Habitat Modification / Landscape Modification

Find out how landscaping can be a Goose deterrent...and prevent Geese from taking up residence on your property.

Designing your property or landscape to restrict access to the areas that attract geese to food and water is an effective way to deter geese. Control methods include:

                     Habitat or Landscape Modification and Stabilization of Shorelines

Canada Geese have excellent eyesight and because of this they avoid areas where the vegetation growth is dense and over 30 inches in height. Therefore, landscape can be strategically designed as a goose deterrent. This can play an important role in managing a Canada Goose problem.


Canada Goose problems:

Goose droppings affect lawns, golf courses, parks and other grassy areas where they congregate. Canada Geese graze mainly on grass and crops. They may cause significant damage to new grass found on golf courses, parks, lawns, and emerging crops during the summer months. An adult Canada Goose may defecate every 20 minutes and can produce as much as 1.5 pounds of feces daily. They are known to carry a significant number of diseases but only a few are of major concern to humans. In Illinois, the most common problem people experience is the contamination of lawns and recreational areas by goose feces. Generally, you can protect yourself from contamination by keeping your distance from the geese but if you have a compromised immune system you may want to take more precautions.

Goose/seagull droppings affect water quality: Canada Goose and gull droppings contain bacteria (fecal coliform) which negatively affects water quality.  Waterfowl fecal matter contributes to inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus or nutrient loading of fresh water lakes. The fecal matter can contribute to lake eutrophication which is the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen. “Excessive nutrient levels from nitrogen and phosphorous are the primary cause of water pollution. According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, “this type of pollution has impaired more than 3.8 million acres of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs nationwide.”  French and Parkhurst (2009) state “Where resident goose populations are sizeable (>100 birds), the continuous influx of nutrients contained in Canada Goose feces can contribute to the eutrophication of small water bodies, especially those that have restricted circulation and flow-through, which in turn may stimulate algae and weed growth.”


Here are some cost effective Goose deterrents for property and bodies of water:

Habitat modification

This involves physically altering the property to make it less attractive to Canada Geese. The basic principles of habitat modification include eliminating or modifying the landscape that offers geese easy access to food, water and protection from other animals.

Geese have a high feeding preference for Kentucky bluegrass, they dislike tall fescue, especially varieties that contain endophytic fungus, replacing lawns with unpalatable ground cover such as: common periwinkle, Japanese pachysandra, and English Ivy will help discourage them to stay off a property. Plant bushes, hedges, or shrubs to make the area appear unsafe to the geese. Canada Geese tend to avoid areas where predators are able to hide. There are many landscape professionals that now specialize in this kind of preventative landscape design.