Why Do Alligators Like Ponds?
Across the Southeastern U.S., alligators live in bodies of fresh water like lakes, rivers, marshes, and swamps. However, as residential neighborhoods overrun their natural habitat, the pests have adapted and made homes in manmade reservoirs, canals, and especially backyard ponds. The banks of ponds are ideal for basking in the sunlight and often contain attractive food sources such as fish, turtles, ducks, and snakes.
Damage & Dangers
While alligators don't specifically hunt humans, approaching the pests or their nests can make them violent. Their strong jaws and sharp teeth can do serious damage. Common injuries include torn flesh, puncture wounds, and broken limbs. Household pets and children face the most risk. Additionally, though harm to property is rare, alligators can dig winter burrows into levees, retention ponds, and ditches.
Prevention & Removal
It's illegal in many states to kill, harm, or harass alligators, so property owners should focus on prevention. People can make their ponds less inviting by removing thick plants and limiting access to food. Concrete or wood barriers at least three feet high can be set around ponds for more security, as well. If residents encounter infestations of alligators in ponds, they should call wildlife specialists to handle removal.