Geese are majestic birds, particularly when they’re in flight. But the allure often fades quickly if they take up residence in your yard. Along with potential noise problems, geese leave a shocking amount of droppings, making your yard far less attractive. After all, who wants to scrape bird feces off of their shoes every day?
Fortunately, there are several options for how to keep geese out of your yard. Predator decoys, reflective tape, pinwheels, and netting can work quite well. Sometimes, simply letting your grass or plants grow a bit tall is enough to make your yard unappealing.
But those aren’t your only potential choices. If you need to figure out how to keep geese out of your yard, here’s everything you need to know.
- Are Geese Dangerous?
- Can Geese Hurt Your Yard?
- How to Keep Geese Out of Your Yard
- Are Geese Afraid of Owls?
- Will Chasing the Geese Make Them Leave?
- How to Stop Nesting Geese from Returning
- Should You Call a Professional?
- The Best Way to Keep Geese Out of Your Yard
Are Geese Dangerous?
In some cases, geese are potentially dangerous. While they aren’t predators, that doesn’t mean they won’t exhibit aggressive behaviors that could lead to injuries. For example, geese may try to chase you or a pet away if it’s threatened, a move that could lead to a slip, trip, or fall. They might bite as well.
Additionally, geese leave behind droppings that can contain various potentially harmful bacteria. E. coli, salmonella, histoplasmosis, and several other serious infections are all possibilities if you or a pet come in contact with goose droppings. The same goes for some parasites, which can be incredibly harmful.
Since that creates risks on two fronts, it’s often wise to steer clear of geese and their droppings whenever possible. Additionally, keeping them from turning your yard into a home is wise, even if it’s just for a season.
Can Geese Hurt Your Yard?
Geese can hurt your yard simply because of the amount of droppings they’re capable of leaving behind. A single goose can produce two to four pounds of droppings daily. That adds up fast if you have dozens of geese on your property.
Plus, geese droppings can contaminate any ponds on your property, particularly smaller, decorative ones. They’ll also eat your grass. While they won’t rip the grass out by the roots, making it possible for your lawn to recover quickly, it can be quite unsightly.
How to Keep Geese Out of Your Yard
1. Predator DecoysOne simple option for how to keep geese out of your yard is predator decoys. From the air or a slight distance, a goose may not realize that the predator isn’t real. Since their instincts tell them to flee from such threats, the sight of potential risk can be enough to send them on their way.
If you want to make sure that a predator decoy is as effective as possible, you may want to choose one that moves in some form or fashion. Even something as simple as a slight swivel can help sell the idea that the decoy is a potential threat, so choose something that moves over stationary alternatives whenever possible.
Choose a predator decoy that matches a threat in your local area. That increases the odds that the goose will view it as dangerous, as it’s familiar with what it represents.
2. Tall Grass or Plants
While it may not look the nicest aesthetically and may not be an option for properties governed by strict yard rules, letting your grass grow a bit tall could keep geese away. Similarly, having larger plants throughout the space can make your property less appealing.
Tall grass and plants work for two reasons. First, geese prefer open spaces, as those give them clearer lines of sight, making it easier to see if a predator is entering the area. When the grass and nearby plants are taller, it’s harder for them to tell if something is lurking, which may make them uncomfortable enough to leave.
Second, geese prefer to eat young grass shoots. With tall grass, it’s harder for them to reach the type of grass they like best. In some cases, that’s enough to encourage them to move on, as another property may offer a tastier meal.
3. Reflective Tape, Streamers, or DécorReflective tape, streamers, and décor can keep geese out of your yard because they make it harder to tell if a threat is in the area. Light bouncing off the objects is attention-grabbing, putting the geese on high alert. That makes them worry about the presence of predators.
If the geese can’t determine that the flashes of light aren’t a threat, they will often move onto a property that feels less risky. While it may not work as well as a predator decoy, it can be a solid alternative for spots where using decoys isn’t practical or attractive.
However, you do want to make sure to move the items around on occasion. Otherwise, geese may view their relatively stationary position as a sign that they aren’t a threat, making the items ineffective.
4. Fake SwansLike geese, swans can be incredibly territorial, particularly if they are nesting. Since that’s the case, they’ll often chase geese away if they get too close to a nest or any cygnets.
Since geese aren’t necessarily keen on battling swans for nesting space, fake swans can be a potential way to keep geese from stopping in your yard. However, this typically only works during the breeding season.
Additionally, like predator decoys, opting for fake swans that move is far more effective. Without movement, the geese may realize that the swan isn’t real, causing them to ignore these decoys.
