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.

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.

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.

Damage caused by Canada geese at airports

Canada geese during migration season

Bird strikes are the greatest potential hazard to aircraft, especially during migration season.

Experts put the total losses for wildlife strikes at $625 million per year in direct damage and associated costs, and over 600,000 hours of aircraft downtime. In an industry that runs on razor thin margins at virtually every level, those losses could be crippling. Financial losses pale in comparison with the loss of life that occurs in some
wildlife strikes.

Bird strikes are the greatest potential hazard to aircraft because of their size, abundance, or habit of flying in dense flocks. This time of year, airplanes are at a much greater risk to bird strikes by Canada geese.

These bird strikes increase during the migration months of March, April, August, September, October and November. The altitudes of migrating Canada geese vary with winds aloft, weather fronts, terrain elevations, cloud conditions, and other environmental variables. While over 90% of reported bird strikes occur at or below 3,000 feet, strikes at higher altitudes are common during migration. Pilots are cautioned to minimize en route flying at lower altitudes during migration.

The US Department of Transportation reports the birds smack into American planes five times more often in 2012 than they did in 1990.

Reducing Bird Strike Risk

Pilots are encouraged to review their emergency procedures when operating from airports with known bird hazards or when operating near high bird concentrations (ie. major migratory flyways). The most serious strikes involve when a Canada goose is ingested into an engine and there is a sudden loss of power or engine failure or windshield strikes which result in pilot confusion, loss of communication or aircraft control problems. An experienced pilot will be able to avoid collision by climbing to higher altitudes and handle an emergency. Canada geese can be blamed for the “Miracle on the Hudson” crash outside New York City in January 2009, disaster was averted through the quick actions of the pilot.

It is also important for pilots to report bird strikes (http://wildlife.faa.gov). The data derived from these reports are used to develop standards to cope with this hazard and provide data for control efforts.

Ohio Geese Control helps airports develop a wildlife management plan which takes many factors into consideration including: public perception, cost and permits. Some methods that are involved in an overall plan include: removal, habitat modification, chemical repellents, audio/visual repellents, and trained border collies. The combination and timing of the tactics in the plan is key to lowering the geese populations in and around airports.

What a Joy!

Border collie named Joy

Let me introduce you to our newest border collie, Joy. And what a joy she is! She is 4 years old, and is extremely lovable. She loves to cuddle up on the couch as much as she loves to chase after the geese. She is strong, fast and is extremely intelligent.

Border collies are one of the smartest breeds, and ideal for chasing geese for Ohio Geese Control. Their wolf-like glare and crawl up abilities really instill the fear of a predator. Our dogs may look tough, but they will never harm a goose or gosling. In fact, our tactics of utilizing border collies to harass Canada geese are recommended by the Humane Society and the Department of Natural Resources. It is a very humane and natural way to allow people and Canada geese to coexist.