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Alligators are usually classified as a pest species due to people's fear of this animal. The most common complaints include the following:
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First off, I want to say that the most dangerous time of year for alligator attacks is in spring, during the mating and nesting season, with the peak time of danger the months of April and May. This, of course, applies to states that support alligator populations, most notably Florida and Louisiana.
How to Get Rid of Alligators - If you’re concerned about a problem alligator, hopefully you haven’t already been the victim of its predation in one way or another. Alligators are very dangerous to pets and people, and if one of these reptiles has decided to live near your home, you have every right to be concerned. Alligators don’t damage property on a regular basis, though they do come into yards and homes, especially if there is an alluring in-ground pool or decorative pond. An alligator wants to live near the water and wants to be able to bask in the rays of the sun—something that makes pool and patio combination ideal. If you live in gator country, you should be very aware of your surroundings. If you live near a natural body of water, be concerned about alligators. It doesn’t take much for these large reptiles to live a river and mosey up into a yard. It can be the draw of a pet or just casual curiosity. Whatever the reason, people in the southern states frequently find gators in their yards.
If you reside in an area of the country which has alligators and live near a natural waterway or canal, consider fencing in your property. Though large, gators are not inclined to bully their way through barriers, and a solid fence can eliminate the visual temptation of a pool or pack of tiny pet dogs. The barrier does not have to be tall. Gators are not of ample height and a sturdy stone fence can be enough to keep them at bay. If your yard is too large to fence in, you should practice good sense and not leave pets outside or children unattended. It is not necessarily that a gator will come into your yard, but children and pets may wander down to the water where an alligator is camouflaged and waiting.
There are no working deterrents on the market for gators. No decoy made by man will intimidate one of these creatures, and chemical deterrents are ineffectual against this carnivore. At the top of the food chain, an alligator is almost fearless. If you are unfortunate enough to have one or more of these animals on your property, the reality of the situation is that there is not much you can do without professional help.
Make no mistake: At any age, alligators can be dangerous and incredibly strong. Do not try to shoot the alligator. Antagonizing the creature unduly can result in harm to yourself or others. Many people are doubtful of a gator’s agility on land, but they move fast, and can retaliate before you know what’s happening. Get away from the alligator and wait for help to arrive.
A trained professional, licensed by the state, will remove the animal. Most professionals operate in teams. Trapped alligators can be vicious and can kill a person even through the trap. Once the reptile is secured, one or more trappers will keep it held while someone manages to slip a noose around the snout. Controlling a gator’s mouth is one of the most important parts of trapping. The next most important part is blindfolding. By removing the visual stimuli, the alligator will calm down, though rarely to a point of complete safety. Once unable to see or bite, the animal’s legs will be secured. Smaller gators may be trapped using cages, but due to their extreme strength, this method is not always applicable. Most alligators under four feet long are relocated; those that are larger are humanely killed. The meat is and hides are sold. Surprisingly, the revenue generated by this process reaches into the millions.
If you’ve had an alligator in your yard once, you can assume you might have one again. Take preventative action and do what you can to make your home and yard unappealing. Because of the constant encroachment of mankind’s civilization into the wild, we can assume that human and alligator interactions will only increase as the years go by.
ALLIGATOR BIOLOGY & INFORMATION
The alligator is a unique species because they are only to two parts of the world; China and North America. Sometimes called a living fossil, the alligator is thought to have lived the last 200 million years without any major changes to their genetics/appearance. The areas in which alligators are prevalent in America include areas in the South. It is not uncommon to see alligators lounging about by the side of a lake or swimming in your pool in places like Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Alabama. In these states it is absolutely forbidden to feed or approach the alligators in any way to prevent them from associating humans with food.
Alligators are often mistaken for crocodiles, which do live in America, but are a completely different species. The most noticeable difference between the alligator and the crocodile is that the crocodile has a longer more narrow snout whereas the alligator has a shorter and fatter snout. The American Alligator can grow to be very large, topping out at about 15 feet and the average weight of a full grown adult is anywhere between 800 and 1,000 pounds. Alligators are mainly grey and brown colored but can also be albino. Alligators have 75 razor sharp teeth and are known for the incredible bite force in their jaws. The average life span of an alligator is unknown, but many of them live to be over 70 years old as long as there is food available and they can manage to keep out of hunter’s snares.
While alligators have become a normal lawn ornament for those living in the south, their usual habitats are near freshwater bodies. These bodies of water include lakes, swamps, rivers, ponds, marshes and the occasional swimming pool. Alligators prefer to live in these areas because their common prey lives in these areas also. The diet of an alligator is carnivorous and it likes to eats animals such as frogs, lizards, fish and turtles and will then start to eat larger prey like dogs, cats and deer once they become adults. Alligators do not purposely attack humans to eat them, the only time that an alligator will take charge is when they feel provoked or their nest is being threatened. In fact, alligators would be considered an apex predator if it were not for humans hunting them for their skin and their meat.
Alligators rely solely on their powerful jaws and sharp teeth to kill their prey in one bite. If they cannot tear of a hunk of meat in a single bite, they will resort to latching onto their prey and rolling to tear it off. This is commonly referred to the death roll as it is a death sentence for anyone who gets caught up in the alligator’s powerful grip. However, even though an alligator’s jaws are very powerful, the upper part up their jaw is extremely weak and can be easily held shut by hands or tape.
Alligators mate in the spring and the female with being building her nest in the height of summer so that the eggs have the most heat available to them as possible. The sex of the baby alligators depends on how hot the nest is; hotter nests have more males and cooler nests will yield more females. The normal incubation period is two to three weeks when the babies will claw and bite the way out of their eggs. The young will be dependent on the mother in providing food and safety from adult male alligators for an entire year before they are ready to live on their own. Adult male alligators are much more solitary than female alligators. However, smaller alligators will tolerate each other’s presence for protection and hunting whether they are male or female.
Visit my how to keep alligators away page for prevention tips.