About Jeff Hower

I am the owner of Ohio Geese Control. I first started using border collies to get rid of geese as a golf course superintendent. It worked so well, that I made a business out of it. It is safe, humane and effective - the geese are never harmed. If you want more information on how to control your Canada geese populations, email me, questions[at]ohiogeesecontrol.com

Canada geese strike airplanes regularly

We have seen a lot of news recently about Canada geese hitting the engines of airplanes. Geese like large, open grassy areas, which make airports ideal settings to find large flocks of geese. Airports have been battling this problem for years, and many airports do have border collies to harass the geese on a regular basis, as it is the most effective solution.

Most modern engines are built to withstand 1 to 3 bird collisions, however, when you are dealing with large numbers and the large bodies of Canada geese, then you have a problem. According to Cleary, E. C., S. E. Wright, and R. A. Dolbeer. 1997. Wildlife
Strikes to Civil Aircraft in the United States, waterfowl accounted for 35% of all reported monetary losses resulting from wildlife strikes to U.S. civil aircraft. Geese and swans comprised 58% of all waterfowl involved in bird strikes.

As a result of the increasing numbers of geese living in urban landscapes, some major metropolitan areas in the pacific, upper Midwest, Northeast, and mid-Atlantic states are faced with the increasing challenge of balancing Canada goose use of urban sites with human needs. There is a huge debate in New York, as to what to do with the geese in a nearby wildlife sanctuary. Does the State have the right to cause harm to geese from a sanctuary because they are putting airplanes in jeopardy?

Is there a solution? The airport already implements harassment techniques, and some of the collisions with birds are happening at high altitudes away from the airport. Better bird detection devices on planes would certainly help, and controlling the geese population at the airport and the surrounding areas in a humane and effective fashion would also help. Instead of shooting the birds, which is highly controversial, the government should provide monetary support for implementing humane goose control methods in the surrounding areas.

Until a solid solution is found, it is imperative that airports use an integrated approach to managing their Canada geese population that entails many techniques including harassing, egg depredation, and utilizing a border collie to instill the fear of a predator on site.

Canada Geese Egg Depredation Tactics

Canada geese will typically lay 6-12 eggsOhio Geese Control works with the Division of Wildlife to ensure the overall population of Canada geese is in balance when implementing egg depredation. It is always necessary to implement other harassment techniques to try and remove the Canada geese naturally from a location before egg depredation is incorporated into your Canada geese control program.

If non-lethal tactics have been used in the past, without success, the Division of Wildlife may issue a lethal permit to allow the landowner to manage egg depredation.  These permits can only be used March 11 through August 31.

There are three ways to properly manage egg depredation:

  1. Oiling eggs prevents gases from diffusing through an egg’s outer membranes and pores in the shell, thereby causing the embryo to die of asphyxiation. Typically, the eggs are taken out of the nest, covered with an oily substance by brushing, dunking, or spraying, and then replaced in the nest.
  2. Addling (or shaking) involves vigorously shaking the eggs until sloshing is heard, thus destroying the embryo.
  3. Puncturing is done by pushing a thin, strong pin through the shell, which introduces bacteria. The pin can be rotated inside the egg to ensure that the embryo is destroyed. The eggs are treated and replaced so that the female goose continues to incubate in a futile attempt to hatch the eggs.

It is suggested that, in the interest of humane treatment, these techniques be performed as early in incubation as possible. If eggs are simply removed, geese generally re-nest and produce another clutch.

Ohio Geese Control will work with our clients when, proper permits are obtained, to manage and record eggs. If you need assistance with your Canada geese pest control methods, contact us for a free site visit at 1-877-91GEESE.

Geese arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska

The first geese of spring officially landed at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Alaska on April 9th and were greeted with a song.

Not everyone is displeased with the arrival of Canada geese on their property, especially in the wilds of Alaska. In fact, they are so happy for the sign of Spring after a long, dark winter, they greet them with a song.

Ohio Geese Control embraces nature and animals, and respects Canada geese and their habitat. We do everything we can to humanely migrate them out of urban areas, where conflicts with man exist. We work with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and only implement approved tactics.

We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

There’s a New Dog in Town

That’s right, a new dog named Joker has moved into the neighborhood. He’s not just any dog, but a working dog. He works for Ohio Geese Control to humanely manage the number of friendly waterfowl in the Toledo area. And he loves it! Joker is one of Ohio Geese Control’s top employees; he has spent the last six years reducing Canada goose numbers at a golf course.  Now he’s putting his talent to work in Toledo.

Joker’s job is to work with his human partner, Amy Hurst, visiting clients’ properties up to three times a day, every day in the Toledo, Ohio area. Frequent visits ensure that geese don’t pollute the neighborhood or become aggressive towards people during nesting season. He will chase the geese, but never harm them. His presence makes geese believe that there is a predator on site. The geese will ignore barking and random chasing by other dogs, but they’ll relocate when they see a collie trained for this work.

