A couple of geese seen in passing makes for a friendly sight. But what about when those geese begin to multiply in numbers? Even worse, what happens when they decide to make your yard their focal habitat for the foreseeable future?
The simple fact of the matter is that geese can make life difficult for homeowners. If you have never dealt with a gaggle of geese before, you may not understand why homeowners can come to dread seeing geese overhead.
What’s So Bad About Geese?
The “couple” of geese never stays just a couple. Eventually, they will become a huge gathering and your yard will be their favorite place. Geese can degrade a yard fairly quickly. They do this through the number of droppings that they leave each day, roughly two to four pounds for each goose.
There are homeowners that have had to use wheelbarrows to pick up the goose droppings in their yard, unable to take so much as a step without potentially landing in goose droppings. That alone is enough to make homeowners want to get rid of the geese for good.
Another major factor in wanting to get rid of geese is that they carry parasites, bacteria, and pathogens in that feces. For those who have a local water source, major health concerns can be caused if the feces get into the water supply.
For residences with children who like to play in the grass, the transmission of disease is even more likely. People with pets run the risk of them stepping in the goose droppings, tracking them in the house in their wake.
Geese also tend to graze as they walk around. Get enough geese in your yard and you can find major dead areas of grass. This can make a yard look unkempt, ugly, and bring down the overall aesthetic appeal of the entire property.
Lastly, geese are aggressive toward people. This is especially true while they are both nesting and rearing the goslings. We’ve all seen videos or heard stories of geese chasing and biting people. In most cases, it’s a scare and some scratches, but broken bones are not unheard of from geese attacks.
How to Get Rid of Geese
With all of these downsides, it only makes sense to want to keep geese off of your property. Unfortunately, it may be too late to prevent them from arriving, but there are plenty of things that can be done to get them to go away.
When you have scared the geese away, it is important that you take measures to keep them from coming back. Geese can be quite stubborn, and it can turn into a long, drawn-out battle to keep them away at times.
1 – Introduce a Predator
This can be achieved in one of two ways. The first is to be the predator yourself. Geese don’t like shouting and loud noises. Despite the fact that they charge at people, they aren’t going to stand their ground and fight something much bigger than they are.
Run and shout at the geese and it should be enough to disperse them. It may take a couple of instances to get them to take the hint, but your efforts should be enough to get them to go away at least for a little bit.
The second way to introduce a predator is if you have a family dog. Dogs are a natural predator of the goose and even some breeds can be trained to scare geese away from your yard. It is important that the dog only chases them, however. We aren’t looking to kill the geese and you also don’t want your dog subjected to any diseases that the goose might carry.
Another thing to note is if the geese are nesting or raising their young. In this instance, the dogs won’t scare the geese away; they will stand their ground to protect their children. If this is the case, you’ll need to move on to another method.
2 – Decoy Predators
If you don’t have a natural predator like a dog around and don’t want to be one yourself, go with the next best thing: a decoy. There are decoys available, such as a dead goose or an alligator, that should scare the geese away.
Keep in mind that you probably want something that moves. If you have inanimate decoys, the geese will eventually pick up on the fact that they aren’t real and return to the area. There are decoys that have swivels to them.
This can make for a great temporary measure until you are able to take more permanent measures. Having more interactive decoys can be the solution, but inanimate decoys are likely only a temporary solution.
3 – Let Your Grass Grow Taller
Though it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing look in the world, allowing the grass in your yard to grow six inches or taller can be an effective way to keep geese from taking up residence in your yard. Geese have a preference for open spaces because it lets them have a clear line of sight on predators.
When the grass is taller, it makes the geese feel unsafe. Wherever they feel unsafe, they won’t want to stay around. If you have a pond, you’ll need to let the grass get to be at least 20 or so inches tall to provide proper coverage and dispel the geese from staying in the area. It is a good idea to limit the amount of fertilizer that you use, too.
4 – Don’t Feed the Geese
Perhaps the geese aren’t a problem yet. Maybe there are only a couple of them in the area. When there are only a few, they are more of a cute surprise than they are a nuisance. But just remember that a couple of geese will turn into a flock before long.
The biggest mistake that homeowners make is that they feed the couple of geese that frequent their yard. It starts innocent enough but soon explodes into a real problem. So, if you have a few geese and want to feed them, avoid the temptation.
