Friday, March 16, 2007

Geese

We've been having a serious goose problem at our new office. They're back from Myrtle Beach or whatever, and they're leaving our lawn and parking lot a horrible mess. They're also extremely brazen about their honking, which is frightening some of our more demure product managers. Something had to be done.



My boss Fred and I got online and ordered these real-looking Coyote silhouettes. They are advertised as being a natural predator to the geese, and their presence will encourage the birds to go and fowl someone else's lawn.



Their effectiveness is questionable.



Ultimately, we realized that they don't seem to be working very well.



On the other hand, they did scare our customer service manager terribly this morning when she pulled into the parking lot and saw a coyote right next to the front door. Also, two of our neighbors have stopped by to find out why we have coyotes on the lawn and the local constable cruised sat in our parking lot for several minutes yesterday, apparently to see if we were in violation of some local ordinance. We really need to get rid of the geese (or just encourage them to hang out at our neighbors place), and we're trying to be humane about it. Any ideas?

10 comments:

Judy said...

My parents had a HUGE problem with geese at their lake house; cayenne pepper on everything seemed to be the most humane way to ward them off. They stopped feeding on the foilage after a few spicy bites.

Keep a generous supply on hand, and make sure no one picks the daisies.

Sarah said...

We had a major goose problem at our old apartment(coincidentally, not too far from your office). Our biggest challenge there was that a TON of other residents in the complex were feeding them. Our sidewalks were littered with goose droppings. Not cool. We didn't have much luck getting rid of them. One day Nate tried to run them down on the road, and the next morning our welcome mat was covered with goose diarrhea. No joke.

Jeremy said...

Finally! A question I can answer!

The root of the problem is that you're providing them with a safe haven. They have food, they have shelter, and they have no predators.

You need to take something essential away from them, and while you were on the right path with the coyote, you need to be more extreme.

I have a couple options for you - first, talk to the landscaping company and see if they have a goose repellent that they can use on the lawn. (check out http://www.birdbgone.com/goose.htm).
Those bastards are eating your grass, so if you make it taste awful, they'll leave to find something tastier.

The next thing you can do is fight them with sound. At my old office building, we installed foam owls around the building and had them wired with a sound repellent system that hourly set off a shrieking noise that deterred the geese.

Needless to say, problem was solved in under a week. Building has been goose-free for 5 years now.

Now, a less humane, but somewhat fun way to deter them is to get yourself a couple of airsoft guns and run them off like you were in the wild west (note: airsoft guns won't actually harm the bird, just irritate them).

You just have to trust me on this one. I spent 2 summers working landscaping and dealt with this very problem. Goose repellent will definitely work every time. It's probably the best way to rid your building of them.

Either that, or introduce an actual coyote to the area.

Anonymous said...

Another way to get the geese to go is by putting stakes in the ground with streamers attached. It's best to use something with a shiny, light reflective, surface. As the streamers move and reflect light they may scare the geese away. Since they have clear sight of any predators approaching they feel fairly safe. If there were short hedges or beds of flowers like Day Lilies, that block their view, or creat a short take off path, they won't be comfortable there. We're going to try both of these at the cottage this year so Noah has a goose-poop free lawn to play on.
Nana

Kendra Lynn said...

LOL...man that is funny. I love the coyote silouttes.

Kendra

Judy said...

Okay, go with Jeremy - I talked to my parents and they said the only thing the cayenne pepper did was make the geese poop out red poop! Ew!

They got rid of their geese when the ducks became highly territorial and actually ran the geese off. The boat traffic in front of their house helped a bunch, too...living across the cove from Patrick Dempsey has increased their boat traffic by probably 200 billion percent (no joke - it is so wild it is funny) so even the fish are hard to find now!

Jonathan said...

Thanks everyone.

The coyotes might have started working. The geese seemed to have worked out an uneasy truce with them, and have retreated for the most part to the pond next door (the unavoidable natural habitat).

When I came in this morning from a couple brief trip, I asked how the coyotes were doing and my colleague told me he heard them squawking above his head, meaning they are now on the roof. I don't think there's anywhere to stick come coyotes up there, so we might have to go the streamer route.

Jeremy said...

To prevent geese (or any other birds) from going on your roof, you can go with the streamer method, or you can run fishing line back and forth in a gridlike pattern. A lot of businesses near waterways do that to keep birds from landing on the buildings. Not sure what to do in the case one gets tangled up there, but their twisted body will be a clear reminder to the others not to mess around with you.

Good luck!

George said...

it's amazing how the ducks and geese actually battle for turf. it's like inner city gangs, minus the narcotics and the stabbings. (sorry, been watching a lot of National Geographics Explorer lately)
i'm with jeremy on this. take away their purpose and they won't be back.
repellents seem like a smart answer to this problem.
and i take it roasting them isn't an answer huh? i hear mallards are quite tasty.

TomStarling said...

I'm definitely glad your company has taken the humane approach, and a lot of these comments (and your company) is definitely on the right track.
You've got some really desirable goose real estate by your office, namely the pond. There probably isn't enough room for them over there, so the stronger geese have fought a bunch of them over to your office. Unfortunate, but fairly easily solved. If the coyotes aren't working, it may be time to ramp up the product. A truly effective taste repellent can be found at http://www.bird-x.com/products/goose.htm. It can even be used in the pond if the mood so struck your company. The streamer route can be effective, but only if you use something that will actually bother them. IrriTape is irridescent tape that makes a metallic sound in the wind and flashes. It drives geese nuts, and you can find that at http://www.bird-x.com/itape.htm.
If the problem is still a big deal and you really want to bust out the big guns, Bird-X, Inc. offers a product called GooseBuster, a system that emits actual distress calls of geese (not simulated, which don't work) and is the only system of it's kind. It is extremely effective but a bit of an investment. I would try the taste aversion and visual scare first. Good luck!