WildSafeBC is asking homeowners in City of Powell River and other areas of qathet Regional District (qRD) to take a proactive approach in deterring bears this season.
“There is a lot of talk about bears and garbage, however, it is also important for people to realize how much of an issue fruit trees can be in regards to wildlife, if they are not properly managed,” stated WildSafeBC qRD community coordinator Krystle Mitchelitis in a media release. “Once a bear gets a reward from a fruit tree, they will return to the tree again and again. Fruit might seem like a natural food source for these bears, but fruit in our backyards leads to habituation of wildlife, something that is dangerous and cannot be undone.”
Simple solutions to bear habituation include picking fruit and allowing it to ripen indoors or picking fruit daily as it ripens, according to the release. Cleaning up windfall is also very important, as is pruning trees to control growth, making them easier to harvest.
“If you do not want your trees to produce fruit, prune the tree vigorously or spray spring blossoms with a garden hose to knock the blossoms off the tree,” stated Mitchelitis. “Even consider replacing your tree with a native, non-fruit or non-nut bearing variety. If you are not harvesting the crop, keep in mind that organics should be composted rather than placed with regular garbage.”