Table of Contents
- All You Need To Know About How to Kill Geese Naturally
- 1. Don’t Let Them Land
- 2. Stop Feeding Geese
- 3. Remove Any Potential Food Sources
- 4. Set Up Decoys
- 5. Use A Goose-Herding Dog
- 6. Plant Tall Grasses
- 7. Scare Geese With Loud Noises
- 8. Propane Cannon
- 9. Restrict Access to Water
- 10. Learn How to Keep Eggs From Hatching
- 11. Water Spray Devices
- 12. Unpalatable Vegetation
- Homemade Goose Repellent
- Arm-Waving Characters
- Geese Control Methods: Comparison Table
All You Need To Know About How to Kill Geese Naturally
Nature is one of the most beautiful things we posses and as such we tend to appreciate and enjoy it every now and then. Many things make up nature as we know it and these include, plants, animals, oceans & seas etc. One of such animals that nature has blessed us with is the goose which happens to be a waterfowl or a type of bird that loves water. This creature is very lovely especially when they move in groups. When more than one, the term geese is used being the plural form of goose. As beautiful and lovely these creatures are they could also be very serious pests and incredibly destructive. They may first be attracted to properties featuring freshly mowed grasses and clear freshwater lakes, but then will continue to return again and again. Large and sometimes even small populations of geese can damage property, leave unsightly messes, and cause great economic loss by grazing on grasses and crops. There are also cases of them littering the lawn or garden with their droppings and feathers and this can constitute nuisance to the environment. When faced with this challenge, individuals and garden owners are forced to look for different ways to control or arrest the situation by adopting various means. Some of the means adopted at times by these individuals eventually end up leaving the environment worse because of the kind of effects that come along with them. E.g. the use of chemicals will cause environmental pollution.
There is a saying,” Nature has a way of healing itself” and given that this is a ‘menace’ caused by one of the beauties of nature it is only appropriate that we use natural means to get rid of it. There are a lot of natural ways to get rid of geese. However, the key to effective goose control is to repel the geese before the local population gets too large, or to make your property as unattractive to geese as possible. Some of the natural ways of going about these are discussed below.
1. Don’t Let Them Land
The best way to get them off your property is to prevent them from ever landing in the first place. You could get some sort of predator decoy that geese can see from the sky. That method is effective because the Canadian geese will see danger and pick another spot for landing. In order for the decoy method to be effective you have to make sure that the decoy is visible from the sky so avoid putting it next to trees where they will be invisible from above. The types of decoys that you should try are the natural predators such as coyotes and wolves. You can also use reflective tape as there is more of a chance that it will be seen from above during the day time. Something that can reflect the light works; some people will even Compact Discs to accomplish the reflection effect.
2. Stop Feeding Geese
If you want to get rid of geese, you have to stop feeding the local population. This is true in parks, public places, and sometimes private property. Whether it’s private or public land, signs may need to be constructed alerting people to the dangers of feeding wildlife. Not only is human food not good for a goose’s diet, but those geese who become used to handouts and become domesticated will actually attract wilder or migrating geese to the same area much the same way duck decoys work for hunters.
3. Remove Any Potential Food Sources
Geese will feed on grass as well as garbage. Make sure you dispose of your garbage properly or keep it where geese cannot access it. If you have Kentucky Bluegrass planted in your lawn, consider replacing it with another grass. Changing grasses may only work if there is another source of food for the geese. Geese will eat most short grasses and legumes if it is all that is available. You may have to treat your grass with a chemical repellent, such as anthraquinone, which triggers digestive irritation in geese. There are several goose repellents available, many of which contain Methyl anthranilate, a chemical that makes grass taste bad to geese.
4. Set Up Decoys
Speaking of decoys: setting up a family of swan decoys might help get rid of geese still looking for nesting grounds. Like geese, Mute Swans will defend their young quite aggressively, and this is a danger most incoming geese will try to avoid. There’s no reason why you should have to keep swan decoys in your lawn, ponds, or near your lakeshore property all of the time. They will eventually become an eye sore. Put these out if and when you know the migratory season for geese has begun. Here’s a hint: there’ll be honking in the clouds.
