The Good News and the Bad News

A Mild Start to Winter is Good News for Geese, and Bad News for Property Managers

You may be seeing more geese this winter on your property than usual. The mild weather keeps the water flowing and the grass accessible, which keeps the geese here longer. If you are having issues, please feel free to call us at 1-877-914-3373.

Resident Canada geese are non-migrating geese; you will see them on your property year-round. The geese that stay in our area were never taught the migration patterns, nor will they teach following generations. Over the past 10 years, their populations increase about 1-5% per year, particularly in urban areas where there are few predators, prohibitions on hunting, and a dependable year-round supply of food and water.

Feel free to give us a call if you see geese on site this winter. Ohio Geese Control will continue our efforts to control the geese population in a safe and humane manner.

It’s not too early to think about Spring

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to control the Canada geese population at Ohio Geese Control this year. Spring is just around the corner and it is a critical time of year for Canada geese management. To begin chasing off the resident geese and be there for the migrating geese we need to be in service in February to ensure relocating the geese before they nest. Starting later in the season will increase the chances of goslings at your property.

Call us for a free site visit and demonstration of our skilled handlers and dogs
at 877-914-3373.

How do you get rid of Canada geese?

Play YouTube Ohio Geese Control Video

Ohio Geese Control gets rid of Canada geese with geese deterrents. Successful and cost-effective management of Canada goose activities often depends on identifying the site characteristics most attractive to the geese (e.g., security, food, nesting sites, water). Ohio Geese Control will then design a custom management program based on the potential for reducing these characteristics. Ohio Geese Control strives for an ecological approach to Canada geese management. Choosing techniques while ignoring the biological or behavioral aspects of goose activity will likely not solve the problem.

Our skilled handlers and dogs can be seen working at airports, corporate facilities, parks, home owners associations, apartments, golf courses, universities and hospitals. Currently, we are located in Columbus, Toledo, Sandusky, Akron, Canton and Cleveland.

icon5Watch our video on how Ohio Geese Control works with companies to keep geese away.

Call us at 877-91GEESE (877-914-3373) for a free demonstration.

Canada geese issues in the Fall

Issues with Canada geese in parking lotsOnce Canada geese migration starts, you can see up to 200 geese on your property at any given time. It is important to harass them right away so that they do not linger and leave their mess behind.

As the weather gets colder, you will see more geese hanging out in parking lots and walkways. The sun heats up the cement and asphalt during the day, and the Canada geese enjoy this warmth, particularly at night. Some of the biggest complaints we hear come from prospects are the issues of geese droppings all over parking lots and sidewalks when employees are just coming to work.

Our staff is trained to look for signs of the geese throughout the day, even if the geese aren’t currently present. If there are excessive droppings consistently in the mornings, this is an indication that the geese like to roost there in the evenings. We never want you coming to work dodging droppings to get in the door. Just call us, and we will put you in our route.

Migration begins in the fall in Northern Ohio. It is important to understand geese migration patterns in order to know how to deter them. Ohio Geese Control’s certified goose management professionals are trained to understand the Canada goose habits, and we will develop a specific action plan to help combat the problems you are having with geese. Just contact us for a free on-site demonstration and we can give you more details.

Ohio Geese Control Dog Olympics

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Ohio Geese Control Annual Dog OlympicsEach summer our co-workers have the opportunity to show off their skills with our Annual Summer Dog Olympics. It’s not only fun for the handlers and dogs, it is a hoot to watch. It is also a great chance to meet and mingle with all of us here at Ohio Geese Control. We love to show off our border collies’ skills, and show you they can do more than chase Canada geese.

Here are some of the highlights

Musical Hoops: When the music stops the dog needs to sit in the hoola hoop! Last one sitting wins.

10526142_10153084522529896_6779896666864329583_n10553472_10153084522644896_1359040832276583440_n1 Jeff Jett

 

 

Red Light, Green Light: First one to cross the line without getting caught moving during a red light wins.

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Doggie Limbo: How low can your dog go?

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Doggie Treat Stack: How high can you stack your treats in 60 seconds without tipping them, or your dog eating them.

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And the winner is…team Akron. Congratulations Alvin, Tudy and Jack!

1 Olympics Champ Alvin

 

 

 

 

 

Some Snapshots!

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The Greatest Act of Kindness and the Simplest Goose Deterrent

Feeding geese will only attract more geese, and more droppings. But it is hard to argue when people enjoy feeding birds, especially the Canada goose. Many organizations like the Humane Society and the Audubon Society promote proper feeding of beloved backyard songbirds. People who love watching geese and ducks at local ponds might think they are being kind by dropping off food for the resident waterfowl.

Feeding bread to waterfowl is NOT kind to the Canada goose or to your neighborhood.

