Texas

Feral hog population continues to grow in Houston region, Texas despite extermination efforts

Despite the best efforts of the state to curtail the population of wild hogs, their population continues to grow; and they are expanding across the state.

 

Texas Wild Hog Patrol's Edward Dickey with a captured wild hog.
Edward Dickey
Texas Wild Hog Control’s Edward Dickey with a captured wild hog.

Feral hogs are like fire ants: you are never going to get rid of them. That's the message from one local county official who advises landowners on dealing with an infestation.

"It's one of the major issues we deal with and one of the main issues Texas landowners deal with without a doubt," said Jamie Sugg, the Texas A&M Agrilife extension agent in Walker County. Sugg works as a consultant for people who have agriculture related issues.

Sugg says that rural communities are in a constant battle with feral hogs.

"It's not a case of if you have a hog problem, but when. They are everywhere."

Sugg says despite the best efforts of the state to curtail the population of wild hogs, their population continues to grow; and they are expanding across the state. Homeowners who encounter the hogs often reach out to his office for advice in dealing with them.

"Basically, what we recommend is a multi-pronged approach. You are not going to shoot them all and you are not going to trap them all. You have to hit them with a one-two punch."

Hog trapping has proven to be the most effective way of removing an infestation. Edward Dickey is a trapper with Texas Wild Hog Control. He says the cooler months are often when homeowners have their first encounters with hogs.

"The hogs are keeping us pretty busy," said Dickey.

He says homeowners often call his company only after the hogs have repeatedly damaged their property. The hogs enter neighborhoods using creek beds and flood channels. Once in the neighborhood they often find well-manicured yards to root for food.

"A lot of people keep their yards watered. The hogs are attracted to the water and soft dirt. These yards that are taken care of are home to bugs and amphibians and small reptiles." The hogs root in the grass and cause massive damage in the search for food.

Keeping hogs away has proven to be a challenge. Barking dogs and loud noises work at scaring them away but they eventually overcome that fear. Dickey recommends setting up cameras to keep track of any hog presence so they can be dealt with before they cause too much damage.