Canada Goose Control: How To Keep The Geese Out Of The Garden

A Canada Goose
(Image credit: HelenWalkerz65)

A flock of migrating Canada geese is a delight to behold, but when they decide to take up residence in your neighborhood, you'll find that they don't make good neighbors. They feed on the tender vegetation in your garden, and each goose leaves behind 14 pounds (6.4 kg.) of droppings every week, making it impossible to keep your property clean. The sooner you start a program of Canada goose control, the better your chances of getting rid of them before they start nesting.

Controlling Geese in the Garden

Before we discuss what you can do about geese in the garden, you should know that there are some things you can't do to Canada geese because they are protected by law.

  • You can't capture or kill Canada geese, except as outlined by your state's hunting regulations.
  • You can't disturb a goose that is sitting on a nest or remove or destroy the eggs.
  • You can't harass geese once they begin nesting, but you can remove accumulated nesting material before they nest.

How to Control Geese

Don't be swayed by the things you cannot do about geese in the garden. There are still a number of things you can do for Canada goose control.

  • Erect a barrier. When planning your strategy for controlling geese, keep in mind that geese prefer to walk from the water to their preferred feeding area and back. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to keep the geese out of the garden is to erect some type of barrier. A 2-foot (60 cm.) tall hedge or fence between your garden and the waterfront is usually sufficient to exclude most Canada geese.
  • Never feed the geese. Feeding geese in the garden will only encourage these birds to continue coming back.
  • Remove nesting material. In spring, the geese begin collecting and stockpiling nesting material. Watch for piles of material on your property and remove them before the geese have a chance to build a nest.
  • Scare them away. Use noisemakers and barking dogs, chase them with a broom, and otherwise make them miserable. Try firecrackers, sirens, flashing lights and anything else you can think of. Change tactics frequently because once the geese get used to a particular annoyance, they learn to ignore it. If you are persistent, however, they will go elsewhere. Remember: you can't harass them once they start nesting.
  • Install staking. Place stakes every 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.5 m.) around a pond and string wire between the stakes at a height of 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm.). Canada geese will not nest in an area where they can't easily walk in and out of the water.

Learning how to control geese in your garden doesn't have to be a daunting task. Now that you know the basics of Canada goose control, you will have the necessary tools to keep the geese out of the garden for good.

Jackie Carroll

Jackie Carroll has written over 500 articles for Gardening Know How on a wide range of topics.