Thursday, July 16, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
As a real estate brokerage, we usually blog about some aspect of home ownership. Today's blog topic was suggested by a news item today that caught our eye: there has been a recent spike in the rate of Black bears breaking into Hudson Valley homes.
There has been an overall increase in bear sightings in general and bear break-ins in particular, causing officials in the Hudson Valley to issue warnings to residents. The Hudson Valley Post reported on a number of bear sightings in the Mid-Hudson region and across the state. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced last Tuesday that it has received more reports of bears entering homes this year than in any previous year. Through July 8, DEEP has received 25 reports of bears entering homes putting Connecticut on track to triple the average number of home entries from the last two years.
Bears are not an uncommon sight in the Hudson Valley, especially the region's forested areas. Bears that consume human food from places like bird feeders, trash and pet food become comfortable around people. Those food-conditioned bears then "pose a greater risk to public safety and often cause more property damage to houses, cars, pets and livestock," DEEP said in its release.
“Black bears should never be fed – either intentionally or unintentionally,” DEEP Wildlife Division Director Jenny Dickson said. “Bears that are attracted to homes by easily-accessible foods lose their fear of humans. Such bears spend more time in neighborhoods and near people, increasing risks to public safety, the likelihood of property damage, and the possibility that the bears may be hit and killed by vehicles.”
Bear-proofing your house
Many bears that enter homes do so through an unlocked or open window or door. Close and lock all bear-accessible windows
and doors when you leave the house, and at night before you go to bed.
If you must leave downstairs windows open, install sturdy grates or bars. Screens don’t keep out bears.
Keep garage doors and windows closed and locked at night and when you’re not home. Don’t leave your garage door standing open when you’re not outside. Install extra-sturdy doors if you have a freezer, refrigerator, pet food, bird seed, or other
attractants in your garage.
Keep car doors and windows closed and locked if you park outside. Make sure there’s nothing with an odor in your vehicle,
including candy, gum, air fresheners, trash, lotions and lip balms.
Bears are great climbers — remove any tree limbs that might provide access to upper level decks and windows.
Replace exterior lever-style door handles with good quality round door knobs that bears can’t pull or push open.
Put on talk radio (not music) when you leave home; the human voice startles most bears.
If you encounter a bear
Make your presence known by yelling or making loud noises, and if the bear does not retreat, you should slowly leave the area or go indoors.
Click HERE for more information on living with bears in suburbia.
For more information about Hudson Valley homes, contact us:
Interested in buying or selling a home the Mid-Hudson valley in spite of the bears? Get a head start and search all seven Mid-Hudson Valley counties (Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester) for homes on the market by using our free search site at www.gpshousehunt.com.