In The News
|City hoping to shoo away geese with devices|
Saturday, January 12, 2013
By Mark Brasfield | Courier News
Blytheville Parks and Recreation director Elroy Brown holds an "Away With Geese"
unit that will be put in the Walker Park pond (also pictured) next week.
Blytheville Parks and Recreation director Elroy Brown believes the city has found an effective, humane way of eliminating the geese at the Walker Park pond.
The city plans to install two devices called "Away With Geese" at the pond next week.
According to Brown, the units are solar-powered and emit an amber colored light that disrupts the sleeping pattern of geese and ultimately encourages them to move to a new location.
He added the device will also keep geese from congregating during molting season, migration and other times of the year with a single unit protecting a four-acre area.
"It protects the property continuously each night with no maintenance," Brown said. "There is simply no other method available that measures up in effectiveness, safety, cost or reliability. This is a long-term solution."
He said the city will keep an eye on the Blytheville Youth Sportsplex and Thunder Bayou Golf Links, and if the geese migrate, there the city may put devices there as well.
Brown said the city has been working with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to come up with a plan to control the geese population at the Walker Park pond.
"Away With Geese is the most effective, humane and environmentally friendly way to eliminate our geese population," he said, noting they cost about $369 each.
According to its website, the light Away With Geese emits is not annoying to people.
"The light emits about as much light as a 100-watt bulb," the site says. "This is hardly noticeable to people at any time, especially during the day. However, it is extremely unnerving to geese, as the geese are very critical about their nesting areas and choose to not reside by a consistent annoyance. Otherwise, the device is hardly noticeable to people at all; the base and housing are simple, black, and blend in very well in the natural environment."
CUMBERLAND - They've been a source of complaints for years, have damaged untold athletic fields and lawns, and their droppings are creating health hazards.
Canadian geese - or more accurately, Canada geese.
You've seen them congregating in open fields wherever there is a nearby pond. They spend their days eating grass, uprooting shoreline plants, and making biological deposits.
But it's their nighttime habit that local authorities are hopeful they can interrupt and make them fly elsewhere.
Recreation Director Michael Crawley said the town has contracted with Environmental Health Services Inc., and has acquired a floating device that has been placed in the pond at Tucker Field, one of the favorite roosting and nesting spots for the pest birds.
George Williams of Cumberland, staff entomologist for the Norwood, Mass., based Environmental Health Services Inc., said that the device, costing $350, is a solar-powered unit that simply floats around in the pond flashing a 100-watt bulb.
"Geese spend their days eating, with every one eating four pounds of grass each day - and discharging three pounds," said Williams. "But at night, the geese sleep on the pond because they've learned that they're protected from predators if they're on the water."
The flashing device is designed to disrupt the geese just enough to make them uncomfortable, and the end result, according to studies, is that they will fly to another location.
Using a rowboat borrowed from the town Water Department, Crawley and Williams last Friday broke through the ice at the Tucker Field pond just enough to reach close to the middle, where the device was put in place. It floats, and is anchored by a cinderblock.
Crawley said that the town and other agencies have tried to discourage the geese by using chemical sprays that make grass distasteful, and that has proven to be successful, but only for short periods of time.
"The first time it rains, the chemical washes away and you either have to spray again, or they just come right back," said Crawley. "I've gotten numerous complaints about the condition of the fields at Tucker because of these birds. It's filthy and a health hazard so we're trying to eradicate them in an ecologically friendly manner and hope to resolve our problem."
In both Lincoln and Cumberland, the birds have created problems with their droppings, and officials in both communities have unsuccessfully tried other remedies, like placing wooden outlines of coyotes on their fields. The birds quickly found that those were not a threat to them and basically ignored them after a few days.
"This device won't harm the birds, is maintenance-free and can be used all year long, even when the pond freezes over," said Williams. "Actually, this is a good time to place it in the pond because the geese have already begun to stake out their nesting locations for spring."
Because Canada geese are a protected species, they cannot be hunted except with special permits, and there are few natural predators, like coyotes. The result is that the geese have become prolific throughout not only New England, but throughout the Atlantic seaboard, from Florida north.
"A lot of people, maybe because they are Canada geese, think that the birds migrate, but they don't," said Williams. "The geese that we see here are with us all year long, and they make a mess."
|Tool to scatter geese gaining sales|
By John Eckberg • email@example.com • July 3, 2009 • The Cincinnati Enquirer
Away With Geese, a start-up founded four years ago in the garage of a Sayler Park entrepreneur to create a product that repels geese, found its wings in 2009.
Plenty of changes have come to this small company of three employees with sales across North America:
A new home in a former brake manufacturing plant in Sayler Park.
A distribution deal with the nation's top golf course product company.
Exploding revenues from a redesign that is effective even on dim days and darkest winter nights. The winter sun would not rise high enough on some days to fully charge the unit so some winter nights it went dark.
