Wild hogs rooting in your garden or damaging plants and landscaping? In most areas it is unlikely that wild pigs can be exterminated. It is theoretically possible, but the cost to do so is usually prohibitive. Landowners should plan for a long-term control program.
Wild Hog Damage and Problems
Wild pigs can cause a variety of wild hog damage. The most common complaint is rooting (sometimes called grubbing), resulting in the destruction of crops and pastures. Wild Hog damage to farm ponds and watering holes for livestock is another common wild hog problem. Always be aware of the potential for disease transmission when feral hogs are associated with domestic livestock. Cholera, swine brucellosis, trichinosis, bovine tuberculosis, foot and mouth disease, African swine fever, and pseudorabies are all diseases that may be transmitted to livestock.
Wild Hog Control and Prevention
Wild hog damage can be extensive and costly if not controlled. Wild hog control for disease suppression is extremely expensive because many hogs need to be eliminated. Crop depredations may cease after one or two hogs are shot or trapped, or intermittent hunting pressure is put on them. They simply move to new areas. If depredations are heavy enough to require a reduction in the overall population then a program can be very costly, depending on the size of the area involved.
Identify Wild Hogs
Wild hogs include both feral hogs (domestic swine that have escaped captivity) and wild boar, native to Eurasia but introduced to North America to interbreed with feral hogs. Like domestic hogs, they may be any color. Wild boar have longer legs and larger heads with longer snouts than feral hogs. Both the male feral hog and wild boar have continuously growing tusks. Wild boar and feral hogs hybridize freely; therefore, the term wild pig is appropriate as a generic term for these animals.
Wild Hog Habitat and Behavior
Wild pigs are found throughout the southeastern United States from Texas east to Florida and north to Virginia; and in California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The National Park Service reports feral hogs in 13 National Park Service areas, and they occur in many state parks as well.
Wild pigs are intelligent animals and readily adapt to changing conditions. They may modify their response to humans fairly rapidly if it benefits their survival. Feral hogs feed during daylight hours or at night, but if pressure becomes too great during the day, they will remain in heavy cover at that time and feed at night. In periods of hot weather, wild pigs remain in the shade in wallows during the day and feed at night
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