Electric Fencing & Other Bear Deterrent FAQ
Why do people use Electric Fencing to deter bears?
Homeowners use electric fencing to deter bears because it is a safe, reliable and good deterrent. It will not permanently hurt a bear, but it will give the bear an uncomfortable shock telling the bear that it is not welcome on your property. This will effectively teach the bears that your home is the grizzly lair, not to be messed with. It is a physical deterrent. Unlike the dog barkers (which are sound deterrent) and Pine Sol and ammonia (which are a smell deterrent). The bears get shocked once and learn that the electric fencing is at your home. Then, the bears will take your home off of their checklist because they know there are a lot of other homes out there unprotected.
What is Electric Fencing?
Electric fencing has been used to control livestock and wild animals since the 1930’s. It was originally invented by Gallagher Electric Fencing to stop a horse from rubbing against a car.
How does it work?
The electric fence energizer sends pulsating current through the line to produce an electric shock when something comes into contact with the line.
Is it dangerous?
No, it is not dangerous. The voltage being sent through the wires is high, but the current or amplification (amps) is very low. A 110-volt shock will hurt just as much as a 10,000-volt shock, as long as the current or amps are the same. Amps or current are what kills. Electric fence energizers put out high voltage (around 8,000 volts), but very low amperage or current (around 120 milli-amps). This is 120-thousands of an amp. It should not even kill a squirrel.
The energy pulses through the wires. This means every 30th of a second it sends a pulse of electricity. The reason for the pulsating current is that if the wires are touched and deliver a shock, whatever touches it has a chance to remove itself. If the current did not pulse like most electrical appliances (example: hair dryer, radio, toaster, etc.), then whatever touched it would continue to be shocked until the power went out or something pried them off.
With low amps and a pulsating current, electrical fencing is a safe product.
What happens if a child touches the electrical fence?
If a child touches both the hot and ground wires, they will be shocked. It will hurt for approximately 10 minutes, but it will not be debilitating, leave a burn mark or kill them. Because electric fencing has low current and pulsates, it can’t kill or permanently hurt anyone.
What if a dog touches the wires?
Same as a child or anything else that touches it. They will be fine. It will hurt for a little while, but they will learn not to touch it again.
How much energy does an energizer use?
Very little. The energizers typically plug into a 110-volt power outlet, and they use very little energy. The energy uses low voltage and turns it into high voltage onto the wires. Because it pulses energy every 30th of a second, the unit uses very little energy. If you did laundry a couple of times a year, then you used more energy than an energizer would use in a year!
Can I install an electric fence myself?
It is highly recommended that you have a professional install the electric fence. However, some people are handy enough to do the install themselves. When thinking about doing an install like this, it is recommended that you thoroughly research it. There is a lot to keep in mind when trying to keep bears out of your home with electric fencing. For example, spacing the wires out properly so that a bear will hit both hot and ground wires and having the proper height over windows and doors to protect them. Also, it is important to use the right products that will ensure the bear will not get into your home and not get entangled in the wires.
When thinking about doing an install yourself, keep in mind that the number one failure of an electric fence is improper grounding of the system. Also, keep in mind local building codes and proper signage for local residents and first responder teams and informing your local fire and sheriff department of your install.
What does the Bear League and Fish and Game think about electric fencing?
They both support electric fencing as a safe and effective bear deterrent. By homeowners keeping bears out of their trash with humane but effective deterrents, they are helping keep our Tahoe bears in the wild.
Please share our bear deterrent services with your friends and neighbors:
For a free home evaluation, or for clean-up and securing your home after a break-in, please call (530)592-9844 or click here to use our online contact form.
Thank you for your business.
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