When geese determine your yard to be a good source of food, they will be more difficult to get rid of. Even if you aren’t feeding them directly, your yard may make for a great source of food to them. Remove any known sources of food for geese and then begin to apply goose repellent to keep them from coming back.
Keep in mind that geese can be particularly difficult to remove from the area if they feel like it is a good source of food and shelter. When you make them feel threatened or believe that there are better sources of food elsewhere, they should leave the area.
5 – Use Loud Noises
Geese do not like loud noises. That is why running after them and yelling can make for an effective, if temporary, solution. Loud noises can include your own voice, clanging sounds, air horns, and anything else that makes loud noises.
There are even devices that emit high-pitched noises that only the geese can hear. This makes for an effective measure for keeping the geese away without having to subject yourself to additional noises. It is also important to vary the sounds involved; sometimes the geese can get used to the sounds and end up sticking around.
6 – Goose Repellent
If you’re looking to keep the geese out of your yard, there may be no better way to go than a liquid goose repellent. There are products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency that are harmless to the geese despite the fact that it drives them nuts.
With liquid goose repellent, they will refuse to eat, nest, mate, and even gather anywhere near the repellent. It is safe to apply throughout your yard, won’t wash away with the rain, and you’ll forget that it’s even there because it isn’t something that humans even notice.
Make sure that you replace the repellant each time you mow the lawn. Because of its easy application, it won’t make for much of a hassle and can create a permanent solution for getting rid of those pesky geese.
Spraying thoroughly throughout your yard can make for an effective way of keeping the geese away without having to introduce an eyesore such as a decoy or reflective streamers.
7 – Use Reflective Objects
This is in the same vein as using decoys or real-life predators. Using streamers or reflective decorations can be enough to think that there is something unsavory in the area. It’s not quite the same as a predator but it can be enough to make the geese think twice.
These are particularly effective in garden areas and can’t actually provide a complimentary aesthetic to your garden space. Like stationary predators, however, this may not be an effective long-term solution as the geese will get used to the reflective objects and simply avoid them.
Reflective objects can be effective on a permanent basis but only if you keep changing them out so that the geese don’t become familiar with them.
8 – Build a Fence
Yes, geese can fly and could technically land over the fence. But geese enjoy walking around large spaces. With a fence, you can limit their walking area. This may be enough to cause them to find another space to frequent.
Building a fence can be costly and time-consuming, though, and it provides restriction in the yard area. This should only be used in extreme circumstances, especially if you don’t have a pet that you want to keep corralled in the yard.
9 – Use Chicken Wire
Chicken wire is similar to fencing in that it provides a boundary for the birds. The main difference here is that when the geese get to the chicken wire, it should keep them out of the yard. There’s a chance that they may not know what the wire is and could find themselves stuck in it.
Just be careful if you have other pets on your property. Getting them stuck in the chicken wire is not a fun experience. Not only that, but chicken wire can also be visually unappealing. There are more effective measures for keeping geese out of your yard, but this is something to consider.
10 – Plant Bushes and Tall Flowers
Remember that geese like to have open areas because it gives them a clear line of sight for tracking predators. When they can’t see all around them, they won’t feel safe from the potential threat of predators.
Letting your grass grow to be much taller may not be something that homeowners are willing to do. If this is the case, try growing some shrubbery instead. Big bushes and tall flowers can provide a much more appealing visual aesthetic while working to make the geese feel unsafe.
It also depends on the size of your yard. For larger spaces, this might not work out so well as the geese can simply permeate the open space and stay far away from the plants. Adding plants to your yard is rarely a bad thing, but if you are doing it solely to get rid of the geese problem, there’s a chance that you’ll wind up disappointed instead.
11 – Call in the Professionals
A last-ditch effort can be to call a professional pest service. Not all of them will handle geese, but there should be plenty of others that will. They use repellents and refined techniques to rid your yard of the geese problem.
Calling a professional may cost a bit of money but it can also result in far less stress and frustration, too. Geese can be quite stubborn, especially when they feel like your yard is a great source of food. Deterring them can be extremely difficult and frustrating.
When using a professional pest removal service, everything is taken care of. You get a proven track record of pest removal without having to deal with everything yourself. That peace of mind can be worth the price alone.