by Alex A. Kecskes
Never underestimate the need for effective goose control. A transportation conductor in Huntington, West Virginia filed suit in federal court after a goose in a rail yard attacked him. The man was working as a conductor at the Keyser Receiving Yard near Ravenswood and was performing a brake test on a CSX train. While performing a required inspection, a goose, which was previously known to have nested in the yard, suddenly jumped out from under one of the railcars, striking the man, and causing him to fall. The man filed suit for pain, past and future medical treatment, loss of earnings, impairment of future earnings, and loss of enjoyment of life. All told, the damages amounted to $75,000.
Geese are drawn to large inland bodies of water--like lakes, reservoirs, large ponds, and on seashores and rivers. Without effective goose control measures, these large birds will return in large numbers to the locale where were born. For the most part, geese are gregarious and when adults molt their flight feathers (for about 3 to 4 weeks in the summer), they are earth bound and can become quite bothersome. Geese have continued to multiply, particularly in urban areas, since these locales lack the traditional predators (like foxes and coyotes) that control their number.
Lacking goose control measures, huge flocks of geese often lay claim to an area, leaving disease-carrying droppings in their wake. These droppings contaminate the quality of ponds, lakes and other bodies of water, leaving an unsightly and unsanitary mess at parks, golf courses and business parks. In addition, Geese are voracious consumers of lawns and shrubbery, and they will destroy gardens and farm crops.
Geese are also a safety hazard in and around airports, since they continue to collide with aircraft, causing major damage to engines and props. In some cases, these collisions can be potentially lethal, as in the case of a US Airways Airbus after a flock of geese disabled both engines, forcing it to land in the Hudson River. Goose control measures are often required at many airports.
Federal and local statutes, so only non-lethal goose repellents can be used against them, protect many species of geese. Below are some of todays most effective and humane goose control devices.
Sonic Goose Repellers
Using sound to scare pest birds is not new. But these ingenious devices exploit a goose's natural fear of predators to do the job most effectively. Sonic Goose Repellers scare geese off with sounds of distress and predator calls. They are most effective when they are strategically positioned in gardens, backyards, patios, and other open spaces.
These clever goose control devices deliver a healthy blast of water when wandering geese approach their active radius of detection. The sudden blast of water, startling sprinkler sound and realistic looking bird-like moving head deliver a convincing message to pest geese. The scarecrow easily connects to a garden hose, yet uses just 2 to 3 cups of water per spray. It covers approximately 1,200 square feet with a stream that reaches out 35 feet and 45 feet wide. The scarecrow works day and night for up to 6 months (over 1,000 'firings") on a single 9-volt battery. For added versatility, you can fine-tune both the scarecrow's sensitivity and spray distance. Scarecrows are perfect for keeping geese out of gardens, ponds and other open areas.
Chemical Goose Repellents
A highly effective and affordable goose control measure, Chemical Spray Goose Repellents are ideal for use in parks, shorelines, golf courses, cemeteries, lawns, yards, landscaping, shrubs, or any grass areas where geese have become a problem. The non-toxic liquid makes grass unpalatable to geese so they just move on to tastier food sources. Formulated from a grape extract that irritate geese, the chemical is safe for pets, geese and humans.
The best geese spray repellents can be easily applied using most commercially available hand-held sprayers. The application procedure is straightforward. After mowing the lawn area to be treated, apply an initial application, then wait about a week, and repeat the process. Two applications last for up to three months. The chemical won’t wash off with rain or water. The repellent's effectiveness varies with the weather, repellent concentration, and frequency of application. The best goose repellent is registered with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To exclude geese from specific areas in airports, courtyards, canopies, and rooftops, there's Goose Netting. This goose control measure usually has a 2-inch mesh size. In choosing the best netting for your specific need, choose a name-brand product that is waterproof, rot- and flame-resistant, and U.V. stabilized. Non-conductive netting is preferred for most applications.
Heavy-duty netting made of high-strength polyethylene is ideal for large, high stress applications. Some manufacturers offer netting with a burst strength of up to 40 pounds. If you're concerned about appearance, today's bird proof netting can be ordered in several different colors--including white, stone and black to blend in with a structure's color design.