When you find a gator in the house and have a mop handy, there’s only one thing to do
The Swiffer floor mopping product promises to “Trap + Lock” on its packaging. But we bet Procter & Gamble never envisioned the wet mops could be used for alligator removal.
But that’s apparently what happened in Tampa on Sunday for Realtor Sazan Powers and her neighbor Erika Venza.
In her profession, Powers helps people move in. This time, she helped a Florida critter move out.
On April 11, Powers posted a Facebook Live video, marked it “gator shenanigans” and has seen the thing go viral.
But the baby gator — about two feet in length according to a report in WKMG Click Orlando — gave that Swiffer “Trap + Lock” promise some challenge.
For nearly 20 minutes the pair plotted ways to get the alligator from the house, where it had wandered in through an open sliding glass door. They wanted it to go out to the backyard, where it was pouring.
You’d think the little gator would have preferred the wet grass outside and the nearby pond to the wet mop Powers was wielding while streaming her video, but gators have their own minds.
“I don’t want to hurt it,” Powers says as she nudges the mop closer to the intruder who was, by now, in a corner and hissing and biting at the nagging Swiffer mop handle.
“It’s so cute,” Powers says at one point in the video. The gator didn’t take to flattery. Hiss, it responded.
Coaxing wasn’t helping too much, either. “Keep moving, bro” didn’t seem to faze the four-legged Sunshine State resident.
At some point, both women perched on a table, armed with a phone with a trapper on the other end and a mop handle in the other hand, finally coaxed the gator out of the house. The relieved pair watch the alligator wander out into the rain, and head toward the pond.
“Welcome to Florida,” the women say in the video clip after the ordeal — addressing the gator or their viewers.
“They should be glad that the mother did not come to look for him,” someone posted on the Facebook post’s thread Thursday.
Gators are in the “courtship season” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The period starts in early April, with mating generally happening in May and June. So encounters between people and wandering alligators tend to be common at this time of year.
Not surprisingly, Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing reported “Tampa’s horny gators have arrived” on April 8 when recalling how Fish and Wildlife trappers had to remove a 10-foot, 2-inch beast from under a car in a Tampa apartment complex parking lot on March 31.
That one must have wanted to get a jump start on the season.
As for Swiffer, no word yet on whether the company plans to add any references to gators to its “Trap + Lock” claim on its packaging but maybe we should have figured all along the product could work. The wipes, after all, are marketed inside a gator green wrapping.