5. Use A Goose-Herding Dog
Border collies and other herding breeds can be trained to scare geese away from an area. The geese will perceive the dog as a predator and may be convinced to leave the area for good. Only dogs that have been specially trained by a handler should be used to scare geese away. Do not let the dogs catch or harm the geese. If not specially trained, the dogs may cause the geese to re-locate to the water, where the dog will not pose a real threat. If the geese are nesting or raising young, do not attempt to scare them away with a dog.
6. Plant Tall Grasses
Making your pond or water front property less attractive with tall grasses will help get rid of geese. It has been suggested that allowing the tall grasses around a pond or lake to grow at least 18 inches high in a band roughly ten feet wide around a shoreline will help make your property less attractive to geese. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that geese like to be kept abreast of the activities of nearby animals, particularly predators. They will be less likely to make your property into a nesting ground if they don’t have an adequate visual field to ensure their safety.
7. Scare Geese With Loud Noises
Sonic repellents can be effective at moving geese away from an area, but only for a short period of time. Most sonic repellents come equipped with a timer and make use of a recorded goose “alarm” call. When the geese hear the alarm, they flee. Like decoys, sonic repellents may only work as a temporary solution. Geese can get used to loud noises rather quickly. Sonic repellents are much more effective if the geese associate the noise with a mobile threat, such as a dog or a person.
8. Propane Cannon
This generates a loud bang to scare geese away from the area. More effective if multiple cannons are used and they are moved around regularly so the geese don’t become comfortable with it and ignore it.
9. Restrict Access to Water
Restricting easy access to the water will ensure that geese stay away from your beaches and ponds. There are several ways to accomplish this. One way is to build a dock that lines the water’s edge, of sufficient height that geese cannot easily climb up onto it. Perhaps an easier method is to set up bird netting or a bird fence near the water’s edge to prevent easy access to and from the water. If you’ve ever chased geese, you’ll know their first instinct is to go for water. If they don’t feel they can do that very easily, they will find another area to build their nest.
10. Learn How to Keep Eggs From Hatching
A humane way to prevent a growing flock of geese is a practice known as “addling.” Goose eggs are treated with corn oil or removed from the nest entirely at the earliest stage of development. Addling prevents geese from tending flightless goslings and limits the number of geese in an area.
You must be properly trained to addle eggs. There are courses available online to guide you through the process.
11. Water Spray Devices
Pressurized water sprayers that are operated by a motion detector to spray any nearby geese and scare them off. This will be more effective if the sprayer is repositioned regularly as the geese will not know which direction to stay away from.
12. Unpalatable Vegetation
This method is intended to encourage geese to leave an area that they usually occupy, due to a lack of desirable food. Tall Fescue Grass – Geese usually do not like this type of grass, as opposed to Kentucky Blue Grass, which is a goose favourite. Grass that has been fertilized will also taste better to geese.
Cat Tails, Wildflowers, Shrubs, Ivy – Similar to tall grass, other tall and dense plants will increase the threat of predators and deter geese. Effective, can be aesthetically pleasing but makes it difficult for human interaction with the water’s edge. Also, the use of Goose Distress Calls I.e. Pre-recorded sounds of potential danger can be played to scare the geese.
Homemade Goose Repellent
Fortunately, you can make your own repellents to keep troublesome geese at bay. Below are some of the homemade goose repellent and how to make them.
1. Plastic Bag Repellent
- Tie plastic bags, such as the ones that you bring your groceries home in, to poles or tree branches a couple feet off the ground. Use twist ties, yarn, or garden twine–anything strong enough to hold up to the wind. The bags should be secure but able to move in the breeze, as the movement is what will scare the geese off.
- Secure brightly coloured balloons onto the chair arms of your outdoor furniture or drive a few stakes into the ground and tie the balloons to the stakes as an alternative to using plastic bags. Again, you can use yarn, garden twine, or another strong material to secure the balloons into place yet allow them to move. The geese will view the balloons as a threat and when they are unable to scare them away, the geese will decide it’s time to go.
