Wild hogs are an invasive species in the United States and are often called wild pig or feral swine. They are members of the Suidae family, including domesticated pigs, warthogs, and pygmy hogs. These animals are not indigenous to North America. The first wild hogs were introduced to the continent by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.
The wild hog is a large animal. Adults weigh between 200 and 600 pounds. They are dark colored, with short, bristly hair. Their tails are long, and tusks protrude from their mouths. Wild hogs are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals.
Feral hogs can exhibit invasive behavior. They will wander through urban and sub-urban environments unannounced. When this happens, they might cause damage to properties. What are these damages? Let’s find out!
You may initially think wild hogs do not invade urban and suburban areas. We’ll break that original thought now. These feral hogs sometimes wander in your areas for food and water. And once they find these resources, they often return to the same general location. This rooting and wallowing behavior of hogs can cause extensive damage to your property.
Wild hogs spend most of their time in swamps, forests, brushlands, and riparian zones. They are also common in agricultural fields. Because of this, they’re destroying their environment, often causing soil erosion.
It is common knowledge that trampling and digging burrows and wallows are pigs’ habits. For wild pigs, they make no difference. On farmland, this can quickly become a problem. Not only do they tear up the landscape, but they also destroy crops. In some cases, wild hogs will eat the crops; in others, they will uproot them. This is costly for farmers, reducing their yield and damaging their property. Additionally, wild pigs root through vegetation in search of grubs, bulbs, and roots.
In connection with this, wallowing hogs result in the spread of invasive plant species. This is because they occur more often in disturbed areas. So, they colonize them more quickly than other native plant species.
Wild hogs cause $1.5 billion in damage yearly to the United States’ crops, pastures, and farm equipment. They also destroy habitats by rooting and wallowing, which harms native plants and animals.
Wild hogs can also damage water quality. They wallow in mud to cool off and to get rid of parasites. This muddy water then runs into creeks, rivers, and lakes, polluting the water with bacteria and other contaminants.
Health and Public Safety
In one study, wild hogs are found to carry over 24 diseases that could harm humans, pets, and livestock. These diseases include rabies, brucellosis, and leptospirosis.
Aside from the diseases that wild hogs can carry, they can also pose a physical threat to humans. Wild hogs are aggressive and have been known to attack people. In some cases, these attacks have been fatal.
If you live in an area with wild hogs, it is crucial to know the damage they can cause. Take precautions to protect your property and yourself from these animals.
Threat To Wildlife
Hogs are not just proficient destructors of the environment. They threaten smaller and weaker native wildlife species too. They predate on small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, eggs, and insects. The animals also compete for resources with other animals, such as white-tailed deer.
Controlling Wild Pig Populations
A few methods have been used to control the wild pig population. These include hunting, trapping, and using toxicants.
Shooting or hunting wild pigs is the most common method of controlling wild hog populations. In some states, there are no limits on how many hogs you can kill or when you can hunt them. This makes it a popular method for reducing the population.
Trapping is another method of control. It is often used in hunting to remove hogs from an area. Many different types of traps can be used, including live traps, corral traps, and snare traps.
Toxicants are chemicals that are poisonous to hogs. They can be used to kill hogs or to keep them away from an area. The most common toxicants are warfarin and sodium nitrite.
However, when doing this, make sure it is legal and allowed in your state. Some states require permits.
Feral Hog Knowledge
Feral hogs or wild pigs are equipped with hooves, tusks, and a coat of fur. These razor-sharp hooves can grow up to four inches long. The tusks are used for defense, foraging, and digging. They can also reach up to six inches in length.
These hogs are intelligent animals. They have acute senses of smell and hearing. Their eyesight is not as good as their other senses.
They are also social animals. They live in groups or sounders. A sounder is a group of related females and their young. Male hogs that are not related to the females in the group are called boars.
Feral hogs are omnivorous. This means that they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists of roots, acorns, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and rodents. Aside from this, they are famous for eating or scavenging dead animals (carrion).
Feral Hog Control
It’s only natural to find feral hogs intimidating. They do! AAAC Wildlife Removal will come to your rescue if you face these unwelcome guests often. We have trained professionals who are adept at feral hog control. Our methods are both effective and humane. Reach out to us, and we’ll help you solve your feral hog problem!
While wild hogs might seem harmless, they can cause a lot of damage to both property and the environment. Feral swine damage causes $1.5 billion in damage yearly to crops and farm equipment and can also carry diseases harmful to humans, pets, and livestock.
If you live in an area with wild hogs, it is essential to take precautions to protect your property and yourself from these animals.
To learn more about the damage caused by wild boars and effective methods to mitigate their impact, click here: wild boar damage.
What is the largest wild boar?
The largest wild boar species is the Ussuri wild boar. It can grow up to 3.5 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 660 pounds. Other notable species include the Russian wild boar, Carpathian wild boar, and Middle Asian boar.