How to Keep Geese Away from Your Pond

How to Keep Geese Away from Your Pond & Fields

Having a flock of geese in your pond could eliminate prevailing peace and natural beauty. Usually, geese literally convert your pond, lawn, or field to their bathroom. Is this really a good impression? 

So, on how to geese away from your pond; consider using visual and audio goose deterrents, reflective bird tape, or natural reflective deterrents.

  • Other equally powerful methods include using liquid repellents, laying of nets around fish ponds, or choosing to physically chase geese using dogs or four-wheelers. 

Further, you can opt to deploy geese traps around the pond as well. Always remember to uptake safety measures during installation and consider adherence to government geese regulation in your place. 

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Details: How to Keep Geese Away from your Pond

a. Using Visual and Audio Goose Deterrent

Usually, the visual and audio geese deterrent methods rely on the use of mobile physical stands bearing images or shapes of the most feared geese predators.

  • As the geese fly in, they spot the decoys and automatically declare that location unsafe for them, hence keeping the geese away.
  • For maximum guard against these federally protected birds, it is recommendable to accompany visual decoys with audio warnings.

The idea is to set up plug-in or solar-powered audio systems that produce pre-recorded sounds imitative of common geese predators around the targeted location.

Like the visual ones, audio warnings are advantageous as they also keep away the unwanted birds way before they land on your property.

Visual decoys and audios are ideal for keeping geese away from large open sports fields, or targeted pond areas that are quite challenging to be manned. 

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b. Erecting Reflective Bird Tape

Reflective bird tape is a formidable method that prominently scares the migratory birds away.

The method entails installing a rather loosely hung reflective tape around your pond, lawn, or field such that it reflects sunlight.

  • As the birds fly in, their sight gets distracted by the extremely shiny reflections, hence are unable to establish a place to land.

Installing a reflective bird tape structure is quite a simple and cost-friendly process. Depending on the size of the area that you want to secure, you will require several poles of about 3-4 ft in length, a hammer, and 1 or 2 rolls of the bird tape itself.

  • With these materials, you can easily set up an anti-geese reflective fence around the spot by nailing the bird tape onto the interspaced metal, wooden, or plastic stakes.

As you fix the harassing bird tape, remember to give it enough sag between consecutive poles – don’t make it too tight (I recommend 4 feet between the stakes).

In fact, the reason why the reflective tape is fitted rather loosely is to allow it to be waved and sway with the wind and in doing so, it can capture and reflect the sun rays at multiple angles and directions.

  • This way, no matter which direction the birds are flying from, the bright mirrored light will be constantly flashing and hinder their vision of the land. Eventually, they will fly away, and isn’t that what you want?

Since installing the bird tape around your entire pond may be a bit costly, you can just do a section of it.

  • To erect a partial fence, you’ll need to identify the spot that is most invaded by the birds and set up the fence there.
  • Such spots are normally easy to notice should you observe the birds on two or three occasions.

In most cases, you will realize the geese prefer to land somewhere around the middle and proceed to seek shelter in one side of the pond or lawn – mostly the side free of human interaction. 

c. Use of Liquid Goose Repellents

Consider spraying liquid repellents on pond grass where geese land to feed.

Usually, most liquid geese repellents are made from organic food-grade ingredients, and hence are safe for humans.

  • Matter of fact, they are EPA approved – always check on that label when purchasing.
  • Anytime the geese feed on the grass sprayed with a liquid detergent, they automatically get irritated and seek safety somewhere else.
  • That is to say that this method is not only effective at chasing the geese away, it also inadvertently trains them to totally keep away from your pond or waterfront property.

Besides, the grape seed extract liquid-repellent ensures that your grass lawn stays relatively safer and healthier since the geese will no longer be feeding on it. 

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d. Train Dogs to Chase Geese

Physical harassment is an effective technique that can be enacted by the use of a trained dog to chase the geese from your cherished pond or lawn.

You’ll only need to have a dog and train it on how to actively chase the geese away without killing them – with time, the dog will even chase geese in your absence.

  • If you have a big dog or an energetic one like German Shepard, Golden Retriever, or just any breed of smart trainable dog, then you can train it gradually until it becomes a pro-geese-chaser.
  • Key things about this area are to be relentless and remember to reward your dog once it does well. On the first few times, you’ll have to run in front of your dog in the direction of the geese.

Obviously, the dog will run right after you, and the geese will fly away before you get there, and that’s the whole idea.

