Geese are beautiful animals and not many people would mind a visit from a few of these birds every once in a while. However, too many geese, and a constant presence of them, can lead to property damage and a heap of problems.
Geese hate loud noises, lights in their sleeping areas, long grasses, obstructed access to waterfronts, and grape kool-aid. Yes, that’s true. Geese are on your property to either eat or nest and disrupting what they need to do in both of those circumstances will help you repel them.
Read on to learn about more surprising and not so surprising things that geese hate and how to use these deterrents to keep geese off of your property.
Why Keep Geese Away
While a few geese hanging around your property will probably not be much of a problem. However geese can begin to mate and one pair can turn into over 100 within 5 years if left alone. Then, your property will become their home that they’ll come to be familiar with!
If you are noticing geese gathering on your property throughout the year, you will want to learn more about the types of damage they can cause, as well as the best ways to use things they hate to keep them away.
What Kind Of Damage Can Geese Cause?
If your property is overrun by geese, you might suffer a few different kinds of damage to your property.
Geese droppings can damage grassy areas on your property. If you have a lot of geese, you will most likely be noticing this problem quickly getting out of control.
If you have water on your property, which you most likely do if you are being visited by a lot of geese, their droppings can pollute the water on your property as well.
If you are a farmer or gardener and have certain crops planted, like different types of grains, corn, or even sunflowers, geese will eat these and you will suffer crop losses.
9 Things That Geese Hate To Keep Them Away
There are multiple approaches you can try to keep geese away from your property. Some of these are easier to implement than others.
Geese can populate your property at all different times of the year, depending on where you live. They will stay in warmer areas in the winter and move to different areas in the spring, which is also when they are preparing to mate.
Here are a few of the things that geese hate that may help you to keep them away from your property.
Geese Hate Loud Noises
Geese are frightened by loud noises and this is one of the most useful ways to stop them from rooting around on your property. If geese are consistently bothered by loud noises in an area they will be less likely to return there to stay for the winter or to nest in the spring.
If you have a dog, then you are one step ahead of the geese. This is the one time you want your dog to bark! Let them bark away at the geese and those pesky birds will most likely fly away and choose another property to hang out on.
If you don’t have a dog you can still use loud noises to scare away geese. YouTube is a gold mine for this type of stuff. If you have a Bluetooth speaker you can play a recording of a dog barking near where the geese are. You can also bang pots and pans or play loud music to scare away geese from your property.
Long Grass Is Not Appealing To Geese
Want to deter geese from your property? Be a bit lazy and let your grass grow long. This can be a bit tricky if you don’t want your entire yard to be overgrown. However, you can try letting your grass grow tall in areas where you notice geese gathering.
Letting grasses grow tall near the water’s edge where geese feed on water vegetation, or in other areas where they are eating is a good spot to have overgrown grass as a deterrent.
Geese will most often gather near areas of water or in hidden nooks when they are trying to nest in the Spring. Consider letting your grass grow long and high in these areas if you can.
Having longer grass will deter geese from your property as they cannot see through these areas as well. Geese are afraid of tall grasses because they cannot see predators who wait there to attack them. If geese cannot see a certain distance because of tall grasses they will not linger in those areas.
Grape Kool-Aid Keeps Geese Away
Have some kool-aid in your cabinets? If not you can easily find some at any store. What does grape kool-aid have to do with deterring geese? Well, it’s all about the taste. There is a chemical that is used to sweeten certain drinks and candies that is highly offensive to geese.
The artificial sweetener in grape candies and drinks is called methyl anthranilate. This chemical is used to make geese repellent that you can buy, like this Avian Migrate Goose And Bird Repellent. To make geese repellent at home, you can use some grape kool-aid mix in the same way.
Geese do not like the taste of this and if you sprinkle or spray it in areas they are gathering, it should deter them. To be effective, this must be applied to grassy areas or areas where they are grazing. This will not work on rocky areas near water because the geese need to eat it and taste it for it to be effective.
If you are using a repellant like methyl anthranilate to repel geese, you will need to reapply to areas on your property where you notice geese grazing, especially after it rains because the treatment will wash away and lose its efficiency.
Trees Near Your Water Line Deter Geese
If you have a body of water on your property like a pond or a lake, you will probably see geese gathering there at some point either in migration or during their nesting times.
Just as geese do not like tall grasses because it blocks their sightline of predators, geese also do not like areas of water that are bordered by a lot of trees or bushes.
Geese feed on shoots of grass, bulbs, berries, and other vegetation that grows near the water’s edge. Lakes or ponds with larger trees and bushes are less appealing for geese than open waterfronts because it is harder for them to graze there.
Predator Decoys Keep Geese Away
Another way to frighten away geese is to use decoys in areas where they are gathering. Pay close attention to areas where they might want to nest in spring and graze or drink at other times of the year. Implanting a predator, or a look-alike of one, can be a good deterrent for geese if you use it correctly.
Predators to geese differ depending on where they are. Different regions will bring about different predators, but some of the most common predators are raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and alligators.
Using a decoy of one or more of their predators can be effective at keeping geese away. You can buy predator decoys like this Flambeau Outdoors Lone Howler Coyote Decoy and place them in your yard. A decoy will be more effective if it is moving in some way. Some decoys can be placed on a swivel or bobble that they move slightly on their own.
