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Living with Black Bears

 The American Black Bear is a well known resident in wooded areas on the east coast of the United States, in Virginia , in Rockbridge County, and yes, even in and around Glasgow. In recent years there have been more bear sightings than ever before. This is largely due to the a growing population of bears and people, who are building their homes in the wooded areas, the natural habit of the bears.  

     

The bears are attracted to residential areas by the smell of food around homes. The most attractants are bird feeders, garbage, and pet food, but grills, livestock food, compost and beehives can also attract them.  

     

Residential bear problems are more common when natural food supplies are limited, usually in spring, or in years when nut and berry productions are low. You know you have a bear problem if you experience turned over garbage cans, trash littered across the yard, damaged bird feeders, disturbed pet food bowls left outside in dog pens or on porches.  The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries provide us with some good info on how not to attract the bears to our residences.


  • Store garbage indoors, in a shed, in a garage, or in a bear proof container. 
  • Put garbage out the morning of pickup, not the night before.  
  • Take trash to the dump frequently.  
  • If feeding pets outside, give them only what they will eat in a single feeding and remove food bowls when they are finished.
  • Clean the outdoor grill often.  
  • Do not put meat scraps or any other strong smelling food in the compost pile.  
  • Take bird feeders inside at night. These are prime targets for bears as they like seeds and nuts found in the wild.  
  • Pick up and remove ripe fruit fallen on the ground.  
  • Install electric fencing to protect beehives, dumpsters, gardens, compost piles, or other potential food sources.  
  • Talk to your neighbors about doing all they can to comply with ways to prevent nuisance bear problems.  


 If you do spot a bear on your property do not create a problem by approaching, crowding around, or chasing the bear. This applies to bears that have climbed a tree. The best policy is to leave it alone because they have a natural fear of humans, and if it feels cornered will be looking for an escape route. It is best to keep people and pets away and let it come down and/or leave on its own. Also, if you see a cute cuddly bear cub don't even think about approaching it, because be assured mama bear isn't far off and she will get real defensive to protect her baby or babies.  


 If you are having a problem with bears on your property even after taking appropriate steps to prevent a problem, contact the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or local law enforcement. For more information check out this website http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/.

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Living with Mosquitoes

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 There are more then 3,000 different types of mosquitoes in this world; Glasgow, VA. is no stranger to the mosquito. They can be aggravating pest and seem to be everywhere including inside your home. 


Adult mosquitoes are attracted to standing water. Standing water can consist of ponds and slow-moving streams; however, ditches and puddles after the rain, shallow water in bird baths or toys in the yard, and damp soil that is prone to flooding are considered ideal breeding grounds for female mosquitoes. 


Female mosquitoes are the only one to bite. This is due to needing more supplements in the diet to lay their eggs. The male mosquitoes can live off of the nectar from plants. 

If you have been bitten by a female mosquito, most people experience red, itchy bumps. This is mainly due to the female mosquito’s saliva containing an anticoagulant which helps to “suck up her meal”. 


  • Do you know that mosquitoes are attracted to several different smells on humans? Some of these can include:


  • Octenol, carbon dioxide, and lactic acid that are found in your sweat and breath
  • Body Odor
  • Blood type—Most mosquitoes are attracted to Type O versus Type A


So, how do we avoid mosquito bites? While it is hard to avoid mosquitoes all together, there are some things we can try to cut down on mosquito bites and limit their breeding grounds. Some things include: 

  • Wear mosquito repellent
  • Try to eliminate standing water around your area.
  • Stay cool. Mosquitoes are attracted to the heat a person puts off
  • A combination of coconut and neem oil can act as a mosquito repellent
  • Plant lemongrass and marigolds. They are pest repelling plants which include mosquitoes and fleas


This information and more can be found on http://www.pests.org/get-rid-of-mosquitoes