Flock OFF: How To Deal With Problematic Canada Geese That Have Returned To Michigan
It's that time of year when some of the biggest jerks return to West Michigan for the summer, and no- I'm not talking about your in-laws that just want to come visit the beach. Canadian Geese are back for the season, and they're ready to ruin your afternoon.
Sure, Canadian Geese aren't exactly life threatening or really that dangerous. But, they are aggressive, loud, and generally downright hateful. Not to mention all of the poop they leave everywhere behind them.
If you find yourself dealing with some less than welcome guests, you may wonder what your options are to ask them to pack their bags or at least be more considerate while they stay- so the Michigan DNR has released some guidelines when it comes to dealing with our honking friends from up north.
If you're curious what your options are, here are some of the tips that the Michigan DNR have given for their Nuisance Canada Goose program.
1. Don't feed the geese
Sure, it's tempting to want to feed them to win them over if they're going to be around, but you're only making your life harder. According to their website, "Feeding concentrates geese, causes the loss of wild instincts, aggression, and can lead to nutritional imbalance."
2. Try a Goose Deterrent
There are several tactics you can use to make your property unappealing. Several many commercial companies sell scare devices such as shell crackers, screamers, bird alarms, motion detector accessories, and more.
Experts say there are also several visual stimuli techniques that can be used to scare geese such as bird scare balloons, plastic flags, and Mylar scare tape. Physical barriers such as fences can also be used to exclude flightless geese from lawns during their molt.
3. Use A Repellent
There are several ways to make your yard feel less hospitable for Canadian Geese. Many golf courses and airports have reported success using dogs trained to chase geese off the property. Increasingly, lakefront property owners are also reporting that their dogs are effective at deterring geese. Dog service companies are available for hire. However, you don't want to just use your own dog for this if they aren't properly trained, they could hurt themselves or the geese in a way that isn't acceptable.
Commercially-available repellents can be applied on lawns to deter geese from feeding on the grass. The disadvantage to using repellents is that they are effective only over a short period. Rain or mowing reduces their effectiveness.
4. Last Resort - Call a Professional For Help
If none of the above options work out for you, don't panic! The DNR has a service where they will help you relocate problematic geese that may be causing danger to you or themselves. However, you should try your best to deal with the problem on your own before calling.
Can I hunt the geese on my property in Michigan?
It depends on the time of year. Canada Geese can be hunted from September to May with an appropriate permit. So, if your goose problem falls during the summer months, unfortunately, you are out of season and will have to find another option.
Good luck with any unwelcomed guests that find themselves near your home or business this summer, and remember you have lots of options to help them on their way without drama or danger for you or the geese. If you'd like more tips and tricks on how to deal with these pests, visit the Michigan DNR Nuisance Canada Goose FAQ page.