Why feral hogs are a problem
More than 1.5 million feral hogs roam throughout Texas and several southern states. Relatives of domesticated pigs and hogs, recently feral hogs have wreaked havoc throughout the state, destroying acres and acres crops and land, including uprooting trees and tearing away bark. They’ve become such a nuisance that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has instilled feral hog removal and eradication programs throughout the South and regions where the animals have spread. The Texas feral hog eradication program falls under the USDA’s program and provides assistance in several Texas counties to help people trap the hogs.
Because they have few natural predators and breed quickly, they have spread rapidly through the state. Though omnivorous, they tend to like agricultural crops like corn, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, and melons like cantaloupe and watermelon. They also root up land in search of insects, as well as small reptiles and amphibians. Their excessive rooting and wallowing can also destabilize wetlands as well as forests.
If you have problems with feral hogs or large animals damaging your property and need help removing them, the experts with large wild animal control in Arlington and Fort Worth, TX are those at Dallas Fort Worth Wildlife Control. We provide a full range of safe removal options. Find out how we can help by calling (817) 606-7607 or (972) 954-9244.
What is a feral hog?
Most of the feral hogs that roam through Texas are actually descendants of domesticated hogs brought to America by Spanish colonists more than 300 years ago. When the domesticated hogs escaped from farms over time they became feral. Many resemble their domesticated relatives, though some have crossbred with wild boars brought to the U.S. in the 1930s as game animals. Many of these animals will resemble these boars more than regular hogs, and often have larger heads and snouts, as well as thick, bristly hair. They have few natural predators and extensive habitat. Because of the damage they can cause to crops and other resources, feral hog removal is essential.
Where are feral hogs located?
Feral hog populations have spread heavily throughout South, East, and Central Texas. While they aren’t as prevalent in North and West Texas, they still prove a nuisance in those areas. They are also prevalent in several southern states including Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. Some have migrated to southwestern states like Arizona. The largest populations, however, are in Texas.
What diseases do feral hogs carry?
Feral hogs can carry diseases that can threaten humans, including swine brucellosis, tuberculosis, and even bubonic plague. They also carry diseases like pseudorabies, hog cholera, and foot and mouth disease that can be transmitted to wildlife and livestock. They are also known to carry such parasites as kidney worms, roundworms—which carry the parasite that causes trichinosis—and whipworms. If you are involved with any feral hog removal efforts, including hunting them, wear plastic or rubber gloves when dressing or cleaning them, and burn or bury the gloves and entrails afterward.
Is it safe to eat feral hogs?
Like their domesticated counterparts, feral hog meat is edible and safe to eat. It tends to be leaner than domesticated hog and some consider it tastier. To prevent diseases, the entrails need to be buried or burned after the animal has been dressed and cleaned, and the meat needs to be thoroughly cooked.
Feral hog damage
The reason feral hog removal efforts are so extensive is because of the damage they can do to crops and land in particular. Much of the damage to their habitat is caused by their rooting and wallowing. Holes dug from rooting can be as deep as three feet, and the soil will appear as if it’s been overturned by a plow. They favor brushy bottomlands including rivers and creeks where they can wallow and hide in the brush for protection. They are also directly competing for food with other wildlife as well as livestock, and have been known to damage or even destroy livestock and wildlife feeders.
Feral hog control methods
Several feral hog removal and eradication methods exist. Among the most common include:
- Hunting: In Texas, you do not have to have a hunting license to hunt feral hogs on private property, and no game limits exist. Some parts of Texas allow aerial gunning from helicopters.
- Trapping: This is the most common form of removal. Typically, the live traps are 4- by 8-foot cages that can trap several hogs at once. The hogs can be fattened up and sold for food.
- Snaring: Snares can be set in active areas, although the snares may also attract non-target animals.
Wild hog removal services
If your property or livestock is being threatened by the intrusion of feral hogs, the professionals to contact for feral hog removal in Arlington and Fort Worth, TX, are those at Dallas Fort Worth Wildlife Control. We offer a complete range of removal services for all types of animals, large and small. Find out how we can help by calling (817) 606-7607 or (972) 954-9244.