ANNAPOLIS, MD — They've been snoozing for months, but Maryland's black bears are emerging from their dens to search for food sources, which can draw them toward homes and sources of food left by residents not on guard against "hangry" four-legged visitors. Natural food sources for bears — such as plants, berries and insects — are in short supply so far, so bears are looking for anything that smells like food, warn Maryland Department of Natural Resources officials.

To keep bears away from your house you should:

  • Lock garbage in a bear-proof trash container, or keep it inside the house or garage until pickup.
  • Rinse trash containers with ammonia to eliminate odors.
  • Store cooking grills inside or keep them clean of food residue.
  • Take down backyard bird-feeders from April through November ?”? birds have plenty of wild food sources during these months.
  • Source: Anne Arundel Patch