Goose Control Information

65% of Geese on most properties are “Resident Geese”, meaning they will not migrate, and a female goose may produce more than 50 young over her lifetime, so the population could double almost every year. No single technique, by itself, is 100% effective. Not even dogs or “Goose Roundups”. Since Geese live up to around 20 years, they may have been residing on your property longer than you have! Geese are herbivores and have a preference for grass shoots, aquatic vegetation, seed heads and various grains. Canadian Geese usually nest in March and April. Adult Canada Geese have very few predators, though racoons, skunks, fox, and crows sometimes prey on their eggs. So, our challenge is that we have to re-program the brains of these creatures so that they will seek food elsewhere and feel uncomfortable on your property. There may be 50 to several hundred geese on your lake and surrounding properties! As different “pods” or mini flocks of Geese move around your lake, each Goose in each “pod” must learn that your property is NOT an inviting place to be. While this takes time, it offers the added benefit of gaining the desired level of control without completely vanquishing them all together from our parks. Geese are creatures of habit and “own” the property on which they were born and raised. This behavior is the source of the “Resident Goose” population and requires a “Re-Education Process” for problem Geese. The attachment of the Geese to their “property” is a very powerful force and requires a considerable effort to overcome and retrain. Geese may have been occupying a property for several decades and will require a long-term concerted effort to re-orient them. Patience is the key, as several applications over several months will be required to teach the Goose that their long time “Home” is no longer desirable. The bottom line is patience. Allow time for the Goose’s brain to be re-programmed.

Goose Attacks

Breeding instinct is among the strongest drives of animal behavior. Geese usually start choosing mates and selecting a territory for nesting in late February to early March. Females lay eggs March to Mid-May, and incubation begins as soon as all eggs are laid. During the nesting season, the gander (male goose) has the job of defending the female, the nesting territory and eggs. If any intruder enters the territory, the gander will usually give a warning call before chasing it away. Some geese can be very aggressive and will only stop their attack when an intruder has left or the goose’s life is threatened.

  • Pay attention to actions of the male goose when you enter his territory. If he sounds a warning, the is your signal to leave the area.
  • Show no fear. Geese are particularly attuned to body language and show of fear may increase their intensity.
    Maintain eye contact. Geese have excellent vision and interpret loss of eye contact as an act of fear.
  • Stay calm. Don’t yell or try to hit the male goose. The female may join the attack and then you will be in real trouble.
    Keep your body facing directly toward the goose. Never turn your back on an attacking goose.
  • Walk slowly backwards if the goose hisses at you or spreads its wings.
    Use your peripheral vision to avoid tripping over obstacles.
  • Continue facing the goose and back down slowly away at a 90-degree angle from the goose if he flies up at your face.
Swimmer's Itch

I have been swimming in Michigan lakes since my dad placed me (or he may have thrown me) in the lake at the age of 2 off the pontoon and said “swim”! I have never gotten swimmer’s itch but after reading up on this I thought it may be a good article since we are coming up soon on our beautiful summer months on the lake!
Mayo Clinic states that swimmer’s itch is an itchy rash that can occur after you go swimming or wading outdoors. This is also known as cercarial dermatitis. It is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds, but can occasionally occur in salt water.

Swimmer’s itch is an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites that burrow into your skin. Although this can be uncomfortable, it is usually short-lived. The rash clears up on its own within a few days.

The cause? The parasites live in the blood of waterfowl and in animals that live near ponds and lakes, for example: geese, ducks, beavers, gulls and muskrats.

Tips to prevent:

DON’T FEED THE DUCKS!! Busy beaches commonly have a high population of ducks especially merganser ducks. The parasite eggs are returned to the water in the duck feces thereby repeating the life cycle.

Towel off – Kids are most susceptible to swimmer’s itch as they tend to spend long amounts of time in shallow water and air dry. Try to towel off aggressively after each swim.

Protect your skin with sunblock- this creates a barrier to help prevent the parasites from burrowing into the skin.

Do NOT sweep feces from geese or ducks in the lake!

Let’s have a great time on our lakes and stay safe!!!

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