5. Laser PointerJust as reflective materials can deter geese from sticking around your property, laser pointers are a potential option for driving them away. The main reason is that the lasers tend to be quite bright. Plus, you can move them around quickly, which geese may interpret as threatening.
In most cases, you want to use a laser pointer to effectively herd the geese away. After lighting it up on the ground, move it toward the geese until it’s noticed. Then, keep steering them in the direction you want them to go, continuing until they fly off.
As you herd the geese, make sure the laser doesn’t land on a goose. It’s far more effective if you keep it on the ground, as they’re more likely to continue viewing it as an active threat.
Opt for a green laser that’s bright enough to show clearly during daytime hours. That allows you to use it when geese are most active.
6. PinwheelsPinwheels may be a surprising goose deterrent, but they work well nonetheless. Along with movement, most pinwheels are made of reflective materials. As a result, they create odd flashes as they spin, making them seem threatening.
If you want to use pinwheels, it’s wise to get a pack. That allows you to position them at different angles, increasing the odds that at least some will catch a breeze regularly.
Additionally, reposition the pinwheels regularly. By doing so, geese don’t get used to their placement, making it more likely that they’ll consider the pinwheels a potential danger.
7. Cayenne PepperMost pests don’t enjoy cayenne pepper; the same is true for geese. It’s an irritant, making your yard and any food sources within it less appealing. By sprinkling it in spots where geese are spending time, they may decide to simply move on instead of dealing with the cayenne pepper’s presence.
Just keep in mind that cayenne isn’t pleasant for many pets as well. If you have outdoor animals at home or might track the pepper in on your shoes where indoor pets will encounter it, it might be better to use another option.
8. NettingIf you have a small pond on your property that’s attracting geese, netting may be all you need to make your property less hospitable. By covering the pond in netting, geese can’t land on it comfortably. Additionally, by having the netting extend a few yards onto the bank, even walking up to the pond isn’t particularly easy.
For larger ponds, you can still use netting on the shore. At a minimum, it makes entering or exiting the water unpleasant, so the geese may decide to head elsewhere instead of tolerating the netting.
Just be aware that netting may deter other animals from using your pond. That might be viewed as a benefit or a drawback, depending on your perspective.
Additionally, make sure that any netting can’t come loose and make its way into other waterways. Fish, turtles, and frogs can all potentially get caught in netting, which may cause them to die. The same can be true for many land animals, so if you go this route, ensure that the netting is secure and won’t break down or come loose over time.
9. Strobe Light StakesStrobe light stakes work similarly to reflective materials in your yard. The blinking light is interpreted as a potential threat, putting the geese on edge and making your property seem unsafe. As a result, they might choose to seek out another spot instead of sticking around.
Strobe light stakes can be particularly effective near nests to encourage geese to leave. They blink at night, which can prevent geese from sleeping as soundly or may make them believe their nesting spot isn’t as secure as they initially thought.
Just make sure you go for strobe light stakes that sit fairly low to the ground and aren’t overly powerful. While you want them to irritate the geese, flashing lights through windows may also bother you or your neighbors. By going with lower lights that aren’t overly bright, the odds of that occurring diminish greatly.
10. Motion-Activated SprinklersA humane option that can keep nearly any animal away from specific parts of your yard, motion-activated sprinklers release jets of water whenever they sense something passing by. Along with startling the geese when they activate, the water is usually viewed as an attack. That makes them believe your yard is dangerous, increasing the odds that they’ll leave.
As with certain other solutions, this may not work well if you have pets that spend time in your yard. Any motion can set the sprinkler off. Since that’s the case, you may find yourself dealing with a damp dog or cat far more often than you’d like.
11. Sonic or Distress Call Noise EmittersAnother option for how to keep geese out of your yard is a noise emitter. Two versions can potentially work.
First, you have a sonic noise emitter. These produce a tone that isn’t audible to people but irritates many animals, including geese and various other pests. However, it’s often unpleasant to pets, so it isn’t ideal if you have an animal living in your home.
Second, there are goose distress call noise emitters. These create sounds that mimic a goose in trouble, such as after being attacked by a predator. With these, the hope is that other geese treat the noise as a warning to stay away, fearing that they may be harmed if they come too close.
When it comes to simple ways to keep geese out of your yard, an airhorn is effective as long as the geese aren’t in mating season or nested. Generally, geese dislike loud noises. Since an airhorn is designed to produce a lot of noise, just using one whenever you see the geese touchdown could chase them away.
