How To Get Rid Of Geese: A Definitive Guide

geese in a park

Are geese taking over your property and causing havoc? You’re not alone. Homeowners are commonly faced with the challenge of maintaining their yards while dealing with the issues that wild geese can cause. Taking steps to manage geese is essential for maintaining a clean and safe environment. In this definitive guide, we’ll explore effective strategies to get rid of geese and keep them away for good.

From understanding their behavior to employing practical deterrents, we’ve got you covered. It’s important to note that in the United States, all native wild geese, including Canada geese (sometimes referred to as “Canadian geese”), are protected under federal law. This makes it illegal to harm them, their eggs or their nests without special permission. Read on to learn safe, humane and legal ways to keep geese away.

The Problem With Geese

Getting rid of geese is crucial for homeowners and farmers alike. These birds can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens and crops, leaving behind a mess of droppings that are both unsightly and unsanitary. Goose droppings carry bacteria and parasites that can pose health risks to humans and pets. Areas heavily populated by geese can become breeding grounds for diseases, including E. coli and salmonella.

For homeowners, a goose infestation can turn a beautiful yard into a damaged, unusable space. Farmers face even greater challenges, as geese can destroy crops and contaminate water sources, leading to significant economic losses. Moreover, geese can be aggressive, especially during mating season, posing a threat to children and pets. Effective goose control not only preserves property value, but also ensures a safer, cleaner environment for everyone.

gesse collage in park and urban setting

Understanding Geese Behavior

Before tackling the problem, it’s crucial to understand why geese choose certain areas and what keeps them coming back.

Habitat Preferences

Geese are drawn to open spaces with water sources like lakes, ponds and large lawns. They prefer areas where they can see predators from a distance, making wide-open lawns particularly attractive.

Feeding Habits

Geese primarily feed on grasses, grains and aquatic plants. They are notorious for overgrazing lawns and crops, leading to soil erosion and degraded landscapes. A flock of geese can decimate a lawn or a field of crops in no time, leaving behind bare patches and damaged vegetation.

Breeding Patterns

Geese typically breed in the spring, laying eggs in nests close to water. Once they have established a nesting site, they are likely to return year after year, making early intervention critical. During mating season, geese can be particularly hostile, making them quite dangerous to pets and children.

geese eating grass in a field

How To Keep Geese Off Your Lawn

Keeping geese off your lawn starts with a thoughtful design plan. Allowing your lawn to grow longer (around 6 inches) can be a great first step to deter geese since they prefer open spaces where they can see predators from a distance. Be intentional about the type of grass you choose for your lawn by selecting something less palatable to them, such as tall fescue. Utilizing native groundcovers can be effective as well. Clover, creeping phlox and wild blue phlox are options you might consider. You can also aerate your lawn to improve drainage and reduce the moist conditions that geese love.

In addition to strategic lawn planning, you could also opt to use treatments to deter geese. Natural ingredients like garlic and cinnamon can be effective in creating smells that geese find unpleasant. Spray a mixture of these around your lawn to deter the birds without harming your grass or plants. For a more targeted approach, use commercial repellents specifically designed for geese. These products often contain methyl anthranilate, a compound derived from grapes, which irritates geese but is safe for humans and pets. Apply these repellents regularly, especially after rain or lawn watering, to maintain their effectiveness. Combining natural and commercial repellents can create a lawn environment that geese will avoid, keeping your yard clean and enjoyable.

geese by a small tree

How To Keep Geese Off Your Property

Installing physical barriers like fencing and netting can effectively prevent pests from accessing certain areas, keeping them away from your property. Installing a low fence, around 2 to 3 feet high, can prevent geese from walking onto your lawn, as they prefer open spaces for landing and taking off. Mesh or wire fencing works well, and you can make it more effective by angling it outward to create an obstacle that geese find difficult to cross.

In addition to fencing, you can create physical barriers with landscaping as a natural deterrent. Plant tall grasses and shrubs along the edges of your property or around water sources to disrupt the geese’s line of sight and make landing more difficult. Species like switchgrass or native shrubs can create an effective visual barrier while enhancing the beauty of your yard.

Decoys are another useful tool. Strategically place predator decoys, such as coyotes or alligators, near areas where geese frequent. These can be particularly effective if moved periodically to maintain the illusion of a real threat. Reflective objects and motion-activated sprinklers can also scare geese away with unexpected movements and sounds.

Geese in a pond

Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Geese In Ponds

Maintaining your pond properly is essential for keeping geese away. Regularly clean the pond and surrounding areas to remove any food sources that might attract geese. Keeping the water clear and free from debris makes the environment less appealing to them.

Natural deterrents can be a humane and eco-friendly way to discourage geese. Planting tall grasses, shrubs or aquatic plants around the pond can block the geese’s line of sight and make the area less attractive for landing and nesting.

Managing the water levels and features of your pond can help deter geese. Geese prefer shallow, calm water, so creating deeper areas or adding fountains and aerators to keep the water moving can make the pond less attractive to them. This not only deters geese but also improves water quality and aesthetics.

Altering the physical structure of the pond can be an effective deterrent as well. Installing steep banks or barriers around the pond’s edge makes it difficult for geese to walk in and out of the water easily. Creating a rocky or uneven shoreline can also discourage geese from accessing the pond.

