Geese have benefited from the way humans have altered the landscape. Canada geese are attracted to areas that provide food, water, and protection. Urban areas with lakes and ponds offer all the resources that geese need to survive.

Methods of Control and Prevention

Elimination of Feeding:  Artificial feeding can lead to large concentrations of geese as they congregate for “free handouts.” Feeding causes the loss of wild instincts and can lead to nutritional imbalance. Geese also lose their fear of humans when fed, which can lead to abnormal behavior such as aggression towards humans, causing an animal/human conflict.

Scare Devices:  Scare devices and visual stimuli techniques can be a cost-effective way to repel geese when applied consistently as soon as geese arrive on your property.  Examples:  Shell crackers, Bird bangers, Screamers, Rockets, Bird alarm. Distress cries, Motion detector accessories, and Electronic noise systems.  There are also visual stimuli techniques used to scare geese:  Bird scare balloons, Mylar scare tape, Plastic flags

Dogs:  Might be classified under Scare Devices.  😉

Repellents:  Repellents can be applied on lawns to deter geese from feeding on the grass. Repellents made from grape extract may repel birds from turf areas. The disadvantage to using repellents is that they are effective only over a short period, before rain or mowing reduces their impact. Remember, geese are more prone to avoid sites where repellents have been used if alternative feeding sites are available

Barrier Fencing:  Fence barriers constructed at least 30 inches high, can exclude molted (non-flighted) geese from lawns in June and July. Barriers can be constructed from plastic snow fence, chain link, woven wire, string, mylar tape or chicken wire. Barrier fencing works most effectively when placed along shorelines.  (We use green folding metal fencing from the hardware store along our shoreline and since they prefer to not fly, it works for us throughout the summer.)

Landscaping or Habitat Modifications:  Making your yard less attractive to geese can reduce goose use. A shoreline buffer of tall native grasses or a hedgerow 20 to 30 inches tall can discourage geese from visiting your lawn. (This also makes a nice barrier for fertilizer and other runoff from getting to the lake.)  Geese are especially attracted to lawns that are heavily fertilized, watered, and mowed. Studies show that fertilizing lawns increases their nutritional value to geese. Letting the lawn grow longer and not fertilizing or watering it will make it less attractive to geese. When establishing a new lawn, consider planting fescues instead of Kentucky blue grasses, since they are less attractive to feeding geese.

Goose Translocations:  There are companies that can do this work with an approved DNR permit.  However, it has limited success.  It provides lakefront owners temporary relief, but the same or different birds move back into the area within a short time unless the attractive habitat is modified. 

Remember, giant Canada geese are thriving in large part because of the landscape changes brought on by human development. Some level of tolerance for the many other state residents, including Canada geese, must be expected of today’s growing human population.

 Michigan.gov/DNR Canada Geese

Recommended Posts