Finding ways of getting rid of geese on your lawn can become an unhappy pastime. Most likely they are Canada geese—the handsome brown kind with black necks and heads—the most common species of goose in North America. Although they look magnificent flying in V-shaped wedges across the sky and are cute sashaying across the lawn, the abundance of gooey, grassy droppings they leave behind is yucky.
But before attempting desperate measures to encourage their departure, consider that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act federally protects Canada geese. It is even illegal to move their eggs or otherwise tamper with their nests. Although not failsafe, here are some legal and non-lethal ways to minimize foul visits from these fowl friends.
Canada geese are herbivores that eat grasses, roots, tubers, seeds, grains, nuts and algae. Don't feed them bread and other human foods, because it may adversely affect their health. It also makes them hang around for more easy pickings.
Some municipalities strategically place cutouts of coyotes in parks to discourage Canada geese from landing. The How to Get Rid of Stuff website notes that in addition to predator decoys, including plastic crocodile heads, fake swans will cause Canada geese to fly away. They know that swans are extremely territorial. Move the decoys around the property daily so Canada geese don't catch on to their harmless nature.
Although homeowners certainly are known to flap their arms and go running after geese, a more effective method for chasing them away is to give the job to a large dog, such as a Labrador retriever. However, stick around to supervise, because it is illegal to let your dog bite or kill a Canada goose.
Consider changing your home's landscaping to break up open expanses of grass. This can be done by dividing the yard with low shrubs or removing part of the grass for a drought resistant xeriscapic garden. If there is a pond in the yard, plant tall grasses around it to obscure the geese's view of the yard. Similar to most birds, Canada geese aren't comfortable when in a place where it is hard to watch for predators.
There is a number of sound, light and water devices for sale that create conditions repellant to Canada geese. Recordings of geese squawking distress signals can send them flying. If they are sleeping in your pond, it may be worth investing in a floating light that flashes on and off during the night. Canada geese don't like to have their rest disturbed. Motion sensors can be attached to the sprinkler system to make it squirt anything moving. Disable the sensor when you are working in the yard. Also, tell neighbors if you are using any of these interventions, especially distress recordings. Another possibility is to apply non-toxic chemical repellants to grass to make it taste bad to geese.
One clever homeowner invented a goose-be-gone contraption involving plastic grocery bags attached to cord strung between wooden stakes placed across the front yard. The bags spook geese by billowing in the breeze.