To quicken the training process, you can throw a ball or any other object ahead but towards the geese’s residence, and command your dog to run after the object.

The point to note here is to always reward the dog after every chase during the training phase, and occasionally thereafter. Again, the reward need not be something ‘big.’

  • The easiest way to do it is to be ready with a small dog feed to hand your dog once it returns from a typical geese chase.

In no time, the dog will adapt to the behavior of chasing the geese in hope of getting a surplus meal, and bingo! There you have a homemade geese chaser.

e. Lay Nets along the Pond Banks

Professionals prefer laying down nets around the pond to trap geese invasion. Ideal nets that you can use for this technique include the rather affordable 3/4” garden nettings.

  • These nets are not only effective at creating a physical barrier between the pond banks and the water, but they also get the geese scared and distressed once they feel the net on their feet.

Alternatively, you can resort to using wire or mesh to completely cover the water surface of your pond – if it is fairly smaller, for less cost.

  • When you completely cover the water body in question with grid wire or mesh, you will have made it practically impossible for the geese to land on the water, or better still make it hard for them to walk in.

The only limitation to this method is the size of the pond since it is uneconomically viable to cover large water bodies like big ponds or lakes with mesh, grid wire, or even net.

However, if yours is a small pond, then this should work for you. Nonetheless, if you boost with the other techniques discussed in this article, you shouldn’t have any problem at all. 

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f. Chase Geese using Four-Wheeler or ATV

Chasing geese off your pond or compound using a four-wheeler or an ATV is one of the quickest ways of eliminating geese in your pond – it’s not labor-intensive.

Assuming you don’t have a dog but you own an ATV or a four-wheeler in your yard, then it is just a question of spotting the geese and chasing after them in the field using the four-wheeler.

Once you have them in sight, hop onto your ATV and race faster towards where you’ve located them. This should frighten the geese and make them scamper to safety, thus leaving your pond.

If you have a dog as well as an ATV, then you can pair the two methods for a more rapid and permanent solution.

Actually, the ATV or four-wheeler will help the dog quickly attain speed, and since the dog is trained, it will keep on chasing the geese in days to come.

ATV or four-wheeler is considered as a short-term intervention method. 

g. Lay down Geese Traps

Before saying much about this technique of handling, trapping, or disturbing geese, it is important to note that many states cover the birds against illegal hunting or use of lethal and non-lethal force against them.

  • One of the common geese traps is the drop net trap, which is basically a set of four posts supporting a net over them.

If you are using this kind of non-lethal geese trap, you will have to set it at a spot that is likable to the geese, then wait until the birds get under the net, and finally trigger it manually to trap them.

  • Since herding the geese to the trap is not easy, you can use a pre-baited trap. Make a habit of spreading corn grains or assorted bird feeds on an area close to where the geese normally stay.

Do this for several days until the birds get used to it, then on a typical day lay your trap in addition to the bird food.

  • The baits will lure the geese into the trap, and you can comfortably trigger it to confine them.

Be careful when handling the birds, as their bodies and even their excretions are thought to contain potentially harmful bacteria. 

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Which Problems are Caused by Geese?

Let’s briefly look at the most common problems associated with geese invasion in your pond, golf course, or lawn.

1. Destruction or overgrazing of landscape

Geese have primarily planted, eaters. They literally feed on anything plant-like, ranging from grass leaves to seeds and grains. Their lamellated beaks are especially suited to perfunctorily strain plant tissues.

  • Now imagine the damage that several dozens of such spiky-cartilage beaks can do when they feed on the grass around your pond.
  • In essence, you will be staring at an overgrazed lawn, which will impose a stack of thousand dollars to restore.

In some cases, the geese may convert your once green spot to bareness, thus requiring you to replant the grass.

2. Harassment to pets and humans

Adult geese have a tendency of attacking anything that threatens to invade their ‘private territory’, especially during mating season or when they are shielding their young ones.

  • During these periods, they are not only dangerous to pets like dogs, but also to humans.

Actually, they do not pose only a physical threat, but also an economic one should they attack people who are patronizing your business.

3. Noise

Geese are migratory birds that don’t just move in twos or threes. Actually, the lowest flock could have at least 5 of them – typical migrating geese fly in 30 to 100 birds per flock.

  • Now, if the whole flock would land and invade a section of your pond, it is natural that the place would be very noisy.

This is because these birds are often never quiet; instead, they keep on honking, cackling, and barking loudly and their huge numbers in a flock can make the noise even worse. 

