Published: Jul 01, 2014 8:53 PM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla --- From downtown Fort Myers, to Punta Gorda, to Bonita Springs.

Black bears are not picky when it comes to walking around Southwest Florida.
And since it's mating season, officials say they'll be around more often. 

"They are looking for new home ranges, new mates. Places to set up shop," said Mike Orlando of FWC.

FWC says the bear population is growing, but so are the people. 

"Those two things are biting heads now," said Orlando.

So officials are trying to figure out how everyone can get along, and they need your help.
FWC held one of several public meetings tonight, this time in Lehigh Acres, wanting to know how you think they can handle bears better. 

"Maybe they have a good idea we haven't thought of yet," said Orlando.

About 3 dozen people showed up to help answer that question.

"People and black bears can exist but people need to learn to stop feeding them, quit baiting them and learn to live with them," said Krista Fischer of Lee County.
"I've read about it, and I know there are a number of ways to safely contain the food supply so the bears don't come around," said Madeline Doran of Fort Myers.

And FWC's Mike Orlando says these ladies are on the right track.

"Biggest issues we have with bears is garbage," said Orlando.

One of the ways to solve that problem? Bear resitant trash cans.

Orlando says they are working to bring a program here to Lee, Collier and Charlotte, that would be run through waste management.

In that case, you could rent bear resistant cans at a low price, and avoid any potential visitors.