1. General Facts about Geese:
The Canada goose (Branta canadensis), also referred to as the Canadian goose, belongs to the Branta genus of geese, which contains species with largely black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey species of the Anser genus. The species name, canadensis, is a New Latin word meaning “of Canada.” This species is 76-110 cm (30-43 in) long with a 127-180 cm (50-71 in) wing span. Males usually weigh 3.2-6.5 kg, (7-14 pounds) and can be very aggressive when defending territory. The female looks very similar, but is slightly lighter at 2.5-5.5 kg (5.5-12 pounds). Females are generally 10% physically smaller than their male counterparts.
The black head and neck with white “chinstrap” distinguish the Canada goose from all except the Barnacle goose, but the latter has a black breast, and grey, rather than brownish, body plumage. The Canada goose has seven subspecies of varying sizes and plumage details, but all are recognizable as Canada geese.
II. Geese as Pests
Geese are a problem for many people, especially their droppings. How, then, does one get rid of geese?
“The thing that you have to remember,” says Tom Starling of Bird-X, one of the most trusted names in the pest control industry, “is that birds get used to anything that doesn’t change very frequently. Geese have been known to nest on firing ranges for the Navy. People use stuff like noise cannons and expect that to scare them off. So, that’s just a general principle to keep in mind.”
Keeping the above in mind, here are some home remedy solutions for goose problems.
III. Basic Geese Control and Deterrents
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.
Another factor to practical goose control is to repel the geese before their population gets too big, or to make your property as unappealing to geese as possible. The goose control methods outlined and described below are typical non-lethal methods, proffered by wildlife management experts, for getting rid of geese.
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 in a goose’s diet, but those geese that become used to handouts and become domesticated will actually attract more wild or migrating geese to the same area-in much the same way as duck decoys work for hunters.
* Use 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 on your lawn, by ponds, or near your lakeshore property all of the time. They will eventually become an eye sore.
Simply put these out if and when you know the migratory season for geese has begun. Here’s a hint: there will be honking in the clouds.
* Restrict Easy Access to the Water: This 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. It should be of sufficient height so 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 that 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.
* Goose Chase: Distributed by Bird-X, this is a turf and lawn treatment specifically designed to get rid of geese. The spray itself contains an ingredient called Methyl anthanilate, and according to Tom Starling of Bird-X, it’s a “food-grade substance that’s been used as flavoring in foods for years and is biodegradable.”
He also gives assurance that any Methyl anthanilate “would be well broken down by the time it got through the lawn to any sort of water source, but even if it did, there’s no way it is going to hurt you.”
* Make your Pond or Waterfront Property less Attractive: The use 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 along a shoreline helps make your property less attractive to geese.
This is 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.
IV. More Goose Control Ideas
* Gator Guard: This is another product made by Bird-X that is a clever decoy with mirrored eyes that trick the geese into thinking they’re being watched. The reason Gator Guard seems to work so well is because, unlike regular decoys or stationary silhouettes, Gator Guard decoys move around the water with the wind and the waves, making them seem like more of a real threat.