Feathered Foes: Canada Goose Control Options


April 22, 2015

Canada goose (Branta canadensis) control methodologies range from installing cardboard/wooden silhouettes of fake coyotes to applying for a federal depredation permit to addle goose eggs. A Canada goose usually starts breeding at three years of age and can live into its 20s. Males and females pair off and produce many offspring.

Customers might initially think of geese and their goslings as cute. That changes when a Canada goose population takes up residence on their property.

Just one gaggle creates an enormous amount of droppings, which can create a health risk; damage turf, which is an aesthetic and erosion hazard; and damage crop production. They also can degrade the quality of water in ponds with the bacteria in their fecal matter, which elevates phosphorous and nitrogen levels. They are also known to be aggressive toward humans, sometimes attacking them — especially during mating season.

The Canada goose can also create hazards for aircraft, as was the case in 2009 when Capt. Chesley Sullenberger safely landed Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after striking several of them in flight.

Control options
There are numerous ways to control the Canada goose, including:

• Apply repellents and/or deterrents.

• Exclude and deter by contouring landscaping and installing fences.

• Install coyote or dog decoys.

• Install grid wire systems.

• Install scare devices, such as balloons, flags, kites, metallic tape and streamers.

• Use a sprinkler system.

• Shake eggs, and replace in nest, which is known as egg addling.

• Use border collies or other canines to give chase.

• Use flashing light or laser light systems.

• Use pyrotechnics.

• Use sonic or ultrasonic sound-deterrent devices.

In most cases, a combination of methodologies solves a Canada goose problem. It’s always good to have many tools in your arsenal.

Stuart Aust, president of Bird Doctor Nationwide, can be reached at 800-825-1151 or stuart@birddoctorinc.com.


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