A new bat house initiative at $70 each named - what else? - Awaywithmosquitoes.
This year already our revenues are up 230 percent over 2008," said Tom Wells, 61, founder.
Away with Geese president Thomas R. Wells, right and his son, Jason T. Wells, VP of Manufacturing, pose with their company's anti-goose device..
|Though he would not disclose revenues, Wells said deals with Par Aide, a golf course supply company in Lino Lakes, Minn., and a catalog by Halford's, an outdoor gear company in Edmonton, Alberta, helped bring the dramatic increase. Each patent-protected anti-goose unit sells for $349.|
Away With Geese is a floating (or land-based) solar-powered LED light that is anchored in a bay of a lake or the center of a smaller pond, and flashes a yellow beacon nightly right at goose-eye level.
Because geese need water to protect themselves from becoming a snack for dogs, coyotes and other predators, they head for ponds at night - unless the pond has an Away With Geese gadget. If that's the case, they hate the light and will leave the lake for another.
"At nighttime, Away with Geese has proved itself," said Michael Von Kaitz, a certified goose management professional through Canada's National Goose Management Training Society and founder of The Wildlife Management Group. Von Kaitz relies on Away With Geese.
"There's a pond at the University of Guelph (in Ontario) and three years ago we did a census - 1,000 geese," he said. "Last year there were 300 geese. We put five units in the pond. Today it's fewer than 20."
Why bother to repel geese? It has to do with waste - four pounds per bird per day.
Figure 6 million ponds in the United States, according to estimates from Pond Boss magazine, and if each has a dozen geese. That's a lot of goose droppings.
Communities with lakes used for drinking water that also have a large goose population must spend more on chemicals to guarantee purity.
But if you get rid of the geese, you get rid of that mess and expense.
"Up near Saratoga Springs (N.Y.), there was a five-mile long lake that had 5,000 geese. They put in 20 units - the geese are gone," Wells said.
Son Jason Wells, 33, vice president of manufacturing, demonstrated how the redesigned land-based light, which has a larger photo-voltaic cell, can be effectively broken down and snuggly placed in a newly designed container.
A wooden dowel, black plastic pole about 15 inches high, yellow light fixture has been redesigned to blast in a 360 degree radius with a photovoltaic cell on top and an eight-inch spike for the land-based unit.
The floating version is weighted with gravel to keep it upright and anchored to the lake bed. And while earlier versions had a few dark nights in the winter, because the sun dipped too low to charge the unit, these versions work 365 days a year.
Revenues from sales have trickled down to other companies in the region: Teamwork Solutions, which created a new Web site; Parnell's Hardware in Sayler Park, which has provided materials for the lights; and Custom Wood Turning, which has also created parts for the units.
Jason is also charged up about the potential for the bat houses. This is a company with vertical integration: where there's water, there's geese, and where there's water, there's mosquitoes. A Delhi Township woodworker makes the bat houses from cedar.
"A bat will eat up to 3,000 insects a night - about 1,000 of them are mosquitoes," Jason said. "We think this is going to be a real hit, too."
More information is available at www.awaywithgeese.com and www.awaywithmosquitoes.com
Solar-Powered Light Keeps Geese Away
|A flashing light bar designed for police cars|
gave Tom Wells an idea for an invention to
deter geese. When a friend asked him to help
get rid of geese on his ponds, he remembered
getting a headache from the annoying light
when he was exposed to one for several days
at a trade show.
He experimented with lights, flashing patterns
and colors to come up with a solar-powered,
flashing amber LED light that really
“It looks like someone lighting a cigarette
on the pond. It doesn’t give off a bad light to
humans, but geese have sensitive eyesight,”
Wells says. “They can’t sleep with it so they
move to find a new pond.”
The 4-in. dia. by 5-in. tall lights mount on
a poly pipe that can be placed on land or
floated on water. The height is specifically
designed so the light hits birds directly in the
eyes. The solar collector powers the light for
up to six days without sun.
Wells founded Away With Geese in 2006
and has sold more than 3,000 of the solar units
to people who live near ponds and lakes, and
also to golf courses, RV parks and other developed
areas. It takes about two weeks to
irritate geese enough to make them move,
Wells says. The only exception is a goose
with young goslings. She will stick around
until her babies can fly.
|Solar-powered light mounts on a poly pipe that floats on water or can be buried on land.|
With the help of Google Earth maps, Wells
helps customers place the light where it will
do the most good. Geese generally prefer
coves and offsets.
Wells warranties his $349 units for two
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom
Wells, Away With Geese, 7200 Overcliff Rd.,
Cincinnati, Ohio 45233 (ph 513 941-6730;
1-800-834-9665 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.farmshow.com• vol. 33, no. 3 • FARM SHOW • 35