Feral hogs, also known as wild pigs, wild boars, and many other names, are an invasive species that cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damages to agriculture and natural resources every year in the US.(1) These terms refer collectively to the Eurasian wild pig, escaped domestic pigs that have adapted to the wild, and/or hybridized swine. They have been found in 39 states, having expanded their territory from 17 states in the early 1980s.(1) In Indiana, feral hogs have been documented in three southern counties. Wherever they are found, wild pigs cause extensive disturbance to agriculture, landscaping, livestock, and local habitats and native species. In addition, they carry a number of diseases like pseudorabies and swine brucellosis that can be transferred to livestock or other domesticated animals.
Rooting, trampling, and wallowing are all signs of feral hog presence. These behaviors can destroy crops and plant and fungi populations which in turn can negatively impact native wildlife's access to resources. They are especially damaging to wetland and other aquatic habitats, and wallowing can lead to erosion and muddied waters causing water quality to decline.(2)
To learn more about invasive feral hogs and the USDA's national management program, click here.
Watch this short video to learn about current management techniques.