Get the Flock Off My Lawn!
Updated: Jan 31
A first hand accounting of available goose deterrents.
It was nice to see the first pairs of geese landing nearby our little spot on the lake this spring, and it wouldn’t be long before we saw the goslings lined up in neat rows between their parents. Spying the little puffballs was a sure sign that summer was on its way, and I was all for that after shoveling snow for 9 months.
Flash forward to July. The little puffballs have grown into big birds. Not quite as large as their parents, but much larger than the little cuties we watched swimming in their neat rows.
Nice, right? Watching the progression of life…
It was when their parents started parking the crew in our front yard that the battle began.
I know it sounds awful, and they are magnificent birds, but you have to understand the downside of huge masses of geese enjoying your front lawn.
After the first visit, I started across the lawn and found myself surrounded in goose poop. There wasn’t a step I could make in any direction to clear it.
I got most of it cleaned up after an hour of using the dog’s poop scooper. Tired of bending over and lugging a bucket of poop around the yard, I decided to check with the neighbors to see what they were using.
We had a bald eagle statue that was getting pummeled by mama and papa goose on a daily basis, so I knew that wasn’t working. The owl statues next door weren’t getting beat up at all, but they weren’t doing anything to keep the geese away either.
Two doors down, they had one of those solar-powered, ultrasonic repellers and reflective pinwheels making an attempt at keeping the mighty poopers away. According to that tenant, the pinwheels helped, so I decided to buy up all the pinwheels I could find, as well as look for flapping owls, windsocks, and other birds of prey decoys to hang in the trees.
Finding only the pinwheels locally, I stuck them in the ground every five feet along the lake’s edge and hoped for the best.
After one day of spinning in the breeze, the pinwheels proved to be a complete failure. While scooping another two and a half gallons of goose poop, I decided I needed something better.
Hopping on the internet, I found a list of items people were having luck with including the pinwheels, reflective scare tape, various ultrasonic repellers, birds of prey decoys, scary eyes balloons, coyote replicas, scare cat cutouts, flashing strobes, spray on the lawn goose deterrents, motion activated sprinklers, and the ultimate splurge, the “Goose Cop” which was one of those attention getting, air-filled tubes that dance crazily in front of businesses advertising hot sales.
Going through the motions, I chose the next best-ranked items - the motion activated sprinkler and the scare cats. I really wanted the sprinkler, but the scare cats had a very good rating and were 1/6th of the cost. They would also be cute decorating my yard in the fall if they failed to scare the geese away.
While waiting for the cats to arrive, the neighbors four doors down were decorating their lawn with holographic owls – another item that received favorable ratings, and it wouldn’t be long before the newest editions in our neighborly line of defense would be put to the test.
The day after I put the scare cats in the yard, total goose retaliation struck.
I came home to find groupings of lounging geese sitting under the shade trees, enjoying the summer breeze blowing over the soft rippling waters of the lake. As if relaxing at an all-inclusive resort, they nibbled elegantly on the fresh, green blades of grass. The same grass that we have nurtured since the snow melted away, and water dutifully every morning in an effort to keep it soft on the bare feet.
Angry, I sent my dogs after them.
“Get those birds!” I demanded. The dogs perked their ears eager to please and glided out to the front lawn.
With a quick pound on the brakes, the dogs stopped to snack on the first brown morsels they came upon as the geese leisurely made their way to the lake.
“NO!” I wailed, waving my hands dramatically at the beasts waddling out to the waters edge. “GO GET THE BIRDS!”
With a cry of defeat, I chased the dogs into the house and the rest of the geese off my lawn hoping that I had curtailed the dog’s poop eating binge well before it could be barfed up all over my living room floor.
Taking stock of the damages, I noticed the buff birds not only beat the crap out of the eagle statue again, they plowed over the cat cutouts so they were doing the limbo above the grass blades, and completely polluted the lawn with fecal matter. Looking down the beach, I noticed the neighbors places were in much the same shape. I have never seen so much goose poop in one place. There was poop everywhere!
That was it!
The war was in full, Battle of the Bulge mode, and I was pulling out all the stops. The yard enforcer was quickly added to my online shopping cart and I smashed the buy button hoping for a quick ship date.
In the meantime, I recruited a couple of retirees to keep the turd mongers off my property until the yard enforcer was properly fitted to a hose and installed in the front yard.
If the enforcer can’t handle the heat, I’m going to be forced to try the coyote and/or dead goose decoys next.
For now, I guess we will have to wait and see how things go!
Until next time…