Watch CBS News

Brightwaters residents face fines for using string to keep Canada geese of their lawns

Canada goose population a major nuisance on Long Island
Canada goose population a major nuisance on Long Island 02:19

BRIGHTWATERS, N.Y. -- A Long Island village's explosive Canada goose population has residents trying a do-it-yourself approach to keep the birds - and droppings - off their lawns. 

But they could face fines for violating a village code. 

In the south shore village of Brightwaters, beautiful lake views come with a byproduct of living that close to nature: goose droppings - everywhere. 

"My wife and I were just chasing the geese off the lawn," said Joe Pers. "It was bad. I filled up a whole garbage can in about two weeks time."

Pers found his feathered neighbors overwhelming.

"I came home one day and found goose dropping on the welcome mat. So I said this is it, so now the droppings are going to get into the house and cause a bacterial virus," he said. 

So, Pers surrounded his lawn with a string fence. Eight other residents did the same.

Then, the village sent out summonses. The strings on village right-of-way property could be a tripping hazard and become unsightly. 

"Theses houses on the lake start at a million and a half dollars and up. If I have sloppy string, it just takes down the look of the area," said Mayor John Valdini. "We have a lot of joggers, walkers, kids. People walk their dogs there all the time and it could be a hazard." 

The mayor is asking residents to move the strings back, off village property, and reminding everyone the geese came first. 

"I agree that it's a mess, but it's always been a mess. The geese have been here for over 100 years," said Valdini. 

Pers pointed to other tripping hazards along the right of way and said he wants more done in New York to control Canada geese, deemed a nuisance by the State Department of Environmental Conversation. 

The village has tried just about everything. 

"They've used fake swans, but the geese laugh at them," said Valdini. 

Some resident just gave up. 

"You don't wear your shoes in the house," said Brian McCurdy. "I was the first person to do the strings, and they work and then the geese figure it out." 

It will be up to a judge on Feb. 8  to decide if the residents' string solution runs afoul of the village's law. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.