Feral hog populations pose a real threat to Texas's crops, pastureland, and other private lands. But, you ask, exactly how much damage can one hog do?
While there is no definite figure on how much acreage a hog can destroy, it is safe to assume that they are capable of causing significant damage in a short time. In addition, these invasive species can negatively impact the environment on a mass scale.
How Big Is An Acre?
An acre of land is an area measuring 43,560 square feet. A standard football field is about 1 acre in size. Generally speaking, Texas ranchers who allow feral hogs to roam on their property could see severe destruction in just a few days if their population is unchecked.
How Do Feral Hogs Cause Damage?
Feral hogs can cause significant damage to land in multiple ways. They dig up the soil, strip it of vegetation, and wallow in mud and water, making large areas muddy and unwelcoming for native plant and animal species. They also can quickly consume large amounts of food and spread disease, making them even more of a hazard for landowners.
For those in agriculture, feral hogs can - and will - consume anything in sight, including crops and vegetation. Hogs often uproot trees to get at their nutritious bark or stems! Additionally, they can sabotage feeding areas for livestock and native species, especially during drought conditions when other food sources may be scarce.
Fast Gestation Periods Increase Populations Quickly
Another concern for Texas property owners is that feral hogs have a short gestation period of about three months. This fact, combined with the fact that females can reach reproductive age as early as six months old, means that populations can grow exponentially in just a few years.
Identifying Feral Hog Activity on Your Property
If you are a landowner who suspects feral hog activity on their property, watch for these telltale signs:
• Wallows - Muddy, shallow beds created by wallowing hogs.
• Troughs - Deep ruts cut into the ground from rooting and searching for food.
• Tracks & Trails - Look for tracks in bare patches of land, trails through fields or woods, or droppings near water sources.
• Rootings - Uprooted plants or turf, especially in areas near water.
All of these point to feral hog activity and could signal a need for more aggressive management of your land.
What Can You Do to Control Feral Hog Populations?
The best way to control feral hog populations is through trapping and removal by a professional hog removal company that understands the dynamics of the animals and knows how to remove them from your land safely.