Geese In Parking Lots
Many property owners are surprised to find geese taking up residence in their parking lots, and often in the middle of busy shopping centers or office complexes, sometimes even right next to a busy street or intersection. Many times, geese are killed or fender benders occur because of where they make their nests. They can also be a hazard for parking lot users - aggressively defending their mates and family, and producing droppings that can create a slippery surface. There are things that can be done to when geese start to take over your parking lot, we know what to do and we can help.
Attractions & Hazards
Geese become a problem when they take over parking lots, their droppings create a slippery mess and they can also be quite aggressive - and your patrons will not be happy when they get attacked.
Geese mate for life and they protect one another with their lives too. The horn on their leg looks harmless, but can cut deep. If you infringe on them too much they will become annoyed or feel threatened and may attack.
Canada geese love parking lot grassy areas because they get the three things they are looking for there - food, water and shelter.
Front Of A No Parking Sign
Store patrons, and owners often feed the geese because "they are so beautiful". They typically feed them white bread which can cause metabolic bone disorder, which retards growth and weakens bones, eventually giving them a shorter, less healthy life because of lack of nutrition. If you did not know any better and you were offered chocolate everyday vs. healthy food, you would eat it until your health declined, and at that point you may not know the difference and the damage would already be done.
If you feed them, they will come. A no-feeding the waterfowl or wildlife policy may be a good idea at your workplace. If Florida's Canada Goose problems continue to grow, we may soon see policy changes that may emulate New York's goose control guidelines where geese are often rounded up in temporary pens, placed into large box trucks and CO2 tanks are opened up to euthanize and kill them, after which they are taken to a landfill. If you love the geese, please do not feed them in inappropriate places, and if you insist on feeding them, feed them proper grains vs. white bread.
Canada geese don't need a pond or swimming pool to be attracted to an area. Swimming is not an essential need for geese, so a pond is not necessary to tempt them to take up residence in a parking lot. Puddles provide the water they need, as do patrons who provide water bowls. In the photo just below, these geese are ready to defend the one small puddle they've found in a shopping mall parking lot.
Vehicle As They Attempt To Protect
Their Parking Lot Water Source
The slightly raised grass islands found in parking lots provide a great vantage point for geese to see predators coming from far, far away.
Most parking areas are plentiful in landscaping ideal for nesting, and geese are quick to take advantage of them.
In short, do not ignore a goose in a parking lot. The best time to avoid geese problems is before they nest and lay eggs. Geese prefer to return to the same place each year to nest. It is important to act now.
One solution is to remove and destroy eggs and the nest they are in. But, if you remove the nest and eggs, legally, they must be destroyed vs. incubated. And in many cases, if you remove the eggs, they will lay more.
When geese lay eggs in front of a store, many times this places the geese and store patrons in immediate danger. In this scenario, many times nest and egg removal is the safest choice. The goose will likely make another nest, but hopefully in a less inconvenient location somewhere else in the parking lot. That new nest will need monitoring so the eggs can be addled in order to avoid goslings being hit by cars. Temporary goose protective fences can be erected around their new nest to avoid car wrecks, goose and patron injuries.
Another solution is to "fake the geese out". Addling the eggs or using egg decoys (using fake eggs or oiling goose eggs to stop embryo development) allows the goose to continue to think she is incubating the eggs and therefore no more are laid. You can learn more about Egg Addling at the HumaneSociety.org website.
Moral and ethical questions come up each time goose control, or goose egg removal and addling work is done. There are several things to consider. If eggs are to be addled or destroyed, you must consider the embryo inside the shell. How old is the unborn gosling? Is it better to destroy the egg now vs. allowing the gosling to get hit by a car? Do you want to retain your existing geese but not encourage more to hatch? A float test should be done in order to tell the age of each egg. If the egg floats to the top of a bucket of water, there is a viable embryo inside. It floats to the top because of the developed air sack inside. Each client may make a different decision in regards to what they want done with a floating or developed egg.
Discourage Feeding The Geese
Patrons love to feed geese, but not only is it bad for the geese, it can also contribute to giving the geese a reason to stick around.
If geese are nesting in your parking lot every year, our 18"x24" aluminum signs can potentially save your property thousands of dollars and avoid injuries, lawsuits and squished goslings.
1242 SW Pine Island Rd., Suite 310
Cape Coral, Florida 33991-2126