7

Has anyone had success with any form of goose deterrent? I currently have a small flock of about 10 geese that like to leave their scat all over my driveway and lawn.

I have about 2 acres of lawn and a half acre pond on the property.

  • 1
    Are they sleeping on your property too? Or do they come and visit for some time and then leave? – The Flash Aug 6 '14 at 17:52
  • 1
    They come and go. Sometimes they sleep there. There are around 5 or 6 ponds in the area so I think they bed down randomly. – JMD Aug 6 '14 at 17:53
  • 1
    The lawn is goose food. Consider how much you actually use the lawn as lawn and consider converting as much of it as you don't use actively into other vegetation. – Ecnerwal Aug 9 '14 at 16:15
  • Goose shit is lawn food...they just eat it down way too short. Geese are just a wonderful addition to a property. – stormy Aug 12 '14 at 20:19
  • 1
    @stormy goose shit is also dog food, which my dog then throws up and tries to re-eat. The geese need to go! – JMD Aug 12 '14 at 20:27
7

Luckily it sounds like you just have to make your yard/pond less attractive than the other yards/ponds nearby. It's a fairly common problem for people with water features such as ponds on their property, and as such there are several different ways that people have discovered to discourage geese from visiting. Your mileage may vary with these methods, and some of them might not even be an option for you. So use your discretion to choose which method you think will work for you.

Discourage access to water

Geese are lazy, and prefer to walk into the water from the shore rather than fly in and out like ducks do. So if you're mowing to the edge of your pond, you might want to consider doing some landscaping to make it less convenient for them to visit your pond, than the other ponds.

How you landscape the area by the water is up to you, but the goal is that the geese won't easily be able to walk into the water from the land. It could be something like not mowing the area at all and letting the area by the water grow unchecked, or you could even plant some decorative plants or grasses by the water if the unkempt grass sounds like it would be an eyesore, even large decorative rocks that would be difficult for geese to walk across could do the trick.

Other options that might not be as attractive, I think, are: Making the slope to the water steeper, as that would also make it more difficult for geese to access. Or, you could run a wire around the pond, about 6 inches off the ground, right by the water's edge. That acts as a fence of sorts that makes it inconvenient for the geese to get in and out of the water.

If the other ponds are easier to access than your pond, the geese will most likely visit those ponds instead.

Don't feed them

Definitely stop feeding them directly if you are doing so. Offering handouts is a good way to get geese to return for more. But there are also ways you might be offering geese easy meals on your property.

Geese like to eat the short, manicured grass, along with the new shoots that come with it. An easy way to make your lawn less palatable to geese is to keep your lawn at a higher length than normal. I would say you should try to avoid mowing it shorter than 3-4 inches minimum. That should help keep the grass mature and tougher than the geese will prefer.

You might also want to consider cutting out using fertilizer for a while, to make your grass less nutritious than they need as well.

There are some grasses that attract geese as well. Kentucky Bluegrass is a well loved favorite of geese. I've heard that they don't like Fescue, but I don't know if that's true or not.

I don't know much about it as I haven't had any desire to use it, but I've heard that Methyl anthranilate is effective. All it is is a bitter flavoring that you would sprinkle in your yard and it would make it taste bad. There was a study done on it's effectiveness though.

Scare the geese away

First, be sure not to do the scaring yourself, as geese are ornery creatures.

  1. Decoys:

    Sometimes a good old scarecrow and/or strips of mylar tape can be enough to do the trick. Part of the problem with geese being such large birds, is that they aren't scared of the usual decoys you might normally use for pests, such as owls, and might not be so scared of humans either (especially ones that don't really move).

    One decoy that might work depending on where you live, is a floating gator decoy. It's simply a decoy that you can float in your pond, and it's meant to keep away larger birds such as geese or herons that might be a hindrance to ponds with fish in them.

    Another option might be swan decoys. This is give or take I think. Swans are more aggressive and territorial than geese, so having swans in your pond could deter geese from visiting just so they can avoid the possible confrontation. The problem is that the geese could take it to mean that your pond has a good source of food since there are swans there, and be attracted to it. I've seen it go both ways.

    Otherwise I would suggest a coyote decoy, as coyotes would be the most common natural predator of geese, and should make any of them uneasy being in your yard.

  2. Chasing:

    Other people have devised more hands-on methods of scaring the geese away like the goosinator. Which really any model airplane or remote control car should be effective enough to chase the geese away.

    If you have a medium to large sized dogs, it might be worth letting it loose to chase the geese for you. Herding dogs work best, as geese get put off by the herding methods. Sometimes you can hire goose-herding services depending on where you live.

Don't let them sleep

The geese will want to sleep in or around the pond at night. The best thing you can do here is to make your pond the one that they can't sleep in, and they'll be more likely to move on to a neighboring pond to spend their time.

There are a couple different ways to do this, the most common is placing a flashing light in an around the water. The ones you can find on AwayWithGeese.Com are pretty pricey, but they give you an idea of what you would want. A couple lights in the yard, and some on buoys in the ponds.

In combination with lights, or just an alternative to, would be something that makes noise at certain intervals throughout the night. Just something that doesn't allow the geese to get a good night's sleep while they're staying on your property.

  • 1
    I added a low, green wire fence around the less crowded sections of the pond. Now they just go up to fence and honk at it angrily until I come out and scare them away with a broom. Results! – JMD Aug 12 '14 at 20:29
6

Canada geese are a big problem all over Eastern North America. Some of the solutions that have worked but may not work for you are:

  • do not mow areas adjacent to water. They are not too mobile through thick tall grass and like to access the water easily.
  • plant trees and shrubs or fence next to the water to limit access
  • plant emergent aquatics next to the shore to limit access
  • a few government departments where I live have hired a service that uses trained Border Collies to scare the geese away. As they are herders they can be trained to sneak up and scare the geese without harming them. You mileage may vary depending on the dog and the effort you put into training them.

By the way for our members from the United States

Federal law protects Canada geese. It is illegal to harm geese, their eggs, or their nests in the United States without permission from the U.S. Fish and Wild Service (USFWS). Geese may be harassed or scared away without a permit as long as the geese, goslings, eggs, and nests are not harmed. USFWS allows resident Canada goose eggs to be treated to prevent hatching....

1

One of the best methods for scaring away geese is a lazer light. Get a powerful one on ebay and watch them fly away. The downside is after a while they get used to it and you will have to get something else to keep them at bay. I have a four wheeler and chase them off with that, but that only works when I'm home. I also placed some driveway markers around the area that they like to nest in and ran string between the markers about a foot off the ground, this seems to work. The main thing is you have to keep switching up methods to keep them away. But the lazar light does work the best.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.