Fine Turgrass Management

Fine Turgrass Management

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG - Director of Agronomy

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Winged Rat

Also known as a Canadian Goose. Nearly driven to extinction at the beginning of the 1900's, efforts at reestablishment have been so successful that the current population is thriving. So much so that airplane passengers to property owners are crying fowl.

Canada Geese love open lawns because they can easily digest grass and they afford wide open vistas for the geese to see predators. Unfortunately this includes airports and golf courses. It is estimated that just under 3 million geese are 'harvested' by hunters every year but these flying rats are so prolific that it has done nothing to dent the population numbers.

Control? There are a few things you can try, but geese are very difficult to control.

The most effective method for us has been harassment. Using an air horn or loud noise maker (like a propane canon at airports) to scare the geese away seems to work if done consistently. If nothing else, is does provide some enjoyment. We also use a 'coyote decoy' to scare the geese, but it too needs to be moved regularly so the geese don't catch on to what you're doing. You can check out for a selection of bird decoys. Or Gemplers has a nice selection too.

We are permitted to destroy nests when they appear in the spring. Nest destruction is a necessity if you don't want the geese to return year after year. Barriers like fencing and screening are marginally effective as are chemical repellents. It is important to use a variety of methods; together they may reduce your goose nuisance, but most likely won't eliminate it.

But as Choo Choo Love says at "The lead goose is the conductor, his flock the orchestra. Together, they are a symphony of joy, a chorus for the ages."

So beautiful.

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