How To (Safely) Keep Geese Off Your Property

Canadian geese are really remarkable animals. They will migrate up to 3,000 miles each winter and can even travel as far as 1,500 miles in a single day if the weather conditions are right. However, Hoosiers know that the return of spring also means the return of the birds to the waterways, lawns and roadways of Indiana which can become a nuisance for residents.

Geese live and feed in areas of short grass (they particularly enjoy baby grass sprouts) and still water. So naturally, they are drawn to places like golf courses, lakes and subdivision retention ponds. By eating grass and leaving their droppings, Canadian geese can turn a lawn into a spotty brown mess and make it unsafe to swim in areas where they feces collects.

So it is no surprise that many homeowners want to keep these birds at bay. To help, we’ve put together a few tips to help you win the fight against these ghastly geese.

Tip: Don’t Feed The Geese

Feeding the birds will cause two challenges. One on hand you are encouraging them to linger on your property longer. In addition, you are attracting more geese in general because there is less competition for food in the area and therefore new birds can arrive and get their fill.

Tip: Leave Grass Long

By mowing higher, you make it more difficult for geese to get their food and they may move to greener (and shorter) pastures.

Tip: Fence It In

Put wire fences around the perimeter of a pond. Since Canadian geese will land in water and swim to shore, this will inhibit them reaching land.

Tip: Use Chemicals

The Humane Society encourages treating grassy areas where geese congregate with anthraquinone or methyl anthranilate that irritate but doesn’t kill them.

Tip: Act Quickly

It is best to harass or scare away geese before they get a foothold on your property. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources even gives a list of different “harassment techniques” that you can utilize to shoo birds away. This includes using air horns, dogs and predator decoys (like a silhouette of a coyote).

Tip: Don’t Let Them Nest

It is illegal to destroy goose eggs. However, you are allowed to remove nests or signs of nesting before eggs have been laid. This encourages geese to find another home.

Tip: Don’t Get Too Close

It is best to keep your distance from geese as they can get aggressive during mating and nesting seasons. Any effort to keep geese off of your property should be done from a safe distance so as not to injure humans or the birds.

Remember, geese will be breeding, nesting and raising their young from March through June, so by acting early you can keep geese away all season.