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4. Foul smell and environmental uncleanliness

Like ducks, geese belong to the Anatidae family, which are prolific feeders and terrific producers of fecal droppings.

  • Their excretions are substantially huge and are normally accompanied by a strong foul smell that can be felt from several yards away.

With such a messy fecal discharge and rotten smell, it will become uncomfortable for you to dine or chill around such an area.

How Do You Tell You To Have Geese Invasion At Your Place?

In this section, we highlight typical signs of geese invasion in your pond. They include:

i. Overgrazed grass

If you start to notice that your once taller grass is getting shorter by the day, then you could be looking at a geese situation.

  • Naturally, geese feed on plant tissues like grass, roots, buds, and seeds/grains.

Given how they flock in grassy spots in large numbers, it won’t probably take a lot of time before they graze the grass down to the ground. In some instances, you will be shocked to find bare spots.

ii. Scattered feathers

Most birds preen back their feathers and the geese are no exception.

  • Often, after feeding, geese will start picking on their feathers, and in the process, some fall off.

The feathers that are susceptible to preening are the white down feathers, and you can easily identify them by their white color.

iii. Incessant geese noise

You know geese have started patronizing your private residence when you start hearing loud horns or barks typical of these birds.

In most cases, the noises will come from your pond or thereabout, your golf course, or waterfront property.

iv. Foul smell and messy excretions

If you are not breeding any kind of free-moving poultry, then you must be alarmed when you find messy droppings in your lawn, field, or garden.

  • To ascertain that indeed geese have started inhabiting your residence, pay close attention to the rotten smell and how scattered the poop is.

It is estimated that geese excrete at least every 12 minutes, so you can visualize the magnitude of the untidiness you will be dealing with given the size of a flock. 

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V. Sighting geese nests in your compound

Here you are looking for cup-like nests that are characteristically made of dry grass, mosses, and other plant materials.

  • You can sight them on or near the banks of your pond, lake, or somewhere in a secluded grassy spot.

Now, if it has reached this stage, it means that the geese have been coming to that area for quite some time for them to start laying eggs. However, all is not lost.

  • Provided the female goose is still in its nesting instinct, vandalizing or removing the nest does not count as a permanent intervention.

In fact, the hen will simply reconstruct another nest and lay anywhere between 2 to 8 eggs.

The only way destroying a nest will solve the problem is if the nest is destroyed at least two weeks into the incubating period because then the hen will not re-nest.

I can’t stress much on the fact that some states have strict rules regarding these birds, and so you might have to talk to the Fish and Wildlife Service before attempting to do something that is against the federal or state laws.

Do Geese Bite Humans?

Geese are aggressive birds and can do a number of violent means to defend their space or protect their loved ones, including through biting.

Although the bites can’t be counted as painful per se, ornithologists have found out that whenever a goose is irked, it also uses its wings to whack the intruder, thereby inflicting pain and/or injuries.

Normally, this happens when the person, pet, or another intruding bird/animal gets too close to the nest, goslings, or a mating or spawning partner.

Should You Kill or Trap Geese?

It may come as a surprise that you are not entitled to hunt, kill, or trap geese without getting a license from the Fish and Wildlife Service. Moreover, many states in the United States have even fiercer laws that protect these often-disturbing migratory birds.

  • However, with a valid license from the authorities and strictly during the hunting season, you can be allowed to hunt and trap up to four geese in a day.
  • Furthermore, the act governing the destruction of geese nests prohibits netizens from destroying nests containing more than 2 eggs except when a professional is involved.

As a wrap-up, it is only wise for you to just work on the methods that can keep the birds away from your residence, rather than attempt to kill or trap them.

Most importantly, never hesitate to seek professional assistance from permitted wildlife and agricultural bodies if you are faced with a continued geese problem. 

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To wrap up, on how to keep geese away from your pond; this can be achieved by using methods such as the deployment of visual decoys and audio warnings, reflective bird tape, and dog chasing.

  • Moreover, you can use other non-lethal bird-harassing techniques such as chasing using a four-wheeler, liquid repellents, and traps.
  • What should clearly stand out is that geese can be a big nuisance once they infest a pond or lawn, and so you should swiftly evict them using the safest combination of means mentioned above.
  • Any failure on your part could mean you having to incur unnecessary costs in re-planting the grass, foul smell, and other cleaning costs.

Lastly, it is advisable to consult a professional wildlife practitioner when dealing with geese. Bear it in mind that these birds are protected by federal laws and act just like any other kind of wildlife.