Imagine waking up in the middle of a warm Texas night to the thundering sound of fences being annihilated by a cluster of swine, weighing in at a hefty 300 pounds each and armed with razor-sharp tusks. Within minutes, the rowdy pigs turn a beautifully manicured lawn into a scene fitting of the apocalypse, a yard with numerous piles of de-rooted sod, broken fence posts and mangled bushes. In the state of Texas, feral pigs are considered one of the most destructive species of animals ever introduced to America. The amount of destruction feral pigs produce on a yearly basis in Texas is alarming; almost half a billion dollars in damages to property and crops are estimated every year as a result of the pigs’ actions. Feral pigs are responsible for causing widespread agricultural damage, spreading diseases in the food supply, and harming the state’s ability to feed needy people with their meat.
Agricultural ranchers in the state of Texas have to deal with feral pigs on a daily basis in order to keep them from tearing up the food produced by their crops. One of the problems that are causing this to happen is poorly designed fencing systems used to keep the pigs out of the crop area. In most cases, the pigs will figure out ways to exploit weakened parts of the fencing systems and gain access to a feast of forbidden fruits and vegetables. Some ranchers might create traps littered with food bait in order to capture the wild hogs and have them processed for food. The issue with this is that the pigs are smart enough to figure out these traps and completely avoid them. The pigs will either go around the traps, or destroy them on their way towards the crops. This makes it even harder for ranchers to not only keep them away, but also capture and process them to be consumed by buyers of the meat. Feral pigs are also known to eat “young livestock such as lambs, goats, and fawns (Hoppe).” Ranchers are forced to not only spend thousands of dollars protecting their crops, they also have to worry about their young livestock being attacked or killed by the dangerous feral pigs.
One possible solution to the agricultural invasion could be stronger and more durable fencing. This fencing should be put into place so that the feral pigs have a harder time accessing the food crops. Reinforcing it correctly the second time can also save the ranchers money during the long-term duration of their professions. This change might result in fewer cases of land damage. Feral pig traps that are stronger and more camouflaged have a better chance of luring the pigs than traps that appear obvious. Stronger bait laced with an attractant such as a pheromone, as well as a drug to incapacitate them could help the ranchers capture the pigs. It would also reduce the number of vicious encounters between the feral pigs, and the ranchers. A better plan to prevent these pigs from accessing these crops could save the state of Texas hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Not only are feral pigs...