- Remove the bags and balloons and dispose of them after the geese have moved on to other feeding grounds. If the geese return, you can repeat one of these methods again. Eventually the geese will become too uncomfortable to return.
2. Grape Kool-Aid
The chemical component that gives grape Kool-Aid it’s smell and taste is the identical component used professionally by farmers and growers when they mix their fruit and berry crops to keep hungry birds away.
5 packs of no sugar added grape Kool-Aid added to 1 gallon of water is the recipe for success. This solution can be sprayed on lawns and driveways, etc. and the grape flavoring component is Very unsavory to birds. NOT HARMFUL IN ANY WAY! And 5 packs of Kool-Aid will cost approximately $2.50. Apply using a pump sprayer that you would use to apply fertilizer to plants, etc.
Chemical goose repellent should be applied to the sites where lots of geese usually gather and it is preferred by many homeowners because of not being dangerous for geese. The main drawback of this method is that its effect does not last for a long time and there is the need for repeated applications. On average, the product should be sprayed approximately every five days, with additional applications after heavy rains.
3. Flapping In the Wind
Motion can be very effective for scaring away geese, and you can take advantage of a windy day by attaching a streamer, long light piece of fabric or flag on a pole out where the geese tend to roam. The unpredictable, constant flapping will unnerve the birds, and it could scare them enough to keep them away. However, these are less useful if there is not a strong enough wind to lift and blow them.
Your art skills do not matter much when it comes to making an effective scarecrow. He doesn’t have to be pretty, but he does need to be able to move. Use gauzy, breezy clothing and loosely secure the arms so that they can swing in a gentle gust. Ensure your geese cannot miss him, attach something reflective such as old compact discs to his exterior so that he catches the light.
1. Wire grid
A wire grid can be constructed approximately 12 inches above the water’s surface and on 20-foot centers, to deter geese from landing directly in the water from flight. Probably effective but will detract aesthetically from the pond.
2. Scare Windmill
An object that is shaped like a large bird that has propellers on each side that will spin and simulate the flapping of wings of other geese taking off in fright. The propellers are often painted with a reflective material so it is more visible. Can be effective, but the windmill should be moved regularly.
In summary, all these methods have their pros and cons and one might want to consider them carefully before embarking on geese control, they are presented in the table below.
Geese Control Methods: Comparison Table
|Reducing food availability||habitat modification||geese lose the habit of visiting the site; long-term solution||effective only in a combination with other methods||9|
|Altering the landscape||habitat modification||geese feel unsafe and uncomfortable, lose the habit of visiting the site; especially deters geese with goslings; long-term solution||Labour consuming; reduces accessibility to the pond for humans as well; tall grass is a favourable environment for many pest insects.||10|
|Fencing||exclusion||very effective if constructed properly; not expensive; electric shock is an additional deterrent; keeps geese away without harming them||geese may fly over the fence; labour-consuming; except for fences made from wood, is not in harmony with the surrounding landscape; electric fences are energy-consuming||10|
|Noise-making devices (pyrotechnics, distress calls etc)||Frightening||popular because geese are easy to frighten; make geese believe that the site is unsafe||not recommended for densely populated areas as noises will disturb people; special federal permit is required to frighten nesting geese; hazardous to humans if not handled properly; short-term solution; geese habituate to scare tactics||8|
|Visual goose deterrents (scare tapes, balloons, swan decoys)||Frightening||can be placed in any urban or suburban area without disturbing its residents; popular because geese are easy to frighten; there is a wide choice of visual deterrents; visual deterrents can be handmade||geese have to see the deterrents frequently, in different positions and places as they easily get used to them; short-term solution||9|
|sprays (methyl anthranilate, anthraquinone)||repellent||effective when applied to the sites of large congregations of geese; does not harm the geese; there are two compounds suggested by scientists: methyl anthranilate and anthraquinone; do not have dangerous residue; not washed off with rains||mowing reduces the repellent effect; expensive, especially for large areas; short-term solution; should be re-applied every five days||10|
NB: The effectiveness of each method was measured on a scale of 1-10.