People like to see a few geese on a pond; they can be attractive and fun to watch. But two geese can easily turn into two hundred, and with big birds come big problems. One Canada goose produces 1 or 2 pounds of droppings every day, and that leaves quite a mess. Goose droppings not only limit people’s use of the outdoors, but can also pose a health risk and alter the ecology of ponds.

When Geese Attack

The Aggressive Nature of Canada Geese

Canada geese are very territorial in the Spring. When they are nesting or have goslings running about they become extremely aggressive if they think they are being threatened. Walk too close to their territory and they will charge. They do not stop until they feel there is no longer a threat. This should not be taken lightly, we have had reports of broken noses, broken ribs and even deaths caused by Canada geese attacks. One day you can be feeding the geese, and then find yourself being attacked walking to your car in the parking lot the next day. This behavior is showing up earlier this year with the warmer winter we have been having.

Also, it is important to note, that Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Act. It is against the law to bring harm to any Canada goose, gosling or egg. Which is why it is important to understand the behaviors of the geese and implement a program to help control the population in urban environments as early as possible in the Spring.

How do you stop a goose attack?

  1. Alert the public or local residents that they should not feed the geese. Do not let the geese become comfortable in your area or around people.
  2. Fence off any area the geese feel is their territory to limit the chance of interactions between the geese and the public
  3. If the geese have already nested and the nest is located in a very public spot, work with the Division of Wildlife to see if the nest can be moved.
  4. Start a Canada geese management program as early as possible in the Spring. It is important to get rid of the geese before they lay their eggs. Once they lay their eggs, they will not relocate. If you apply harassment techniques in February, you have a greater chance of success. If the geese have already laid their eggs, do not wait until next year to start your harassment program! Do not let them feel comfortable on your property, or the pair you have today will be a gaggle of geese next year with bigger problems.

Know a location in that is a hazard to the public due to the urban Canada geese population? Report it to Ohio Geese Control, and we will help resolve the issue proactively.

The Best Coyote Decoy…

The best coyote decoy is using a real trained border collie.

We constantly get asked about those fake coyotes, and if the decoy actually works to get rid of geese. And our answer is yes and no.

The purpose of the coyote decoy is to instill the fear of a predator at your location. The best way to instill the fear of a predator on site is to use a live, skilled border collie that has many similarities to a coyote. Their wolf-like glare, and crawl up motion make the geese think that they are a predator. Yet they are trained to work with their handler to chase the geese away, but never harm them.

Canada geese are intelligent animals. They can understand when a fake coyote is placed in their neighborhood, especially if the coyote is not moved constantly. They become use to it being there, just like humans do, and they understand it will cause them no harm.

We do, however, incorporate them when an integrated approach to Canada geese management is needed. They are effective when used in combination with the border collies. Especially in areas that are not conducive to the dog running around, like islands, rooftops, and particularly rough areas. The decoy alone will not be as effective, as when combined with the border collie. The coyote decoy must still be moved several times a day, and not be stagnate in one location. Using a fake coyote decoy by itself with no additional tactics will have limited success, and not be an effective long-term solution.

For more information about our Canada geese management programs, simple request a free site demo and we provide you some initial consultation to assist with you with lowering your Canada geese population.

Canada Geese are Back for Nesting Season

Spring is in the air in Northeast Ohio, and that means Canada geese are migrating back to the area for their nesting season. Although if you have resident geese on your property (geese that do not migrate in the winter), you have probably seen the geese beginning to pair up even earlier due to the mild winter we have been having.

It is important to start your Canada geese control program to get rid of the geese prior to nesting season. As soon as you see the first pair back, it is time to start a harassment program. Geese are creatures of habit, and will come back to the same location year after year for nesting. So what starts off as a lovely couple of Canada geese on your pond, quickly swells into 50 to 100. And with geese come geese droppings. Here are some tips you can take this spring to help alleviate the geese problems.

Do not feed the geese signageStep 1: Do not feed the geese. Feeding waterfowl and other birds is a popular pastime for many people, but it is also a major cause of high urban bird populations. Feeding waterfowl encourages them to congregate in an area and may make geese more aggressive toward people.It is also not healthy for the geese. Put up signs to educate and discourage feeding. Ohio Geese Control can supply your property with outdoor signs, just contact us.

Step 2: Modify landscape. People enjoy well manicured lawns, and unfortunately, so do the geese. Modifying the landscape around ponds and grassy areas can make the property less attractive to the geese. Limiting the use of fertilizer and watering less is a good start, but letting grassy areas grow up around the ponds and planting tall shrubs will make the geese feel less secure. Our experts at Ohio Geese Control, can provide you tips on landscape modification that can meet your properties needs.

Step 3: Begin harassment programs. It is important to start harassment programs as early as possible in the Spring, preferably February when the geese are just starting to pair up and migratory ones are coming back. Border collies are the most effective way to instill the fear of a predator at your location. You may combine this with other visual scare devices, but the skilled border collie will still have the biggest impact.

For more information and a free site visit for initial consultation and dog demonstration, contact us or call 1-877-914-3373. We want to create a healthier and happier environment by humanely managing migratory bird populations.