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A feral hog is a wild hog, and they are all over the country. In 39 states, they have caused 2.5 billion dollars in damages, and there are a lot of reasons that there needs to be something done about the feral hogs and the damages that they can cause. There is a lot of attention being put on the efforts to fix the problem as soon as possible. It’s for the better of people and other animals all over the country that something is done about it.

swine distribution

Feral Swine Distribution Map by USDA 2017

Where Are Most of The Feral Hogs Located?

There are approximately 5 million of them that roam around. Texas is a state that has the most of all the states, and they are forever suffering from the problems that they cause. Feral hogs were brought by Spaniards in the 1500s. In the 1930s, Russian boars came into the United States too. As they continued to multiply, they moved into other areas, and there are feral hogs in all parts of the country as we speak.

The Problems with Feral Hogs?

  1. Health Risks – They not only damage lots of farms, but they are also a health risk to humans. They contaminate the water systems, and they cause and spread diseases. People can pick up germs from them if they are around them in any kind of way. They can also add to the stress of homeowners when they ruin their plants tear up their property. They are a nuisance and also a threat to life too.
  2. The threat to Native Wildlife – They threaten the natural wildlife by eating the young and the eggs that some species lay. For many of the smaller animals, the feral hogs represent their end. They are vicious, and they attack whenever they are around another animal, so there is no way that a smaller animal can survive.
  3. They Are Extremely Bad for Agriculture – Farmers are suffering from their crops being damaged by the feral hogs. Their corn, rice, cotton, and grain crops, just to name a few of them are being destroyed by these animals all the time. They will uproot the plants and dig holes so that the crops cannot grow correctly. There is such a large amount of damage that they cause, and it affects farmers is such a negative way.
  4. Costly – The cost of fighting the problem of the feral hogs costs the federal government $30.5 million. This is what they are spending every year on this problem, and the 2018 Farm Bill is going to make it even higher. The feral hogs causing so much damage, is taking on more of an importance. The need to stop them has never been higher, and there will be more money spent on trying to find a solution to the problem.
  5. Carrier of disease – A critical rationale for getting rid of feral pigs is the fact that they are susceptible to a variety of disease-causing infections and parasites. It is essential to understand that they are pigs and that they consume waste and reproduce in the waste. In addition, feral pigs are also difficult for the hog industry to process because of their vulnerability to serious diseases such as swine brucellosis and pseudorabies.

wild pig hunting

Why Do They Cause So Much Damage?

The feral hogs are smart and adaptable. This makes them able to do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Since they roam the land, they can be anywhere. It is also possible that they are taken from areas in the back of trucks that are used by hunters. Not that they are bringing on purpose, they just find a way into their trucks and end up in other areas. Then they procreate, and there are more and more of them.

In addition, feral hogs are known to be opportunistic omnivores, which essentially means that they are capable of eating “literally” anything. They can dig up to 3 feet into the ground using their extra-long, flattened snout, which is reinforced by a layer of cartilage.

This animal can eat or destroy rice, wheat, potatoes, melons, soybeans, sorghum fields, a nightmare for every farmer.

Traditional Methods Failed to Control Feral Hog Population

Just a few decades ago, the word hog control became a popular term in Texas and many other hog infested reasons in the United States. Many feral takes have been killed or shot down using old-school, yet traditional traps. One among the most popular way of hunting feral hogs have been the use of well-trained catch dogs, and according to many, they have definitely helped in controlling hogs in the reason. But despite all the traditional hunting efforts, feral hog infestation has continued to grow at an astonishing rate.

What’s even more troubling is the fact that their population has evenly spread to large metropolitan cities and outlying areas affecting the daily life of common citizens who has absolutely no understanding of how to control them. Many animal behaviorists have concluded that hogs are, in fact, intelligent animals, and a conclusion can be verified from the fact that hogs do obtain very good results on animal intelligence chart.

Many experts also believe that hogs can adapt to the environment, and thus, they have formed ways to trick hunters and escaped from there traps.  Helicopter Hog Hunting has proven to be very effective in managing feral hog populations.

The U.S. Approves A Poison

In order to get rid of the feral pig problem, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved a poison that is, in all ways, a blood thinner. This is called warrifin, and when the feral pigs ingest the poison, they are eradicated. They hope that this will curtail the problem that these wild pigs cause without harming other species of life in the process.

Since the damages from feral hogs are so great and the need to get the problem under control is taking on more and more of precedence, something will work in the future that will stop the wild pigs from being so rampant. It’s been the hope of farmers and a lot more people that the end of the endless damages that they can cause is insight in the near future.