For a more direct approach, installing pond netting can effectively keep geese away. Stretch a fine mesh net over the pond to prevent geese from landing on the water. Ensure the net is securely anchored and has a small enough mesh size to prevent geese from slipping through. This method is particularly useful during the nesting season when geese are most persistent.

Other Preventive Measures

To keep geese off your property, employ a combination of landscaping techniques and seasonal considerations to create an unattractive environment. Landscaping techniques involve altering the physical environment to make it less appealing to geese. This can include planting dense shrubs or tall grasses around water features or open areas where geese might nest, as these provide less open space for geese to graze and nest comfortably.

Seasonal considerations are crucial, as geese are migratory birds that often seek out nesting sites in the spring and summer months. Implementing deterrent measures such as visual scare tactics or installing temporary fencing during these seasons can dissuade geese from settling on your property.

Creating unattractive environments involves removing potential food sources like spilled birdseed or unsecured trash, as well as using repellents like motion-activated sprinklers or predator decoys to make the area seem inhospitable to geese. By combining these approaches, you can effectively discourage geese from nesting on your property and minimize any associated issues.

Avian Migrate Product benefits

Best Geese Repellents

Repellents can be a highly effective way to discourage geese from frequenting your property, especially if other methods have failed. Some of our favorite options include:

Goose D-Fense System

This retractable fence, engineered especially for goose control, is fast and easy to set up and remove, making it a great option if you’d like to be able to enjoy your yard without barriers. Made up of sleek poles and nearly invisible wires, the fence is subtle yet effective at keeping geese off your lawn.


Made of 100% virgin polypropylene, this fence comes in rolls of varying sizes, and will not rust or corrode. It’s recommended for animals of medium size, and when chewing is not a concern. Easy to install and lightweight, this creates a good barrier to keep geese away from your pond.

Garden Craft Black Metal Steel Border Fencing

This decorative fence is made of black powder-coated steel and is sold by the panel, making it easy to customize to your specific needs. Coming in at 32” high, this is tall enough to keep geese off of your property while also adding an element of beauty to your landscaping.

Protective Pond Netting

To keep geese away from your pond, consider installing protective netting whenever your yard isn’t in use. These are relatively affordable and come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.

Spray Goose Repellent

For a more targeted solution, consider trying a spray formulated specifically to repel geese. Avian Migrate Goose Repellent is biodegradable and non-toxic, and can reduce the presence of geese with as little as one application. This spray is also effective against mute swans, coots and other small birds.

geese sleeping in grass

How To Get Rid Of Canada Geese Specifically

Canada geese present unique challenges due to their adaptability, intelligence and social nature. One of the primary challenges is their tendency to return to the same nesting and feeding grounds year after year, making it difficult to deter them once they’ve established a presence on your property. Additionally, Canada geese are protected under various wildlife conservation laws, limiting the methods that can be used to control their populations. Their large size and aggressive behavior towards perceived threats, especially during nesting season, can also pose safety concerns for humans and other animals.

There has been reported success using dogs trained specifically to chase geese away from golf courses, airports and lakefront properties. If you aren’t a pet owner, there are likely goose-chasing dog services available for hire in your area. Decoys are particularly effective against Canada geese, but they require frequent movement so that the birds do not become accustomed to their presence. In some areas, there are times of the year when hunting Canada geese is permitted, and these are often targeted at resident geese. If all else fails, you can contact your local DNR to inquire about the collection of Canada goose nests.


What is the best way to get rid of geese?

  • The best way is to combine habitat modification, visual and auditory deterrents, and regular maintenance.

Are there humane methods to deter geese?

  • Yes, there are several humane methods to deter geese. Natural deterrents such as planting tall grasses and shrubs around ponds and lawns can make the area less attractive to geese by disrupting their line of sight and access. Predator decoys, if moved periodically, can scare geese away without harming them. Non-toxic chemical repellents can create an unpleasant taste and smell for geese, encouraging them to leave. Installing barriers like low fences or pond netting can prevent geese from accessing certain areas while being safe for the birds. These methods ensure effective goose control without causing harm.

Can I use chemicals to keep geese away?

  • Yes, you can use chemicals to keep geese away effectively and safely. Non-toxic chemical repellents are commonly used to deter geese. These chemicals irritate geese without harming them, creating an unpleasant taste and smell that encourages them to leave the area. These repellents can be sprayed on grass, shrubs, and other surfaces where geese tend to gather.

How do I prevent geese from nesting on my property?

  • If you know where they are trying to nest specifically, you could use an automated time-release aerosol bird repellent such as Avian Fog Force to keep geese from nesting on your property. Automatic sprinklers and auditory deterrents also help to make your property an inhospitable nesting place.

Do decoys really work for geese deterrence?

  • Decoys can be somewhat effective in deterring geese from nesting on your property, but their success may vary depending on the specific circumstances. Geese may eventually become accustomed to them and realize they pose no real threat. Periodically move them around or combine them with other deterrent methods like visual or auditory scare tactics to enhance their effectiveness. Decoys are best used in conjunction with other tactics to keep geese away.

Avian Enterprises Can Help

Managing a goose invasion requires a multifaceted approach that combines understanding their behavior, implementing preventative measures, and utilizing effective deterrents. Click or call today to learn more about how Avian Enterprises can solve your goose problem.

How To Get Rid Of Geese: A Definitive Guide