Spring has sprung! Yesterday was the first day of Spring and here in Colorado Springs that means that the wildlife has already started to explore the area. These animals include: bears, mountain lions, foxes, snakes, and insects.
Over the years, these animals have started to become more and more comfortable with migrating to housing areas and neighborhoods in search of food or to explore. Depending on the animal, this can be a very scary fact! We have some tips for you to keep you and your family safe while living with these animals.
If you encounter a bear, stand still, speak in a calm voice and make sure the bear has a way of escaping the situation. Never run, climb a tree, or scream!
If you see some bear cubs, their mother is never very far away so leave the area! If you see them around your house, stay inside, lock your doors, and call animal control to get more information on how to handle the situation.
If you’re hiking or camping and encounter a bear, always make sure you have some bear spray of another means of warding off bears in a safe way. Make sure you store your food appropriately when camping.
If you encounter a mountain lion, make yourself look as big as you can by raising your hands above your head and speaking loudly. Never turn away from the mountain lion, keep facing it until it leaves on its own accord. Do not turn your back on it and do not run away!
ONLY if the lion appears to be aggressive (which is rare), throw as many things as you can at the lion to ward him off.
Always hike in groups and always speak loudly when hiking to let all the animals know you are there. Most animals will avoid contact with you on their own.
Maintain safety precautions at your home.
Never feed any deer you find near your home! This will keep them coming back and can attract larger predators to your home at the same time.
Keep all pets inside or well protected in cages/kennels.
Keep your yard well lit and try to remove any large bushes or shrubs where mountain lions can hide.
Maintain your fences and yards. Foxes tend to find holes or weak areas in fencing to slip into your yard.
Always make sure there are no foxes in your yard before you let your pets outside.
Never keep trash or food openly stored outside. Foxes tend to only come into neighborhoods in search of food.
Always keep an eye and ear out for snakes in the area. Rattlesnakes make noise with their tails to signify their presence. Many snakes blend in with their environment, so look AND listen for any movement.
Many snakes are not aggressive to begin with but some easily feel threatened. Sometimes this happens by mistake by no fault of you. Just be weary of their presence and try to locate them before this mistake occurs.
If you are bitten, stay calm. Remove any tight fitting clothes or jewelry near the bite and don’t move around too fast. Keep the bitten area below your heart so it slows the spread of any venom that may have been transferred. Get to your doctor or an emergency room to see if it needs any further treatment.
Spring time in the Springs brings lots of insects into your everyday life. Make sure that you are properly prepared for these insects by trying to avoid any contact with them.
Reduce the amount of floral scented fragrances you wear on a daily basis.
Have bug spray available just in case.
Locate any nesting areas and have them professionally dealt with as soon as you can to avoid any growth or problems this may cause.
If you are stung by a bee or wasp:
Locate the area of the sting and remove the stinger (if present) by wiping a credit card or blunt object across the area. Early removal of the stinger can sometimes reduce the amount of venom that is transferred.
Wash the area with soap and water
Apply cold pack
Take an antihistamine
If you know you or the “victim” has allergic reactions to bee stings, call the paramedics immediately for further care instructions!
If you are bitten by a spider:
Gather as much information on the spider that bit you, and make an appointment with your doctor.
For most other insects the complications that may arise are annoyances and pests. Clean your house regularly, avoid any food particles from sitting out, and use appropriate insect traps to avoid these.