If you prefer something that doesn’t require you to actively produce a noise, you could try motion-activated alarms instead. However, those will sound regardless of what’s in your yard. Additionally, many run all day and night, which may not be ideal if you and your neighbors want a quiet night’s sleep.
13. Get a Dog
If you’re open to owning a pet, having a dog can be a simple way to keep geese out of your yard. Since dogs are predators, geese view them as a threat. As a result, they typically won’t spend much time in a yard that’s frequented by a dog.
Additionally, geese aren’t fans of loud noises. A barking dog could also scare them off, even if it doesn’t actively chase them.
The only time a dog doesn’t like to make a difference is with nesting geese or those actively rearing young. In those cases, the geese will often defend their nests or goslings, even if it means facing off against a dog.
14. Homemade Goose Repellent
While there are commercial goose repellents on the market, you may have just as much luck with a homemade alternative. For example, many commercial products contain methyl anthranilate, a naturally occurring chemical found in grape juice and used to give certain grape-flavored products their signature taste. Methyl anthranilate is an irritant to birds, though it doesn’t cause notable harm.
Instead of a commercial repellent, you can use grape-flavored Kool-Aid. It also contains methyl anthranilate, is safe to consume, and won’t harm plants in most cases. Plus, it won’t hurt your pets, though it may irritate other birds, both in the wild or any you have in your home.
Choose sugar-free grape Kool-Aid packets to avoid attracting other pests that may view the sweet drink as a food source. Then, follow the package directions, pour it into a spray bottle, and spritz parts of your yard where geese are spending time.
Are Geese Afraid of Owls?In some cases, geese may view owls as a threat. Some larger species of owls are capable of killing geese thanks to their sharp talons and peaks. Plus, owls move relatively silently, allowing them to potentially get the jump on an unsuspecting goose.
Since that’s the case, some people use owl decoys to keep geese away. However, as with any kind of predator decoy, these work best if they move.
Additionally, you want to make sure it’s large enough to seem like a genuine threat. Geese can get large once they reach adulthood, so a decoy that’s too small may not look like it poses much danger to a full-grown goose.
Will Chasing the Geese Make Them Leave?
Chasing geese can potentially make them leave. However, this is usually only the case if they’re passing through your yard without the intention of staying long-term. In that case, your aggressive behavior may make the spot unappealing, so the geese may move on to another potential food or water source.
For times when the geese haven’t decided to make your yard home, don’t just chase them. Instead, also make loud noises as you do. Additionally, you could consider using an item – such as a long streamer or a broom – to create extra motion and make you seem like a bigger threat.
However, if the geese are already nesting in your yard, raising goslings, or mating season is actively underway, they are far more likely to stand their ground. As a result, they may aggress you back instead of leaving, regardless of how often you chase them or how loudly you do so.
How to Stop Nesting Geese from Returning
While the best defense is to ensure that geese don’t nest on your property in the first place, if that’s already happened, your next goal is to ensure they don’t return next season. In most cases, you’ll want to begin by making the specific nesting spot as unappealing as possible.
For example, once the geese leave, remove any nesting material. Then, get rid of foliage in the area and place large, uneven rocks in that spot instead. Couple that with visual deterrents like strobes, pinwheels, or reflective streamers, and the odds of them nesting go down even more.
Fencing off any pods or waterways is also a wise move. As long as it is tall enough to make traversing into the water too difficult, they may decide to head to another spot the following year.
Should You Call a Professional?
While geese on your property are a nuisance, there are rules about how you deal with geese. In the United States, Canadian geese are protected. Harming them, their eggs or a nest they’re using is illegal, though scaring them off without causing harm is permitted.
If you hire a professional, they may be able to use deterrent chemicals that aren’t available to the general public. Additionally, if there’s a genuine health risk, they might have options for safe trapping and relocation. However, in some cases, professionals can’t do much more than what you can do on your own.
Before you formally hire a professional, ask about the techniques they use to remove geese from a property. Then, use that information to determine if the service is worthwhile to you.
The Best Way to Keep Geese Out of Your Yard
Ultimately, many of the options above can help you keep geese out of your yard. Options like reflective streamers and pinwheels are functional and won’t impact your yard use. Predator decoys can work very well. The same goes for allowing your yard to overgrow a bit, making it less appealing.
Did you learn everything you wanted to know about how to keep geese out of your yard? If so, let us know in the comments section below. Also, if you have a family member or friend who could benefit from the information in this article, please feel free to share it.