LUTZ, Fla. — When someone's heard at the door at 6 in the morning, it's probably not for a good reason.

Lisa DiPasquale and her husband learned that quickly Wednesday with a hissing gator right on their doorstep.

"It was crazy," DiPasquale said. "We kept hearing a banging sound outside. So my husband went to look and just opened the front door. Thank goodness he looked down. 

"I never thought that’s what we would see!"

Without the storm door separating them from the hissing reptile, the unexpected visitor could have gone inside.

"If you hear a banging on your house, make sure you can see everything before you go outside," DiPasquale said.

RELATED: Gator trappers are needed in Pinellas County

RELATED: Woman finds gator at her doorstep

RELATED: Florida woman pulls alligator from her pants during traffic stop

After a while, the gator took a stroll down the street. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies eventually came out to keep an eye on it before a trapper could get to the neighborhood.

The final measurement: 8 foot, 7 inches long.

"It was nuts!" DiPasquale said.

What other people are reading right now:

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now. 

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.