Canada geese aren't always thought of as a pest, but when a flock of them decides to move into your backyard, your opinion of these animals will quickly change. Canada geese are a major nuisance for homeowners. Here are five things you need to know about them.
What do they look like?
Canada geese are very large birds. Their bodies range in size from 30 to 43 inches, while their wingspan can be anywhere from 4.2 to 5.6 feet. They have black heads and necks with white patches on their cheeks. The rest of their bodies can vary from light grey to dark brown.
Are they only found in Canada?
Despite their name, Canada geese are not only found in Canada. They live in Canada during the warm summer months, but in the winter, they fly south to the mid or southern United States. Some even travel as far as Mexico in search of warm weather.
Why are they pests?
Canada geese spend up to 12 hours a day gorging themselves on grasses and other plants. All of this eating has an unpleasant side effect: Canada geese produce a huge quantity of droppings. According to National Geographic, 50 of these geese can produce about 2.5 tons of droppings in a single year. These droppings can over-fertilize your lawn, coat your patio, and create a horrible stench in your backyard.
Are they dangerous?
Canada geese may look harmless, but their droppings can carry a lot of diseases that can hurt you and your family. Parasites like giardia, coliform, and campylobacter are often found in goose droppings. These are the same parasites that are responsible for food poisoning, so if you touch or inhale goose droppings, you can expect symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
Canada geese are quite aggressive during their nesting season, so try to avoid getting close to these birds if their chicks are nearby. They will charge you and peck at your legs with their beaks if they feel threatened.
Can you kill them?
Canada geese are a protected species under both state and federal law. In some states, they can be hunted, but only during open season by people with hunting licenses. This means that you're not allowed to shoot nuisance geese in your backyard. You need to use non-lethal methods to control these pests. You can do this by making your backyard less appealing to them with chemical repellents, barriers, or noise makers.
If you have a troublesome flock of Canada geese living in your backyard, try to get rid of them with non-lethal control methods. If they won't leave, call a wildlife control company to humanely trap and relocate them. For more information, contact Select Pest Control or a similar company.