Angel-wing

Photo by Catharine Beazley

Bread and similar leftovers (crackers, pastries, popcorn) are easy for people to grab for a quick trip to the park, but are very hard on the geese. In fact, a diet composed of white bread can cause a bone disorder known as “angel wing” in young birds. One or both wrist joints fail to develop properly, and the affected wings will not lie flat against a bird’s body. The disorder is also known as “airplane wing.” Waterfowl with this condition cannot fly.

Animal lover and Ohio Geese Control dog handler Brianna C. often sees geese with this condition at client properties in Toledo. “We care about the well-being of all waterfowl because we are a humane service. It’s painful to watch sometimes when people are throwing bread for the geese. They gobble it down and it’s not good for them.”

Feeding wild canada geese leads to other environmental problems. Canada geese, like all waterfowl, depend on an extremely diverse diet to meet their nutritional needs. They browse in varied environments and nibble at grass, insects, larvae, small mollusks, and aquatic plants. Regular feeding by well-meaning visitors causes geese to congregate and then defecate in the same place where they eat, allowing diseases to spread and affecting water quality.

So if you know someone who’s feeding waterfowl with bread or crackers or other leftovers, see if you can convince them to stop. That’s a true act of kindness.

If geese are preventing you from enjoying the outdoors, let us know and we will kindly offer to help out. And be sure to read about our “No Harm, No Fowl” policy.

Ohio Geese Control Celebrates 10-Year Milestone

Since 2004, we have been helping create a healthier and happier environment across Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Toledo and Sandusky by humanely managing the Canada geese population. Our skilled handlers and specially trained border collies engage in a herd and flight-provoking process as recommended by the Human Society of the United States. The result? Unharmed geese, public grounds that are free of droppings and satisfied customers.

videoJeff Hower started managing geese populations in 2000. With 10+ years of golf course management under his belt, he saw a desperate need in an untapped market. One goose produces 1-2 pounds of droppings a day and some properties can attract in upwards of 100 birds at a time. The droppings can pose a health risk and alter the established ecology of the grounds.

Ohio Geese Control posts a high success rate for its services, a main reason we have been able to thrive in a tough economy is because of how the business is built from the ground up. “Our philosophies stem from our love and respect of nature,” notes Jeff Hower. “By laying out a set of core values, we are able to attract the right kind of talent and retain employees who really value their work and our mission. That’s what we are truly celebrating with this 10-year anniversary.”

Find out more about how to get rid of canada geese on your property by watching our video or contacting them for a goose chasing border collie demonstration.

Migratory vs. Non-migratory Canada Geese

Geese walking on water? No, they are walking on the frozen pond.Resident Canada geese are non-migrating geese; you will see them on your property year-round. The geese that stay in Cleveland, Akron and Toledo areas were never taught the migration patterns, nor will they teach following generations. Over the past 10 years, their populations increase about 1-5% per year, particularly in urban areas where there are few predators, prohibitions on hunting, and a dependable year-round supply of food and water.

 

Why do they stay?

During the first half of the 20th century, migratory geese were often captured for use as live decoys, and stayed in our area year-round. By the early 1960’s, the excessive hunting brought the population of Canada geese to near extinction. To counter this near extinction, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and many State wildlife agencies began a program of re-population of wild Canada geese. They did this by taking the eggs from the nests of the surviving resident Canada geese and artificially incubated these eggs while the geese laid another clutch (double clutch). These captive geese were also bred in captivity. As a consequence, their descendants do not have the biological need to migrate, they were not taught the migration patterns. Our resident Canada geese in Ohio are the descendants of these captive migratory geese.

Also, the climate is temperate in our area and the water bodies do not freeze for long periods of time, the resident Canada geese have no need to fly south to find open water and grass in the winter. Even when it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit, as long as the geese can find open water, they stay warm. The water is 32 degrees and the geese have down on their bellies and chest, which insulates them from the cold water.

Since we have ideal conditions, and the resident geese are trained to stay in our area, the problem will only increase. If geese are becoming a nuisance on your property during the winter months, please let us know. We are happy to set up a custom program to manage your Canada geese population.

Halloween Dog Costume Contest

Ohio Geese Control is having a costume contest for our goose chasing dogs, and we need your help! Let us know which of our border collies has the best costume, by leaving your comments below.

Our dogs and handlers are highly trained to remove geese from properties that are a nuisance in urban environments. It is great to see them being silly every once in a while.

UPDATE: ALVIN WON 1st PLACE FOR THE COSTUME CONTEST, POPE HOPE CAME IN 2nd, AND JOFF THE CLOWN CAME IN 3rd! THANKS FOR YOUR VOTES!

Alvin the Black Widower

Alvin the Black Widower.

Ben with a flying goose on his back.

Ben with a flying goose on his back.

Cowboy the Pirate

Cowboy the Pirate.

Dot our superhero.

Dot our superhero.

Pope Hope!

Pope Hope!

Joff the crazed clown.

Joff the crazed clown.

Our Brown's fan, Joy!

Our Brown’s fan, Joy!

Cast your vote by naming your favorite dog/costume in the comment section!

