Vehicle Collisions with Feral Hogs

Feral Hogs versus Vehicles

Vehicle collisions with feral hogs (also called wild hogs and wild pigs; Sus scrofa) are known to occur in the United States.  As the population size of these animals increases,  the frequency of feral hog-vehicle collisions increases concurrently.  In some locations of high incidence for these accidents, feral hog crossing signs have been erected to warn motorists (Fig. 1).  In general, feral hogs are large animals (for example, 200+ lb) with a relatively low center …

Nuisance Problems with Feral Hogs

Although feral hogs (also called wild hogs and wild pigs; Sus scrofa) are a big game resource in the United States, these non-native animals are almost always classified as an undesirable invasive species.  Feral hogs cause a large variety of damage to natural and man-made environments.  Economic losses from feral hogs to agricultural resources, including cost of feral hog control, is an estimated $1.5 billion annually in the United States (Pimentel 2007).  Feral hogs are one …

Rooting Behavior of Feral Hogs

Figure 1.  This field was rooted up by feral hogs. Photo courtesy of Jack Mayer.

Characteristics of Rooting Behavior

One of the more destructive habits of feral hogs is their rooting behavior.  Feral hogs root to obtain foodRooting breaks up and loosens the surface and near-surface layers of the soil column.  Rooting behavior varies significantly between locations and habitats, depending on size and depth of area uprooted  (Fig. 1).  It can differ from shallow disturbance or …

Feral Hogs and Agricultural Crops

Figure 1.  Farmer in a millet field where feral hogs have caused problems. Photo courtesy of Jack Mayer.

Agricultural Crop Depredation

Feral hogs can cause very costly damage to almost any commercial crop.  In the United States, this damage equates to millions of dollars in losses annually. Most damage is from feeding, chewing, trampling, or rooting by foraging hogs (Fig. 1). Some studies indicate the majority of damage in agriculture fields is from trampling, with only 5-10% due to …

Feral Hog Damage to Trees and Forests

Picture of a pine tree with its base completely bare of bark.
Figure 1.  Feral hogs girdled and killed this pine tree by using it as a rubbing post. Photo courtesy of Jack Mayer.

Feral hogs severely effect trees and timber resources in several ways:

Damage to planted seedlings is the most widespread and costly forest damage by feral hogs. …