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Alligators are the largest reptiles on the North American continent. They are often mixed up for crocodiles, but they are very different. While the alligator can be found in most of the swampy southern states of the US, crocodiles are only found in Florida, and rarely, at that. The easiest way to tell whether it is a croc or a gator is to look at the snout; gators have a short fat snout and crocodiles have longer narrower snouts. Alligators are semi-aquatic meaning that they can go on land as well as in the water. There isn’t really a point in discussing what they look like, because if you have an alligator problem, you know what it looks like. However, what most people don’t know is that gators have a varied diet that may be attracting them to your yard. For example, gators subsist on many different animals such as rodents, fish, snakes, nutria, rabbits, birds, etc. and if you have any of these on your property, you are going to attract alligators.
How to Get Rid of Alligators - Alligators present a very big problem for some people. Usually gators want to leave you alone, but they find themselves in sticky situations when they take a dip into your pool or are sunbathing on your porch. Alligators are very dangerous (they can grow up to 13 feet and weigh more than 500 pounds) to you, your children and your family pets. Alligators are usually a nuisance when they wander into your yard where you don’t want them. Pools and small ponds are a popular place for alligators to hang out, or sometimes they can even get into your house if you should leave the door open. Word to the wise: don’t leave your door open in you live in an area that has gators. If you have a gator problem whether it is in your house, your pool or blocking the entrance in your house you should always follow these steps.
- Firstly, try to prevent yourself from ever having a gator problem by making your property unattractive to them. For example, a fence at the water line can keep them at bay. The presence of chickens or small pets on your property might attract them, but probably not. Still if there is no food, they are less likely to come around. You can also make your pool inaccessible by putting a pool cover or tarp on top of it so the gator can’t get in. You can also try alligator repellent.
- If you have done the necessary steps to prevent a gator problem, but still find one on your property do this. First, do not make an sudden movements or noises so you do not provoke them. Next, back away slowly taking long and steady strides backwards. Do not turn and bolt when you see one because it can chase you.
- Once you are at a safe distance call your local animal control office. If you do not have the number for the animal control office, call 911 and they will connect you to the animal control unit. Stay a safe distance away from the gator until the officer arrives and alert your next door neighbors.
- Here is a list of things that you should never do: Never feed the alligators as they will begin to associate you with food; never try to approach an alligator; never try to trap the alligator yourself as this is a very bad idea; never try to shoot them as it wouldn’t do any good anyways and it is illegal; never try to poison them; and never try to capture them in traps or snares.
- If you see a gator on your property, always call a professional to deal with it immediately.
More in-detail how-to alligator removal articles:
Information about alligator trapping
- analysis and methods for how to trap.
Information about how to kill a alligator
- with poison or other methods.
Information about how to keep alligators away
- prevention techniques.
Information about how to catch a alligator
- remove one stuck in the house.
Alligator Information & Facts
Alligators are large reptiles, growing to be as long as twelve feet and weighing as much as five hundred pounds. They have long, tapering heads, and jaws that contain close to eighty teeth. Alligators, despite the size or angle of their heads, can always be identified by the way their upper teeth lay outside of the lower teeth when the jaw is shut. Adult alligators can be dark green to gray with slightly lighter underbellies. Young of the species will have yellow bands on their scales that disappear as the alligator grows into adulthood. The head of the gator is made so the nose can be completely submerged, exposing only the eyes and the ears.
Alligator Habitat and Behavior:
Alligators live in warmer climates where water is available year round. In the United States, this region is known to stretch from Texas to Florida and up to South Carolina. These areas are not only warm, they have an abundance of vegetation and humidity, something other warm states, like Arizona, lack. In the areas suitable, alligators will live next to a body of water. They dig long burrows in the embankments for protection and comfort in cooler weather. Studies have shown that an alligator can tolerate temperatures down to forty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
Female alligators lay eggs in shallow nests created out of mud along the banks of a body of water. Once the eggs are in place, the adult will cover the area in a thick layer of debris. As this dead plant matter decomposes in the sun, it produces heat and warms the eggs beneath. Alligator eggs will develop based on the amount of heat present in the nest. Eggs in warmer nests will be male. After a two month incubation time, the baby alligators will hatch. The nearby mother will hear the sounds of her offspring and the dig them out of the mulch pile. Baby alligators stay with the mother for close to five months before they strike out on their own. During this time, they are seen as prey by many of the other creatures that share the waterways. Female alligators will only mate with males of equal or larger size to themselves. If the male is smaller, the female will likely kill him if he attempts to mate with her.
Large adults are often solitary, and both male and female alligators will defend prime territories. Smaller gators may group together—though they are not social—just tolerant of those with a similar build. Even in these groups, fighting is common.
This reptile is carnivorous and preys on aquatic animals. Turtles and fish make up a large part of the diet. Birds and other mammals foolish enough to step into the water will be snatched by the alligator. Land animals are dragged into the water and drowned before they are consumed. The alligator has no qualms about eating carrion, either.
Alligator Nuisance Concerns:
Alligators are dangerous. For this reason alone, they are considered problem animals. Small pets and children are no match for an alligator. If an easy food source is located, such as one in a private community, a gator may move in and create a lot of trouble. These animals are not nuisances because they ruin landscape; they are nuisances because they can kill a pet or a person.
Like any other reptile, alligators carry Salmonella. Getting this from a nuisance alligator would be very rare as direct contact is needed. The real issue with alligators is the fact they can cause severe physical damage to other living creatures.
This site is intended to provide alligator education and information, so that you can make an informed decision
if you need to deal with a alligator problem. This site provides many alligator control articles and strategies, if
you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many
cases of alligator removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts
listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance alligator.