Alligator Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Overview of Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Habitat Modification

Eliminate wetlands to eradicate alligators. They depend on water for cover, food, and temperature regulation. Most wetland modifications are unlawful and can be detrimental to other wildlife. Check with appropriate conservation authorities before modifying wetlands.  

Eliminate emergent vegetation to reduce cover and densities of alligators. Ensure trails are constructed at least 15 feet from the edge of water. Keep vegetation cut along trails.  

Exclusion

Alligators are most dangerous in water or at the edge of water. They occasionally make forays over land in search of new habitat, mates, or prey. Concrete or wooden bulkheads that are a minimum of 3 feet above the high water mark will exclude alligators along waterways and lakes.  

Alligators have been documented climbing 5-foot chain-link fences to get at dogs. Angle the top of a fence outward to prevent climbing. All fences should be made with 4-inch mesh, with 2 feet buried into the soil. Alligators have difficulty digging in firm, dry soil but they easily excavate soil that is mucky.  

Frightening

Aversive conditioning and rough handling of captured alligators have been attempted in several areas with limited success. Pressure from hunting appears to be the most effective way to increase wariness of alligators and may be responsible for reducing attacks by alligators in Florida, despite increasing populations of both humans and alligators. The low rate of attack in Louisiana is attributed to a history of intense hunting.  

Repellents

No repellents are registered for the control of alligators. 

Toxicants

No toxicants are registered for the control of alligators. 

Shooting

Alligators can be shot during night or day. They should be shot in the brain with a .243 caliber rifle or larger. Great care must be used while shooting over water because of the risk of ricochet. Alligators in water sink almost immediately when shot, which makes them difficult to recover by gaff or snatch hooks, especially in current or heavy vegetation. 

Trapping

  • Cage traps
  • Snares