Diseases that Canada Geese Carry

The flu hit our family hard this season, and it sparked a conversation in our household about what diseases Canada geese carry and if it is a health risk to our clients. After all, they do leave large quantities of feces everywhere. A single goose can defecate every 20 minutes up to 1.5 pounds each day. And it only gets worse when about 67% of these geese are non-migratory (resident geese), and their year-long presence does not give the land or lake any rest to rejuvenate. So when I see beaches and soccer fields littered with accumulated goose droppings, I wonder if we should allow our kids to play in the area and what information we should give our clients. So we did a little research to find out the truth.

Research has shown that the excrement of geese contains a wide variety of pathogens capable of infecting humans and that can also be transferred to the water and air quality. However, the transmission of disease or parasites from geese to humans has not been well documented. The parasites do exist, so the potential exists, and the higher number of geese the higher the potential. But since there are gaps in the research, we do caution that the presence of a disease does not necessarily translate into a threat to public health.

   

 

 

 

Parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungus that are present in Canada geese 

Parasites
Parasites can cause diarrhea and infection, especially in individuals with compromised immune systems. Three parasites that are a concern to humans are cryptosporidium, giardia and toxoplasmosis.  Infection may occur through eating a goose that is undercooked or drinking contaminated water. Caution should be observed when swimming in any lake, pond or beach area that has a presence of geese.

Bacteria
The bacteria transferred from Canada geese that cause humans concern are chlamydiosis, e-coli, listeria, pasteurella multocida and salmonella. Infected birds can shed the bacteria through feces, nasal discharge and when someone is bitten. Humans normally manifest infection by pneumonia or through a wound.  The presence of e-coli correlates to the temperature, so there is a higher probability of e-coli presence during the month of June rather than February. Unless you are working around Canada geese or involved in feces clean up, the risk of infection can be low.

Viruses
Canada geese are members of a group of birds that have been known to contract avian influenza. In 2004, researchers confirmed that Canada geese could contract H5N1, and it is an on-going concern that geese can introduce the disease.  There is on-going research to help validate these concerns.

Fungus
Lastly, histoplasmosis fungus grows in soil enriched with bird droppings, including those from geese. When these contaminated soils are stirred up, the fungal spores can become dispersed and inhaled, thereby infecting individuals. Goose droppings have not been identified as a source for histoplasmosis, however, in light of the conflicting information, we suggest people practice caution when raking, mowing or stirring up soil enriched with goose droppings. It does not appear that goose droppings on sidewalks and other non-soil surfaces pose a risk.

How to proactively protect yourself from diseases that Canada geese carry

As a general rule, keeping a distance from geese and areas frequented by geese will always be the first line of defense in combating any diseases that geese can carry. Individuals with compromised immune systems should be extra cautious.

We suggest the following safety guidelines:

  • Wear protective gloves while working with feces or geese
  • Wash hands after working outdoors around geese
  • Launder work clothes
  • Shower after a day of working outdoors around geese
  • We wash our dogs paws daily at the end of every working day
  • We suggest washing bottoms of shoes at the end of every working day

Recommended Canada Geese Control Tactics

The best way to combat coming in contact with diseases carried by Canada geese is to proactively keep the geese away from areas that are used by people.  The first action is always to stop the public from feeding the geese. Secondly, the most effective, safe and humane tactic is by far the use of border collies. Find out more tactics here, or call Ohio Geese Control (877-91GEESE) for a free on-site demonstration and consultation on what you can be doing to lower your Canada geese population.

On-going Research Needed

Research has been proven that geese and their feces do carry diseases that are capable of infecting humans. But we must emphasize that the research is ongoing, and there are very few documented cases of the transmission of the diseases to humans. Nevertheless, the potential does exist, so we would urge you to practice safety measures when coming into contact with a high number of geese on your property. And check back with our blog as we provide updates.

Do Swans Help Get Rid of Geese?

If a picture were to tell a thousand words, then the answer is obviously no. Many properties place one or two swans in their lake in hopes that it would deter the Canada geese. Unfortunately, it is not a long term solution. It is true that swans can be aggressive, but this occurs most frequently during nesting season, and the swans are aggressive to anything they deem as a threat to their eggs, including humans.

We have seen geese numbers fluctuate when there are swans present. Initially, there is a slight drop in geese, and then the number bounces back up and the two types of birds live in harmony. In fact, having a swan only indicates to geese flying by that there is an abundant food source below.

Some of our clients enjoy the presence of swans on their property for their beauty. Our trained handlers and dogs will not direct their services towards a swan or duck, they target only Canada geese.

We target Canada geese because their numbers continue to grow each year, they become very aggressive, and they leave a big mess behind. For these reasons, Canada geese become a nuisance in urban environments. Our techniques are very humane and never harm the goose, yet remain the most effective tactic to control their populations.

If you would like more information, or are interested in a free demo, please contact us.