You will also want to move your decoys around to different areas on your property as geese can come to expect what you are up to, rendering your decoys ineffective.
If you live in areas where geese have water predators, placing a decoy of this kind near the water’s edge should do a good job of keeping geese away.
Switching it up is important for almost all of the methods you can use to repel geese. You will want to vary their placement, frequency, and type or repellant so that you keep the geese from coming to expect what you are doing.
These predator decoys can also work on your roof. You can learn more about keeping geese off your roof here.
Nighttime Lights Interrupt Geese
Geese sleep at night and any lights that are intrusive and shining into the areas where they rest will most likely have them finding a different place to snooze. There are solar geese lighthouses that you can buy that will turn on at different times.
These are on taller posts than regular lawn solar lights and will shine a bright light into areas where geese are sleeping and disturb them.
You can use any type of light that will flash on and off into an area where you notice geese sleeping. This Hoont Solar Powered Motion Activated Pest Repeller will do the trick.
You will want to be careful of using lights and sonic repellers if you have other animals on your property, like pets or farm animals as they will also be sensitive to the sounds and lights. Using the tall light posts might be a better option for those who have pets or farm animals on their property.
Geese Hate Being Sprayed With Water
Yes, geese are waterfowl, but they do not like to be splashed or sprayed with water. With a few adjustments, you can use a sprinkler on your property to help repel geese.
If you can, direct your sprinkler heads to go into areas where you notice geese feeding, drinking, sleeping, or trying to nest. If you already have a sprinkler system installed on your property you can most likely redirect the sprinkler heads to spray in areas where the geese are grazing, sleeping, or making nests.
If you do not have a sprinkler system, you can buy a spraying water repellent like this Havahart 5277 Motion-Activated Animal Repellent And Sprinkler to get the job done.
Sounds Of A Predator Scare Geese
In addition to random loud noises, geese will also be scared away by any sound that their predators make. You can also use the sounds of a goose in distress to deter geese.
You can purchase a product like the Icotec GEN2 GC300 Electronic Predator Call and place it on your property. Predator call machines work by emitting sounds of predators that can scare away the geese.
Some animal sound call machines will play two sounds at the same time, and will also make the sound of distress calls for particular species. Try a few different sounds and see which ones are the most effective for you.
You may also want to switch up the predator and distress calls so the geese do not become acclimated. You can also try playing the calls at different times of the day to see which times are most effective at deterring the geese.
Geese Hate Areas Without Food
Another thing geese hate? Being hungry! Geese are on your property to eat or nest, or some combination of both. If you take away their food sources or make their food harder to get, they will not likely choose your land to nest or feed.
You can take away or restrict their access to food sources on your property to keep geese from making a home on your land.
There are a few different ways you can make your property less desirable to geese. First, you can take away any food sources on your property that they might go after. This can include making sure all of your trash is sealed, keeping your grass short so they cannot eat it, and making sure that you or anyone else is not throwing food to the geese at any time.
Second, you can fence off the lake or pond on your property. If geese cannot graze on their food sources along the waterfront, they are not likely to choose your property as a place to visit, feed, or nest.
Fencing is only a practical solution if you have a smaller body of water on your property. A mesh screen like Houseables Plastic Mesh Fence would work nicely to create a waterfront barrier to keep geese from grazing. If you have a really large pond or a lake, you should try a different method as this one would be extremely pricey and impractical.
If geese are becoming frequent and unwanted visitors to your property, trying a few of these methods to deter them should help. Here are a few more tips to help you keep geese from damaging your property.
Try and notice patterns of the geese that frequent your yard. Are they coming at a certain time of year? This will help you notice if they are coming to nest or just to graze. Where are they gathering most on your property? Are there areas that your landscaping can be altered to make your yard a less desirable place for geese to visit?
Once you notice the patterns of the geese, you can choose a method of deterrence, as well as where to place the deterrents so that they have the most success at keeping the geese population at bay on your property.
To recap, the 9 things that you can use to keep geese off your property include:
- Loud noises
- Long grass
- Grape Kool-Aid
- Trees near your pond
- Predator decoys
- Night lights
- Being sprayed with water
- Predator sounds
- Limited food supply
Using one or more of these methods can keep geese off your property for good. Be sure to switch up your methods or move the decoys around to ensure the geese are always on their toes!
If you still seem to be having problems with your geese, or if you’re not sure how to handle the problem, consult a professional! Our nationwide pest control finder can get you in contact with a professional near you for free. Using our partner network helps support pestpointers.com, thanks!
Belant, Jerrold L., et al. “Repellency of methyl anthranilate to pre-exposed and naive Canada geese.” The Journal of wildlife management (1996): 923-928.
Quinn, John L., et al. “Predator protection or similar habitat selection in red-breasted goose nesting associations: extremes along a continuum.” Animal Behaviour 65.2 (2003): 297-307.
Conover, Michael R. “Alleviating nuisance Canada goose problems through methiocarb-induced aversive conditioning.” The Journal of Wildlife Management (1985): 631-636.
Conover, Michael R., and Gary S. Kania. “Characteristics of feeding sites used by urban-suburban flocks of Canada geese in Connecticut.” Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006) 19.1 (1991): 36-38.
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.
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