Nuisance Geese

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Nuisance Geese
Canada Geese are spectacular and intelligent birds. But when they get in your space they can be big, noisy, and messy. Dealing with nuisance geese involves knowing a bit about their biology and lifestyle, figuring out exactly what they are doing on your property, and then taking appropriate actions.
Geese generally cause two main problems—making a mess, and chasing people. They mostly make messes when they are feeding and loafing. Geese mostly chase people when they are nesting. So depending on your problem with geese, you need to address what is attracting them—which is probably either food or safety (for loafing or nesting).
Basically a nice lawn is an open invitation to geese! They munch on the grass and basically just hang out in the open where they can keep an eye out for approaching dangers. There are two main ways to deal with this—one is to get rid of the lawn. The other is to make the lawn less tasty. The first solution may seem drastic, but is the most effective. You almost never see flocks of geese wandering around in the woods—so if it is at all possible to replace your lawn with native bushes, shrubs, and trees, that will be the most effective way to get them to move elsewhere. If that isn’t an option, it may be possible to get the geese to move on by making your grass taste bad to the geese using Migrate goose repellent a non-toxic grape extract, Methyl Anthranilate, that people use as an artificial grape flavor in foods, but geese find offensive.

If the geese aren’t feeding, but are just hanging out—perhaps on a lawn or near a pond—then the goose repellent won’t work. For loafing birds the best way to get the geese to move on is with landscape alterations. For ponds, geese like uninterrupted access to the water, so if you put bushes around the edge of the pond, or cattails or other tall aquatic vegetation in the pond, the pond will be less attractive to them. Low fences or other barriers making it harder for the geese to move between the water and the edge can also help. A web of wire or line over a pond can also keep geese from being able to land on the water (see instructions).

If geese are loafing on a dock or swim platform, you may be able to use a Bird Spider or other physical deterrent to block the birds from being able to land or enjoy their safe haven.

If landscape alterations or physical barriers can’t keep geese away, then you are left trying to scare the birds away with a variety of visual or other deterrents. The Goose-B-Gone Super Sonic plays recorded goose distress calls that can often get geese to move on and other visual deterrents can also scare geese away. With these deterrents, remember that geese are smart and can figure out when there is a real danger. If your decoys never move, or the sonic system plays all the time, they will figure out that there really isn’t a threat. So these tools are best used actively and judiciously on an as needed basis.

One of the most effective ways to scare geese away is with trained dogs, especially Border Collies, which have a natural herding instinct. In some parts of the country, there are goose specialists with trained dogs that you can hire to regularly come and scare the geese from your property.

Geese often cause problems when they aggressively chase people near their nest site. If you have a goose pair that regularly nests where they care causing problems, you can plant more bushes or other plants that can make the nest site less attractive in future years. Temporary fencing can also keep geese away from their favorite nesting spots. If birds are already nesting, and chasing people, temporary fencing that blocks them from seeing people or being able to chase them can give relief until the birds move on. Goose eggs hatch in 25-28 days, and two days later the geese usually move on with their young. So dealing with a problem goose nest is usually only a short term problem.

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