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6 Ways To Get Rid Of Geese – Humane & Natural Solutions

Is there a way to get rid of geese?

Geese are hard to ignore. The big birds can saunter around golf courses and parks like they own the place.

They also make loud calls and, when protecting their young, can hiss and be ready to bite! Even if we don’t run into geese, their many droppings remind us that the big birds are somewhere in the neighborhood.

Geese can be a pain but can they help us too? Should we try to get rid of geese from parks and backyards, or keep them around?

See this article to learn about geese and some tips to move them out of your life!


Nasty Pests Or Little Helpers?

Canada Geese are one of the most common waterfowl species in North America. Although they decreased in the 1800s and early 1900s, conservation measures have helped the birds bounce back.

In some areas, some people feel they have bounced back a bit too much! Although migrant Canada Geese from wild areas are wary, the big Canada Geese that live on golf courses and parks are much accustomed to living near people.

Canada Geese in flight

These geese are beautiful wild birds and are fun and relaxing to watch. They can also help lawns by grazing grass and eliminating weeds. However, by living near people, they can also cause some problems.

Canada Geese usually become a nuisance when they become “overpopulated” on golf courses, parks, and similar places with big lawns. While the birds forage on the grass, they also “decorate” the lawn with large amounts of droppings. No one wants any degree of animal droppings left in the grass, especially because those droppings are unsanitary.

If you have a vegetable garden, Canada Geese that get into backyards might also raid them. However, as awful as losing lettuce and other veggies may be, that doesn’t compare to plane collision problems geese can cause when they live at airports.


How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Geese?

Reduce the Size of Your Lawn

One of the best ways to keep geese away is by removing or limiting their favorite habitat. Canada Geese don’t just love big lawns, they need them! This bird species is adapted to foraging in open grassy areas near water.

Geese prefer such places not only because it’s where they look for food. They also like the open places so they can watch for predators trying to sneak up on them. With that in mind, a big, open lawn is also a big, open invitation for geese.

Geese family looking for food

To retract the invitation, plant shrubs and let parts of the lawn grow. Eventually, geese will pass over your place for more welcoming habitat. As a bonus, by making your yard less attractive to geese, you can also create a habitat for other birds.

Lots of native plants that keep geese away act as excellent, much needed habitat for grosbeaks, buntings, sparrows, and many other birds.


Use Loud Noises and Dogs

In some ways, geese are like people. They are very social, like to communicate, and are protective of their young. Geese also appreciate peace and quiet. It’s true, geese hate loud noises!

Whether they prefer the quiet to listen for predators, or would rather hear themselves honk, geese definitely have a strong dislike for sudden, loud sounds.

We can take advantage of this fact by playing loud music or other noises to scare geese away. Although we can’t yell at them all day, making noise while waving your arms a few times should keep them out of the yard.

Or, just get a dog! They love to bark at and chase geese. Although it’s against the law to let your dog hunt geese down, you can always walk towards the geese with the dog on a leash. In any case, once a dog starts barking, it doesn’t take long for the birds to fly off.


Don’t Feed Geese, Scare Them with Scents and Repellents

Geese also end up in yards when people feed them. While geese don’t usually come to bird feeders, they will feed on corn and other types of grain. If you are feeding these items to ducks and deer, and have a big lawn, geese won’t be far behind!

Geese come in pairs or groups, so getting rid of them isn't always too easy

Stop putting out grain, and you’ll uninvite the geese. Even so, although limiting their food can help, it probably won’t keep them away.

However, if you also install things that geese can’t stand, that should do the trick. Naturally, the things that Canada Geese dislike the most are animals that prey on them. The Coyote is right at the top of the list.

This wild canine is one of the main reasons why geese prefer foraging in open areas with a big, clear view. Put Coyote and Fox scents on your lawn and geese won’t linger. Add some non-toxic goose repellent to the lawn, and they might never come back!


Scarecrows and Other Decoys

A good, old-fashioned scarecrow is another option to limit Canada Geese in the yard. Install one of these classic bird-scaring devices, and geese will think twice before flying down to land. You can buy a scarecrow, but they are also easy to make and are a nice DIY project.

Scarecrows might last for a while, but most birds eventually become used to them. Birds are pretty smart, geese included, and once they realize a scarecrow is just part of the landscape, they’ll just ignore it.

However, if your scarecrow has lasers or makes noise, that will probably be too much for geese to handle. There actually are scarecrows with lasers meant to scare geese away! The geese don’t like the sudden green light beam.

If you can’t find one with a laser, a scarecrow with a small Bluetooth speaker can also work. Other decoys might work, too, including ones of Coyotes and eagles.


Remove Water Sources

Geese love open lawns, but they also need water. While they can come and go from a big open lawn, if there’s a pond or lake next to it, they’ll want to move in for good!

If you live next to a big lake, there’s not much you can do about removing it. In that situation, you’ll have to resort to decoys, repellents, and other strategies.

However, if you have a small, installed pond that geese are using, filling it in might be an option.

Geese are attracted to water

Geese are attracted to water, but obviously, it is not possible to keep them away from larger lakes.

Even so, since frog ponds attract other birds and wildlife, it might not be worth it. Instead, you could be better off scaring the geese away with other methods and accept that a goose may occasionally grace your yard. If that’s just once in a while, it might not be so bad after all!


Motion Activated Options

Geese might not always be a nuisance. They might not visit your yard at all. Or, a flock might occasionally fly in to graze. However, if that flock leaves tons of droppings and pulls up the turf, even those rare visits can be a problem.

One solution is installing motion activated devices. This can be as simple as a motion-activated sprinkler or lights. While geese do like water, they prefer floating on their H2O, not being suddenly doused with it!

When that sprinkler comes on again and again, there’s a fair chance it will drive them away. Lights might also work, especially if you can have flashing or different colored lights. Just like the laser, lights are just a little too much for the peace-oriented geese to handle.

If you literally see geese fly to your lawn, try waving (or flapping) your arms up and down like their eagle predators.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any benefits to having geese around?

Yes, there are some benefits of having geese around. Geese can be fun to watch, can warn you of an eagle in the neighborhood, and help fertilize waterways. However, in residential areas, geese tend to cause more problems than benefits.

What scares away geese?

Loud noises, dogs, and goose repellents scare away geese.

How do I permanently get rid of geese?

To permanently get rid of geese, let your lawn grow and plant shrubs and other native plants. Geese only like wide open lawns.

Does noise scare away geese?

Yes, loud noises scare away geese. The birds much prefer peace and quiet.

Why do geese come to backyards?

Geese come to backyards to graze on big, open lawns and look for other types of food.

About the Author

Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O'Donnell has been focused on all things avian since the age of 7. Since then, he has helped with ornithological field work in the USA and Peru, and has guided many birding tours, especially in Costa Rica. He develops birding apps for BirdingFieldGuides and loves to write about birds, especially in his adopted country of Costa Rica.

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