In my honest opinion, there really isn’t much worse than going outside to your pond and seeing an entire flock of geese walking around it. The main problem here is that when geese are present, they usually make the land around your pond their own personal bathroom – which is more or less the reason you ended up here.
One of the best tricks to prevent geese from landing on or around your pond is to use reflective tape. Geese do not like the shiny coating of reflective bird tape, as the tape makes it difficult for them to land – which keeps the geese away from your pond.
While using reflective tape is a great and cheap method to keep geese away from your pond. It’s best used in conjunction with some other simple tricks that I’ve found to work well at getting rid of geese.
Why Reflective Bird Tape is Great at Keeping Geese Away
So, what exactly is reflective bird tape, and why do geese hate the stuff so much? Well, reflective tape really isn’t tape at all.
Reflective bird tape is essentially an extremely thick and shiny version of ribbon satin, which is the material people use to tie bows on presents. Reflective bird tape isn’t actually sticky, the only reason that reflective tape is called tape is that it’s sold in a large roll similar to the size of a roll of duct tape.
The key purpose of reflective tape is to deter birds from landing on objects or property, which makes it a fantastic tool to use around ponds. The tape itself is extremely shiny and causes the geese to have trouble seeing where their landing spot is.
Think about it, have you ever been driving a car during sunrise and had the sun blasting in your face? That’s a comparable viewpoint to what the geese see from above when you use reflective tape.
Geese get blinded by the light that is mirrored off of the reflective bird tape, making them unable to land and causing confusion, which ultimately leads to the avoidance of landing at your pond.
How to Set up Reflective Bird Tape
Depending on the size of your pond, you can create a fence out of the reflective bird tape to keep the geese away. Don’t worry, building a reflective tape geese fence is far less complicated than it sounds.
Here’s what you’ll need in order to build an anti-geese reflective bird tape fence:
- 20 – 30 Wooden, Metal or Plastic Stakes (3-4 ft. Tall)
- 1 – 2 Rolls of Reflective Bird Tape.
- 1 Hammer
If you’re looking for a quality reflective bird tape, I wrote a guide talking about some quality natural pest repellents – which includes reflective bird tape. You can click here to check out that guide.
Once you’ve got your supplies, you’ll then want to go ahead and figure out just where around your pond you’ll be setting up the fence – as we aren’t placing the fence around the entire pond (unless you want to, which is totally fine).
First, you’ll want to identify the most frequent spot where the geese are landing around your pond. From what I’ve noticed on my pond, geese generally land in the middle of the pond and walk onto the land on the opposite side of where we usually are.
For instance, I built a fire-pit pictured above that my family and I often use (yes, it needs to be weed sprayed). Even when we aren’t out there using it, I’ve only ever seen geese on the other side of the pond and not where we usually interact. This is because the grass is more of a natural habitat to them.
Wherever you decide that the geese land the most frequently, the fence should be set up along the edge of the pond about 2 – 3 feet away from the shore.
Once you’ve determined the best spot to set up your reflective bird tape fence, you’re going to want to go around and hammer in each one of your stakes about 3 – 4 feet apart. Lay out your stakes beforehand hammering them all in if you’d like.
The reason the stakes are so far apart is that the reflective tape will be able to wave and ripple with any wind, making it even more difficult for the geese to land at your pond since the tape will continuously be flashing in their eyes.
Next, you’re going to want to take your reflective tape and run it along with each stake, wrapping the tape between the top or middle of the stake as you walk past each one. If you feel that there’s a chance that the tape may slip off of the stake, feel free to double wrap the reflective tape around the stake.
That’s it!’ That’s all you have to do to build an anti-geese reflective tape fence. It’s pretty simple, and if you have all of the supplies, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two.
Just to make it a little bit easier, here are the steps that we just outlined above:
- Determine where the spot of land where the geese most frequently take residence
- Hammer in your stakes about 3 – 4 feet apart along the edge of the pond
- Wrap your reflective tape around each hammered in stake 1 or 2 times.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to shoot me an email through our contact form, and I’ll help walk you through this!
While reflective bird tape is excellent, it’s not an end-all. The issue with reflective bird tape is that it is majorly dependent on how much sun is outside at any given time.
If there’s a stark overcast above your pond, then the reflective bird tape really isn’t going to do anything because there’s nothing that will reflect off of the tape.
That being said, reflective bird tape is still worth the investment and effort to set up. If you couple the above strategy with another method or two, then you should be in good shape for keeping your property geese dropping free.
Train Your Dog to Chase Geese
If you have a dog, then this is one of the best options for getting rid of geese – IF you’re able to train your dog to chase them.
This is our goose chaser, Vito. He’s a cane corse, a breed known for being protective of their property and for being an overall excellent ranch dog. Vito used to be awful at chasing geese, but fortunately for us, we were able to set an example and help him learn to chase them.
