Most people living in southwest Florida came from somewhere else. Mostly, from northern locations in the U.S. Over the years a very common concern my customers express is about Alligators in the canals. This is a real concern and I can’t blame them as gators are pretty scary however not to worry.
First, our canal systems in Punta Gorda and most of Port Charlotte are saltwater. In fact, the water is normally very salty. Alligators are freshwater creatures and do not live in saltwater. With that said, your worries will hopefully go away. I have never heard of an incident in Punta Gorda involving gators in canals or even in the Peace River where they live. In fact, there are rope swings up in the Peace River where it is freshwater and kids swim and jump into the river all the time. Families beach their boat within sight of gators and never a problem.
For canals, gators don’t have a way to access the lawns of the properties. If a gator were to get in a canal they would have to exit the canal to rest. I have been told that the eyes of an alligator will cloud up if they stay in saltwater too long so they instinctively know that it is not the place for them.
The only exception I know of with gators in canals is in Port Charlotte where some canals are a long way from saltwater and have a freshwater influence at the top end. There you might find a gator or two but seldom do you hear of a problem. Gators are quite afraid of humans in nature. When you hear of gator attacks in Florida it is almost always when a gator is in a freshwater pond and people have been feeding them. Of course, this makes big news up north and the media has a field day and often does not present a true picture of what happened. None the less, you should not have concerns about gators when buying a waterfront home in our area.