|Goose Poop is No Laughing Matter
Goose removal has become a multi-million-dollar industry, and it’s not just golf courses, industrial parks and airports who patronize it. Homeowners are fighting the flocks as well, striving to preserve their enjoyment of their homes and the value of their investment.
Still, says Mona Zemsky, a technician with Bird-X, a company that has helped convince millions of Canada Geese to move along during its 44 years in business, “No one bears the birds any ill will.”
“The geese are just doing what comes naturally, and looking for a safe, secure home,” says Zemsky. “No one wants to see them harmed for that. People just want the birds to move somewhere that they won’t cause a problem for humans.”
If you’re fighting the goose . . . er “good” fight, keep in mind the following goose-busting facts, courtesy of the experts at Bird-X:
* Experts estimate that at any given time there are 3.5 million to 5.5 million non-migrating Canada Geese living in the United States. Another 9 million to 11 million migrate in every spring and fall.
* Canada Geese range throughout North America, but are particularly troublesome in the northeast and upper Midwest.
* Geese are looking for water, food, lush greens and a safe, easy place to raise their families. The most successful removal techniques involve convincing the geese that a location no longer is safe and comfortable for them.
* Geese have excellent memories and will return to the same spot year after year unless they are convinced to go elsewhere.
* Demand is high for relocation techniques that do not harm the birds or the environment. In fact, in many areas of the country, it is illegal to harm Canada Geese or their eggs in the removal process. Some municipalities place restrictions on the use of chemicals in goose removal. “In fact, lethal or harmful methods are actually counter-productive,” Zemsky says. “Nature abhors a vacuum and if you don’t alter the location’s desirability to geese, new geese will flock to fill the void. Furthermore, harming geese probably won’t improve relations with the neighbors.”
* Successful removal techniques prey upon geese’s instinctive fears. This is why products like Bird-X’s Goose Buster, which drives birds away using recordings of actual goose distress calls, or the Gator Guard, which makes the birds think a predator is present, work well. In fact, geese instinctively respond to the Gator Guard, a life-size, lifelike replica of an alligator head, even in regions where alligators do not live - and where geese may never have seen a live one.
“The best approach is one that motivates birds on three levels - sound, sight and taste,” says Zemsky. “The Goose Buster makes noise that frightens the birds away. The Gator Guard gives a visual cue that an area is ‘unsafe.’ And Goose Chase, a biodegradable food-grade agent made from the bitter-tasting, smelly part of concord grapes, makes food sources such as grass and ponds unpalatable to the birds.”