The reason Vito used to be awful at chasing geese away from our acre and a half bass pond was that we never really taught him to go and chase the geese. In reality, I guess we just expected him to hate the geese as much as we did and chase them on his own.
Boy, were we wrong.
Day after day, we would watch geese land by our pond and day after day, we would tell Vito to go and chase them, but he wouldn’t budge – as he really did not see them as a threat to our home.
A surefire way to get rid of geese is to chase after them yourself until they start to run and fly away. One day, I went running after some geese by the pond, and I had Vito running right beside me. Once I started running, Vito ran with me as well and eventually, he took off ahead of me and started chasing after the geese. I slowed down, watched, and was amazed that he had FINALLY begun to go and chase after the geese.
I quickly began to realize that Vito just needed a little bit of prompting to keep the geese away from our pond.
So if you have a dog who doesn’t naturally chase geese on his or her own, try chasing after the geese yourself and have your dog running next to you. At some point, your dog should take off and chase the geese away all by his or her self.
If you really want to increase the effectiveness of this tactic, put a dog treat in your pocket before you head out to chase the geese and give it to your dog immediately after he chases the geese away for you or with you. This will reaffirm in his head that chasing the geese will lead to a reward (the dog treat) and he’ll be much more likely to chase them away on his own.
You’re going to need to continue to run with your dog to chase away the geese until he or she finally chase the geese away on their own. Bringing the treat to give to the dog directly after chasing the geese will really, and I mean really, make it more likely for the dog to go ahead and chase the geese on their own.
Giving the dog that positive reinforcement of a treat will train them that chasing the geese is a rewarding task, which will make him or her want to chase the geese solely for the reward.
I know I said that part about reinforcing the dog with treats twice, but it’s a crucially important step that will really make your dog want to chase the geese.
In a lot of my articles, I tie back the things I learn in nature to some of my coursework in school. As a Psychology major, we often learn that the whole basis of human interaction is reinforcing the behavior.
Giving your animal a treat after he or she chases geese for the first time is crucially important and I cannot stress that enough.
This is because when you give the dog a treat that they love, then the dog will want to perform that action again in order to get the treat.
So, if you want your dog to be an extremely effective goose chaser – give him treats after he chases geese!
One great thing about having your dog be able to chase the geese is that your dog will likely swim in the water to go and chase the geese out of your pond. It’s an added bonus of being able to train your dog to chase away geese.
For instance, we’ve gotten Vito to be pretty good at chasing geese if they’re swimming around in the pond water. He usually has to jump into the water, and the geese start flying away or sometimes (unfortunately) walk right up on land.
Unlike using reflective bird tape, training your dog to chase geese is not dependent on the overcast.
It’s my preferred option for keeping geese away, but obviously, it requires a dog to be able to execute it.
One last note on this, it’s pretty dependent on what type of dog you have, how effective they will be at chasing geese out of your pond for you.
Traditionally, bigger, energetic dogs such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepards, and Border Collies are all well-known breeds at chasing geese.
Use a Four-Wheeler or ATV
If you don’t have a dog to keep geese out of your pond, then reflective bird tape is still your best option. However, a really great method of keeping geese out of your pond is to get on a four-wheeler and chase them out.
This isn’t really a permanent solution to keeping geese away from your pond, but it sure is an effective one. Basically, every time you see geese outside by your pond, hop onto your four-wheeler or ATV and chase the geese away.
When chasing the geese, keep this in mind.
It is illegal to harm geese anywhere in the United States outside of hunting season. Geese are protected by Federal Law, which protects their eggs and nests as well.
To reiterate, make sure you only chase the geese and don’t actually harm any of them in the process or else you can get in a whole lot of unnecessary and complicated trouble.
Truthfully, this method works well in the short term, but what I’ve found is that this is a much more manual method and really doesn’t deter the geese long term.
The only way that it would deter the geese long term is that they could somehow find a better pond or swamp to rest in after they are scared away from yours.
To tie this into the trick above, if you have both a four-wheeler and a dog, you could then drive alongside your dog with the four-wheeler if you don’t feel like running. I’ve done this before and found that it works even better with my dog because it allows him to get up to speed faster to chase the geese.
All said, you really can’t go wrong with any of these tricks. You’ll have to work with what you’ve got, but my best suggestion would be to invest in a $10 – $15 roll of reflective bird tape and go from there. It’s cheap and easy to set up.
If you don’t want to invest in reflective bird tape and you do not have a dog, chasing geese away with a four-wheeler is a really great option that works very well in the short term.
Remember, you’ll need to be super active in trying to keep the geese off of your property.
Every time they land near your pond, you need to put the key into your four-wheeler and take off towards them.
If you’re able to combine all three of these tricks, you should be well on your way to keeping geese away from your pond for good.