December 23, 2021

How to Get Rid of Geese Effectively—Especially Canada Geese.

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By Susan Hagberg

President, Wild Goose Chase

As beautiful a sight as flocks of migrating birds can be, geese can exact a toll on your property that the word ‘nuisance’ fails to adequately describe.

Among geese species, Canada geese pose particularly challenging issues due to their adaptability, large size, and tendency to form large and persistent flocks.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to get rid of geese effectively, with a focus on Canada geese.

Why Should You Get Rid of Geese?

Geese, including Canada Geese, can cause a range of problems due to their presence in various environments. One significant issue is the amount of waste they produce. A single Canada goose can deposit up to two pounds of waste per day. This waste creates not only an unsightly mess but also poses health risks due to bacterial contamination and disease transmission. Additionally, the waste can create slippery surfaces, leading to slip-and-fall accidents, especially in high-traffic areas.

Canada Geese, in particular, are a recurring problem for many industries and environments. Their large size, adaptability, and communal behavior exacerbate the challenges they pose. In urban and suburban areas, they often congregate in parks, golf courses, campuses, and even rooftops.

Here are some issues linked to a widespread presence of geese:

  • Destroyed Landscaping: Canada Geese feed on grasses and other vegetation, causing damage to lawns, gardens, and green spaces. Their feeding habits can lead to patches of torn-up turf and defoliated plants.
  • Damaged Crops: In agricultural areas, Canada Geese can inflict significant damage to crops such as grains, corn, and soybeans. They may trample crops, eat seedlings, and contaminate fields with their waste, leading to economic losses for farmers.
  • Slip-and-Fall Injuries: The accumulation of goose waste on walkways, pathways, and other surfaces creates slippery conditions, increasing the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. This is particularly concerning in public areas such as parks, where liability for injuries may fall on property owners or managers.
  • Cleanup Costs: The need for regular cleanup of bird waste adds to the maintenance costs for property owners and managers. This includes expenses for labor, equipment, and cleaning supplies to remove waste and sanitize affected areas.

Overall, the challenges posed by Canada geese highlight the importance of implementing effective bird control measures to mitigate the negative impacts on both public and private spaces.

Are Canada Geese Federally Protected?

Geese remain a federally protected species even though the population is continuing to increase, in part due to the ideal habitat created by human activity. A 2000 estimate put the North American population at between 4.2 and 5.6 million.

Goose control techniques must be performed in accordance with a variety of state and federal regulations as a result of their protected status.

When seeking information on geese regulations, it’s essential to consult reliable and authoritative sources, such as government agency websites or publications, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Here are some key sources:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS): The USFWS oversees the conservation and management of migratory birds, including geese, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Their website provides information on regulations, permits, and management strategies related to geese and other migratory birds.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA may also provide information related to geese management, particularly regarding environmental impact assessments and regulations concerning the use of chemical deterrents or repellents.
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA): The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) may offer resources and guidelines for managing wildlife, including geese, that pose threats to agriculture or public health and safety.
  • State Wildlife Agencies: While federal regulations provide a framework for geese management, specific regulations and permits may vary by state. State wildlife agencies often have their own regulations and management programs for geese and other wildlife species.

Canada Geese Deterrents & Prevention Methods

Bird issues are often complex, so an effective strategy should include an integrated approach with input from biologists with bird experience. The right mix of prevention and deterrence can include things like:

  • Canine harassment: using trained dogs to chase away birds like geese. The presence of predators (dogs) can deter geese from staying in an area.
  • Nest management: implementing measures to control or remove bird nests, which can discourage birds from returning to the area.
  • Habitat modification: altering the environment to make it less attractive or suitable for birds. This could involve changes to landscaping, water features, or vegetation.
  • Structural barriers: installing physical barriers such as fences, netting, or spikes to prevent birds from accessing specific areas.
  • Chemical repellents: using substances that birds find unpleasant or irritating to deter them from landing or staying in an area. These repellents are often applied to surfaces or vegetation.
  • Bird lasers: utilizing laser technology to emit light beams that birds perceive as threats, causing them to flee the area. Long-range lasers are particularly effective for deterring birds from large open spaces.

Geese typically spend most of their time and do most of their damage in large, open areas like manicured landscapes, crop fields, and rooftops. These areas can be difficult and cost-prohibitive to exclude geese utilizing traditional physical or widespread chemical deterrent applications.

For this reason, long-range laser technology is one of the preferred bird control methods to scare geese away from broad areas effectively.

Get Rid of Geese with Bird Laser Technology

Fortunately for goose management professionals, laser technology has been developed specifically for bird management scenarios such as this. Laser deterrence can be an especially effective strategy for large areas like airports, golf courses, corporate and industrial campuses, and agricultural settings, with both automated and handheld laser options.

Research has shown that not all lasers are equal when it comes to frightening birds. Laser color, beam diameter, and movement patterns can affect the degree to which birds perceive the lasers as a threat. The AVIX Autonomic and Agrilaser technology from Bird Control Group is designed to frighten a wide range of bird species, resulting in an effective, long-term solution.

Geese do not become habituated to lasers like they do with other static deterrent tools like cannons and coyote decoys, and will consistently move away from them. This is especially true when lasers are operated by experts who understand bird behavior. Attempting to scare off geese with cannons or other loud noises only works temporarily and often annoys the neighbors more than the birds.

Professional Help to Resolve Your Canada Geese Conflicts

Help from bird professionals and biologists is the key to success for solving your bird conflicts, particularly with Canada geese. Effective bird management begins with an evaluation of your property to determine the right mix of prevention and deterrence.

About the Author: At Wild Goose Chase, our team of bird biologists and experts has used a variety of handheld lasers for humane bird control for two decades, and was the earliest bird management team to put Bird Control Group laser technology to use in the United States. We are a certified installer and integrator of the AVIX Autonomic system, which we have installed throughout the country to provide automated 24/7 bird deterrence to protect a variety of properties, including commercial rooftops, agriculture environments, processing and manufacturing plants, and refineries.

Are you looking for an effective, long-lasting solution to get rid of geese? Contact us via the form below for a free evaluation.