Avoidance methods

The following suggestions are avoidance methods for controlling geese. The main drawback of avoidance methods is that they merely cause geese to move to another property. Increasing goose populations will eventually create a larger demand for habitat, causing geese to become increasingly resistant to avoidance techniques.

Barrier fencing

Barrier fencing is a very effective method for excluding walking geese from your yard. This method consists of placing a physical barrier that geese cannot pass through between the water and the area to be protected.

Barrier fences can be constructed from woven wire, chicken wire, plastic snow fence, corn cribbing, chainlink, netting, or a picket fence. An effective barrier fence for walking Canada geese uses durable material with openings no larger than 3 inches by 3 inches that is at least 30 inches high. Before you build any fence, check local ordinances at your planning and zoning office.

Bird scare tape

Bird scare tape or bird flash tape is a short-term or emergency strategy to reduce problems from geese walking onto your yard. It is most effective with small numbers of geese that have other mowed grass areas they can move to. Bird scare tape is not effective if geese are flying into your yard.

Bird scare tape is thin shiny ribbon of mylar about ½ inch wide. It is silver on one side and colored, usually red, on the other. When properly used, the tape flashes in the sun and rattles in the breeze. The flashing and rattling frightens geese.

Inspect and repair the tape daily. Pets, people, wind, and animals can break the tape. A broken bird scare tape "fence" is not effective. Locate the tape where it is visible to the geese. The fence should be long enough so geese cannot walk around it into the yard.

Bird scare tape sources:

  • Twin Cities Lyndale Garden Ctrs. Wild Bird Stores (See Yellow Pages)
  • Beiswenger's Hardware, 651-633-1271
  • Cardinal Corner - West St. Paul, 651-455-6556
  • Cardinal Corner - Newport, 651-459-3880
  • Hennepin Coop Seed Exchange, 612-545-7702
  • Minnesota Greenery, 651-459-3181
  • Robbinsdale Farm, Garden and Pet, 612-533-2244
  • Celebrations, Brainerd*, 218-828-0803
  • Randall Valu Ctr., New Ulm, 507-359-9514
  • Coast to Coast Park Rapids, 218-732-4513

Mail order

  • MDT and Assoc., 612-529-4355
  • Gurney's Seed Co., 605-665-1930

*Ask for silver and colored ribbon

Hazing

The simplest method for controlling problem geese involves frightening or hazing geese. In some cases, repeatedly and vigorously chasing geese from the property while armed with a broom will cause the geese to relocate.

Noise-making scare devices are a type of pyrotechnics and can sometimes be used to haze geese from your property. Pyrotechnics are most applicable in rural settings. These include "bangers" and "screamers" fired from a special launcher or "cracker shells" discharged from a 12-gauge shotgun. These devices may be offensive to neighbors. Check local ordinances before purchasing or using pyrotechnic devices. Use pyrotechnics consistent with manufacturers instructions and safety precautions. These products are available from:

  • Margo Supplies, Ltd., 403-285-9731
  • Stoneco, Inc., 800-833-2264
  • Reed-Joseph International, 800-647-5554
  • Sutton Ag Enterprises, Inc., 408-422-9693

Some golf courses have had success hazing geese using highly trained border collies with skilled handlers to repeatedly chase geese from fairways and greens, forcing the birds to relocate. At homes, confined or chained dogs are not effective deterrents since geese quickly learn that the threat is limited. Free running dogs are not popular with neighbors and not allowed in most residential communities. However, dogs confined to the problem area by an electronic "invisible fence" may be useful in some situations. Careful selection and training of a dog motivated to chase geese is necessary to ensure success. "Invisible" dog fences are available from:

  • Invisible Fencing Pet Containment 800-824-3647