Tips for dealing with hungry bears awakening

Truckee Tahoe Litter Group.

Bears are awake and already causing havoc to cars and homes as they search for food. There areeasy steps to take to keep homes and vehicles safe from bears. Follow these tips from the BEAR League and California Department of Fish & Wildlife:

  • Dispose of garbage in a bear-resistant container.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Store pet food in secure locations.
  • Put up electric fences around chicken coops and beehives.
  • At campgrounds, store food in bear-resistant containers (storage lockers/bear boxes), dispose of garbage in Dumpsters and close and lock these containers or risk fines, jail time or both.
  • Both California and Nevada law prohibits the feeding of any big game mammal.
  • All counties in Nevada that border Lake Tahoe have ordinances in place that prohibit residents and visitors from allowing wildlife access to garbage. Citations and fines can be issued for code violations.
  • Never feed wildlife. This encourages unnatural and harmful foraging behavior.
  • Never leave groceries, animal feed or anything scented in vehicles. Bears can rip open car doors to gain access.
  • Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.
  • Keep doors and windows closed and locked when the home is unoccupied.
  • Vegetable gardens, compost piles, orchards and chickens may attract bears. Use electric fences where allowed to keep bears out.
  • Consider using electric doormats and/or electric fencing on windows and/or doors where allowed. Electrified windows and doors should have signs posted for safety and to alert the public and emergency personnel.
  • If a bear enters a home when you are present, keep out of its way and do not block its escape route.


  • 24-hour hotline | (530) 525-7297 (BEAR League)
  • Emergencies | 911 (a bear in your yard is not an emergency; only if they are trying to enter your home)
  • Injured wildlife | Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center | (530) 577-2273,


Bear Box programs