Encourage Geese to Leave
Public areas must be protected from geese without harming the geese or exposing people to dangerous chemicals.
One effective deterrent, methyl anthranilate (MA), is a harmless grape food flavoring. MA consists of food-grade ingredients extracted from common sources such as concord grapes, neroli oil, acacia, and gardenia blossoms. Environmentally friendly, non-phytotoxic, and harmless to people and pets, MA is also very effective at deterring geese.
Two types of products use MA to deter Canada geese, one is applied directly to turf and the other is used in foggers and hazers. For both methods, the geese must directly contact the MA. Because geese are habitual birds, behavior modification is necessary to keep them away. For either product, four to six applications are needed before the geese learn that an area is not desirable. When new geese find the area, it will be necessary to repeat the application.
Designed specifically for geese, the turf-applied product must be eaten. A diluted solution sprayed directly onto turf makes the grass and turf less than appetizing, encouraging the geese to leave quickly. The first application can significantly reduce Canada goose populations, but for the most effective results it is best to reapply weekly for about four weeks. Grass length, mowing frequency, and heavy rains can influence reapplication time.
The other MA product, which is suspended in air with a fogging machine, irritates the birds' mucous membranes so they learn to stay away. This product can be used in thermal foggers (recommended) and ultra low volume cold fog generators.
In this method, the geese must come into contact with the fog while it is airborne. Once the fog dissipates, it becomes inert. Fogging works best when the geese are most active usually early mornings and dusk. The product also helps control other birds, such as pigeons, grackles, and starlings.
Cory Gellerstedt is co-president ofNixalite of America Inc., East Moline, Ill.