Like all birds, geese want to find a safe place to eat and rest. Your roof shouldn’t be one of those places.
The most effective ways to keep geese off your roof are to use bird repellent tape, scare devices, and to change up the landscape around your home to make your property look less open. You can do this by planting trees and shrubs to break up the scenery.
Seriously, geese, although they don’t totally seem like it, can become a BIG problem. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at why geese need to be kept off of your roof, and all of the ways you can do just that.
Why Do Geese Need To Be Kept Off Your Roof?
Geese can be a nuisance to some and do some real damage to the property of others. A single goose will leave not only an abundance of feathers but also poop around 2 pounds of excrement a day.
So when a flock of geese flies above, you can only imagine what your roof could look like after the fact.
Unfortunately, their excrement can clog drains, toxify standing water and the geese themselves can cause damage to your shingles coupled with holes and leaks stemming from their presence on your roof.
So, here’s something you should know:
The main culprit you are probably dealing? Canadian Geese. One of the most common types of geese in America.
Federal law protects Canada Goose within the United States. It is illegal to harm the eggs, nests, goslings, and adult geese without permission from the US: Fish and Wild Service department.
In the United States, it is not illegal to scare away Canadian Geese as long as the geese, goslings, eggs, and nests are not harmed in any way.
The Most Effective Deterrents To Keep Geese Off Of Rooftops
Overall, there are a few things you can do to keep geese off your rooftops. Some methods, I like and recommend better than others.
Other methods, well, they work but can be hit or miss.
Bird Reflective Tape
In my opinion, the single best thing you can do to keep geese off your rooftop is to use bird reflective tape.
Bird reflective tape is EXTREMELY shiny and bright. Basically, the idea is that you put this “tape” (which isn’t actually sticky at all but comes in a duct-tape like band) anywhere where you DON’T want geese to land and the brightness that comes off of the tape makes it difficult for the geese to see their potential landing spot.
A good place to start when looking into reflective bird tape is the BRITENWAY Bird Deterrent Reflective Scare Tape. I recommend starting here and then finding a tape that looks like it’ll fit for you.
You don’t necessarily even need to put the reflective tape directly on your roof since the blur should be bright enough to deter the geese regardless.
IMPORTANT: If you do not have experience going onto your roof, PLEASE find a professional that is experienced in doing so to help install ANYTHING onto your roof, not just reflective bird tape.
The biggest con with reflective bird tapes comes with the fact that it is entirely dependent on whether or not the sun is out. So, you’ll most likely be covered when it’s sunny out.
For the times when the sun isn’t shining down on you, you may need to move on to some of the other options below.
Bird Scare Balloons and Scarecrows
Traditionally, scarecrows are used in fields where farmers want to protect their crops. Geese, thankfully, do scare quite easily and scarecrows can possibly be an effective method, but I’d steer clear as geese aren’t that stupid and they’ll release the scarecrow isn’t moving.
However, a more effective method could come in the form of these Bird-X-Scare balloons.
Essentially, these balloons mimic a predator’s motion when in the wind a will deter geese from wanting to land near them
You’ll want to make sure to move the positioning of the balloons as well to keep geese guessing. You can do this by semi-frequently (every few weeks) changing around the positioning of the balloons near your home.
STILL IMPORTANT: DO NOT go up onto your roof if you don’t have experience doing so. Always contact a professional to do anything on your roof, not just to install goose repellent.
Changing The Landscaping Near Your Roof
Another great way, albeit it more difficult way, to prevent geese from nesting on your roof is to change the landscape near your home.
Changing the landscape near your home will make your roof look less attractive to prospective geese. This is simply do to the fact that geese LOVE large openings and landing on them.
If your property has more trees, shrubs and other things around it, you can ultimately make your property less attractive to geese.
So, how do we change your landscaping up? Well, you can do this by planting trees, tall grass and shrubs can help break up the scenery and will make your rooftop a less appealing nesting area.
Keep Your Pool Covered
This may sound silly but think about it. Geese love water and its generally a primary nesting spot for them. Now, they generally don’t prefer to land in pools, but if you have a somewhat standard-sized pool, a clear open roof, and an open property, the pool will DEFINITELY make your roof a more attractive place to land on.
Generally, geese will not only avoid areas that don’t provide enough food or water but will also avoid areas that can potentially provide protection to their enemies, such as tall grass and trees. Having a property full of greenery and a covered pool will do wonders for you to naturally repel geese.
Get Some White Flags
One study found that grazing by snow geese in a field was significantly decreased when white flags were placed on it.
Now, that study was performed with snow geese but it could be applicable to Canadian geese as well (I don’t have any evidence for that one).
Will it work? Perhaps. You could place white flags directly around your house on some trees, or directly on your roof to make it look like LESS of an open area.
REMEMBER: if you’re thinking about going on your roof to install ANYTHING, make sure you reach out to a professional if you DO NOT have experience going on your roof.
Make Sure Not to Feed Geese
A common activity for adults and children is to feed stale bread or crackers to flocks of geese. This trains the geese that your home is a source of food and they will be more than happy to come back.
Basically, you’re getting rid of their natural fear of people, which could increase the population and increase your chances of them using your roof as their home.
Other Methods That May Be Effective in Deterring Geese From Your Roof
So, above, we what are some of the stanard, more likely to work ways to deter geese. The tactics below are all too prevelant and I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but it’s my opinion that these are big time hit or miss when it comes to geese.
It is suggested not to use noise-making devices in heavily populated areas because you can really annoy your neighbors. Make sure to talk with your neighbors ahead of time if you plan on implementing some noise-making strategies.
So what are noise-making techniques to repel geese? Well, if you’ve ever been to a high school football or soccer field, you may have noticed that they play the sounds of other predator birds (like hawks) and loud noises over their speakers when no one is playing.
Generally, they do this to intimidate the geese. Honestly, I used to be on the school field 5 times a week where these types of sounds were constantly played and there were hardly ever birds on the field.
Of course, this may be tougher because again, the noise element and neighbors.
Lights can help to disrupt geese sleeping patterns which can be very useful if you’re finding that geese are staying overnight. Essentially, you may want some motion sensor lights profesionally installed on your roof
While motion sensor lights generally need to be used in conjunction with other methods, they alone could be enough to keep geese away due to the frequency at which geese like to move around.
Though this light may not keep the geese from landing, after a few sleepless nights, they won’t stay long.
Get Rid of Any Standing Water on Your Property
I absolute hate geese at ponds. Basically because growing up, we had and still have an 1.5 acre bass pond at home where geese would love to land and love to… well… do their business.
Now if you have an actual pond, read this article to learn how to help deal with that.
The reason this is on the “this might work” section is because this is a tougher thing to deal with. Realistically, there isn’t too much you can do to actually get rid of the water. If you have small puddles, geese aren’t super likely to notice that from flying above, but they’re more likely to see it that they would be if it wasn’t there at all.
Things to Keep in Mind About Canadian Geese
Canadian Geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for the majority of the year.
When geese nest, they are looking for a safe place to lay and hatch their eggs while they gain some weight. When laying eggs, Canadian Geese generally incubate their eggs for around 28 days.
When they land on your property, they intend to keep their eggs safe. If you come across a nest, the best action is to contact your local Department of Natural Resources and have them advise you on the best action.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
Download My Free E-Book!
Take a look at my guide on Pest Proofing Your Home In Under a Day! I get into the nitty-gritty on the most common types of pests you’ll see on your property including BOTH insects and wildlife, along with the specific signs to look for regarding any pest you have questions about.