Canada Goose

8 Ways To Deal With A Goose Invasion

What should you do when a flock takes over your lawn?

July 29, 2015

If you’ve ever visited a park or even your own back yard and had the misfortune of stepping in goose dung left behind by an army of Canada geese, you may find the following fact hard to believe: Canada geese nearly went extinct in the first half of the 20th century due to overhunting and loss of wetlands.

Now, with robust populations in many parts of the country, some people view these magnificent birds as a nuisance. Some municipalities allow hunting for a few days each year to control the population. According to Audubon International, however, killing or relocating the geese is ineffective because as long as the habitat remains attractive the active migrators will seek it out.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to make your yard less attractive to them:

Assess The Situation
If the geese are only stopping by for a bit during spring or fall, they’re likely only using your spot as a rest stop during migration. If you’re seeing geese in the winter, you’re likely providing habitat for a migratory population. According to Audubon, don’t try to evict each and every goose, but rather strike a balance. (When you try to completely take nature out of an equation, you usually lose.)

Think Ahead
Try to deter the geese from settling down on your property before the spring nesting season. That means making some changes to your yard’s landscape now.

Mow Higher
Canada geese are attracted to very short grass, so start using more organic lawn care techniques, including keeping your grass at least 3 inches tall. This will also help shade out weeds. Of course, removing chunks of your turf lawn and replacing with taller native plants and bushes is also a great geese control tactic.

Boost Waterfront Vegetation
If you have a pond on your property, avoid mowing to the water’s edge and instead plant native vegetation that does well in moist environments.

Avoid Their Favorite Food
Avoid planting the goose-preferred Kentucky bluegrass—it’s like putting a filet mignon in front of a steak fanatic.

Install Wire
If unwanted Canada geese are lingering near your pond, you can install wire to deter the geese. According to Audubon, stringing one row 6 inches off the ground by the water's edge, and another 6 inches above the water three feet into the pond, can keep geese away from their popular water spots on your property.

Stop Feeding Them
While it’s fun to feed geese, doing so creates overpopulation in an area, which can lead to disease and goose feces polluting waterways.

Call On A Dog
Border collies are known to be especially effective in Canada geese control, not because they want to eat them, but because they quietly circle them and herd them off of the land. Geese aren’t fans of the herding methods, and are less likely to return after being shooed away by a collie several times.