MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Love is in the air, if you’re an alligator or crocodile. And that means everyone else has to be on the lookout for amorous alligators and frisky crocs who are more active this time of year and potentially more aggressive.

Alligators begin to court in April but mating runs May through June according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

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Females build nests and lay eggs in late June-July.

It’s likely more alligators will be seen in lakes, rivers and habitats where they live and males will also move over land during this time of year, from one body of water to another.

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Awareness and understanding are the keys for dealing with alligators if you live near an area they inhabit.

Here are some important gator tips to remember:

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  • Alligators live in both fresh and brackish water. Never swim or wade in waters not posted for swimming, especially near dusk or at night.
  • Never feed an alligator. Doing so can make them unafraid of humans and is against the law in Florida.
  • Closely supervise children and pets and never let them play near any body of water unattended.
  • Observe and photograph alligators only from a safe distance. They are capable of short bursts of speed and can raise themselves up by several feet. So, give them a wide berth.
  • If attacked, make as much noise as possible and try to hit or poke at the alligators eyes. They are more likely to release prey that fights back.
  • Seek medical attention immediately. Even minor bites from a small gator can cause serious infections.
  • Don’t try to pretend you are like the “guys you see on TV” and think you can deal with these creatures.

Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286 for any gator over four feet in length that you feel is posing a threat to life or property.