It may be hard to believe, but back-to-school season is almost upon us. Here in the Midwest, a nip will soon return to the air, and schools and colleges will welcome students back to campus.
Unfortunately, students and staff won’t be the only ones milling around. They will, doubtlessly, be joined by gaggles of Canada geese.
With summer molting season coming to a close, and fall migration just around the corner, geese will spend the coming months continuing to seek out peaceful spots where they can find food and shelter. Schools’ playgrounds, lawns and open fields – typically landscaped with short grass and shady trees – frequently fit the bill.
But, when geese settle into areas designed to accommodate recess-goers, training athletes, and wandering students, the results are often less than ideal. The birds – and their droppings – can pose hazards to students and threaten the success of the school year.
Why Keep Geese off School Grounds
Manicured school grounds are a near perfect habitat for pre-migratory geese: in addition to being a plentiful source of food, the grounds’ short grasses provide geese with the visibility needed to spot potential predators.
As winters continue to stay warmer than usual in the Midwest, campuses remain attractive to geese deeper into the season. Some birds even delay migration to enjoy the late-season availability of food and (often) water found on school grounds.
When geese prolong their stays on campus, the problems they cause accumulate – especially when it comes to poop.
A single goose can produce over two pounds of droppings per day. When an entire gaggle of geese hangs around campus for months, their waste piles up on playgrounds, athletic fields, parking lots, walkways and entranceways.
Beyond being unsightly, goose poop can pose some major health and safety hazards to students.
Droppings can stick to shoes and lead to falls. When students play on playgrounds or train on fields covered in goose poop, they can be exposed to bacteria that harbors diseases including salmonella, E. coli, listeria and bird flu.
Waste aside, geese are known to display aggressive and territorial behavior around humans. Their aggression is be especially problematic around young children – who can be easily knocked over or injured.
How to Keep Campus Geese-Free
Luckily, a number of control strategies can help keep geese off of school grounds.
Dog services are one of the most effective solutions. During this daily service, trained border collies stalk and chase geese. The dogs do not harm the geese, but their persistent harassment teaches birds that the targeted area is unsafe.
Other proven solutions include landscape modification and the application of Flight Control, which deters geese from eating grass.
Control Geese with Migratory Bird Management
If your campus or school struggles to control geese, Migratory Bird Management can help.
With years of experience employing biology-based, humane, and proven strategic control solutions to deter geese and other birds, our team can help banish geese from your school grounds before students return.
For more information or to schedule a site evaluation, speak to an expert today.