Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Bear Attractants

Report bear and other wildlife encounters to the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277

NRRM Conservation Officers are notified daily about sightings and  immediately in emergencies.

Bears can smell food from great distances—even farther than dogs can. 

The best way to keep bears alive is to prevent them from gaining access to attractants—which may be plants or non-natural food sources.


Help manage bear attractants

At home

  • Store garbage, recycling and organic waste (compost) in a secure building (not on your patio or porch).
  • Burn barbeques clean and remove all grease and food scraps after every use
  • Feed pets inside and store pet food indoors.
  • Use non-citronella products to deter insects.
  • Use an aluminum hot tub cover

In your yard

  • Plant non-bear attractant plants in your garden.
  • Remove bird feeders during bear season.
  • If you have a backyard compost, use a bear-proof composter or drop off compost at the municipal waste depot site.
  • Pick fruit a few days before ripe or before it becomes extra fragrant.
  • Clean any fallen fruit. If you are planning to be away, ask a friend or neighbour to collect fruit.
  • Keep lawns mowed and weeded (grasses, dandelion and clover are natural bear foods).

At work

  • Store work site products, including petroleum products, biodiesel and othevegetable-based fuels and lubricants, which are attractive to bears in sealed and locked containers when not in immediate use (in compliance with safety regulations that apply to your work area).

What are wildlife attractants?

To help residents and visitors understand which items attract bears to homes, businesses and cars, the definition of a “wildlife attractant” has been updated  in the NRRM's Garbage Disposal & Wildlife Attractants Bylaw to include any substance or material that attracts or is likely to attract wildlife.

Wildlife attractants now explicitly include, but are not limited to:

  • Food
  • Edible products
  • Pet food
  • Seed
  • Compost (other than grass clippings, leaves or branches)
  • Grease
  • Oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Paint
  • Petroleum products

Other attractants in and around homes include garbage, recyclables, fruit trees, berry bushes, vegetable gardens, bird feeders, barbeques, citronella candles and even hot tub covers.


Everyone is required to keep these items secured and away from bears. Homeowners should ensure renters learn how to manage attractants.


Bear attractant plants

It is against the solid waste bylaw to let fruit ripen and accumulate to the point that it attracts dangerous wildlife. If you have fruit bearing trees or shrubs, consider removing them. If you cannot remove the tree, it is your responsibility to remove the fruit as soon as it begins to ripen.

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