Canada Geese like some of the same things that you do! They enjoy open, grassy areas and beautiful water features. These areas provide geese with food, shelter and space to raise their young. However, these large, wild animals can often become pests in neighborhoods.
What is the problem?
- A single Canada Goose produces one to two pounds of droppings per day.
- Geese do not live alone. Gaggles, or flocks, can contain up to 100 animals.
- When rain washes goose feces into storm drains, ponds, lakes, or rivers, waters can become contaminated with bacteria.
- Goose droppings raise phosphorus levels in our waterways.
- Canada Geese keep other waterfowl from using their habitat.
- Because gaggles are so large, Canada Geese often overgraze grasses and leave the land bare.
- Under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell migratory birds without a permit. It is also illegal to disturb eggs of migratory birds.
What can Homeowners or Homeowners’ Associations do?
- Plant shrubs, tall grasses, and native plants. Canada Geese like to graze in open areas of grass near water sources. By creating gardens of shrubs or tall grasses, you provide places for predators to hide, deterring the geese.
- Apply a plant-based goose repellent to the lawn. The natural, plant-based goose repellents make geese sick, but do not harm the animals long-term. These repellents keep geese from returning once they learn that the grass in a particular place makes them sick. These repellents are water resistant and will not wash off in rainstorms, but will need to be replaced after grass is trimmed.
- Fence in your pond. Canada Geese need access to food and water every 30 minutes. Installing a low fence, eliminates the animals’ access to food and water, so they will move to a more suitable habitat.
- Monofilament (fishing wire) fences with stakes hidden in plants are a very effective deterrent.
- Don’t feed the geese. The bread that humans sometimes feed geese is rich in nutrients that the geese cannot digest properly. Bread makes geese feces larger.
- Set decoys on your lawn or in your pond. Decoys of swans can be effective psychological deterrents to the geese. Dead goose decoys can be effective as a deterrent for migratory geese.
Using a combination of these methods is more effective than using any one on its own. It is important to remember that harming Canada Geese or their eggs is in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. However, using non-harmful deterrents can eliminate the problem of geese and their feces on your property.