HARLINGEN, Texas — Local wildlife experts say feral hogs are the biggest wildlife management issues in the state and will be for the next 100 years.
Dr. John Tomecek, an extension wildlife specialist, who specializes in feral hogs says pigs are not native to the region and were brought by the Spanish in the early 1800s.
Tomecek says feral hogs started out not being a big deal, but over the past few decades, they have become a nuisance.
National agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture, and state agencies like Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service partner with private landowners, who want to decrease population.
Dr. Tomecek says annually about 30 percent of the pig population is eradicated, but Tomecek adds with the way pigs reproduce, that figure needs to be closer to two-thirds, just to keep populations stable.
Annually experts say feral hogs cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
“In damages to the agriculture both crops and animals, properties, people lawns, golf courses runways, you name it damages, to health and human safety in the form of diseases they transmit a lot of damages to wildlife, the water, and the environment,” says Dr. Tomecek
Tomecek says feral swine can contaminate food items and waterways with pathogens and diseases like Ecoli, which are distributed on the landscape through pigs’ feces.
Tomecek says pigs cause more damage and problems than they are worth and encourages removing as many as possible. If you would like more information about feral hogs in Texas, you can click here.