is highly advised by many officials.
- Remove any strong scent. Bears are not just attracted to human food sources, they are also attracted to many strong and appealing scents such as those found in lotion and cosmetics. They have been known to be attracted to candles, ointments, perfumes, soaps, and other non-consumable items, which pose a great risk to their health and your safety. Making sure your yard and property is free of any outside scent sources can greatly reduce the likelihood of a critter visit.
- Properly secure all doors and windows. Remember that strong smells from an open kitchen window can easily attract a hungry animal.
- Harvest all produce as soon as it ripens. Ripe fruits and veggies are a huge draw for hungry critters and your garden can be just as appealing to bears as it is to you. Properly harvesting your crops will eliminate a food source for animal visitors.
- Block all access to crawl spaces. Crawl spaces under building and decks can present a viable opportunity for occupation by a furry new tenant. Bears have been known to hibernate in these tight, dark spaces and other critters can utilize them as a new home.
At Cal-Nevada Insurance Agency we understand the joys and hazards of living near the wilderness and are committed to making sure our clients are protected. Our Lake Tahoe Homeowners Insurance Policies offer full coverage from nature related damages including disasters and severe weather conditions. We also offer Lake Tahoe Condominium Insurance and Lake Tahoe Renters Insurance so that no matter what type of residence you live in you are protected. Call us today at (866) 670-5948 for more information about any of our offerings and we’ll help you assess your risk exposure and insurance coverage needs.