How many feral hogs are there in the United States?

There is no accurate estimate for the total number of feral hogs in the United States.  However, by adding all of the minimum and maximum feral hog population estimates for each state, there could be from three to eight million animals.  However, scientists are uncertain as to the accuracy of feral hog population numbers reported for each state.…

National Feral Hog Problem

Feral hogs are a growing nationwide problem in the United States at the present time.  Not native to the Western Hemisphere, the presence of these animals here is solely attributable to both intentional and accidental introductions by man.  All feral hogs (also called wild hogs) in the United States belong to the species Sus scrofa

Brought to the United States during the early 1500s, feral hogs have had a long history in this country.  In spite of a fairly …

Quick Facts on Feral Hogs

Feral hog numbers are on the rise in the United States.  Likewise the problems they cause are also growing.  With attention on this invasive species, many myths are circulating about feral hog history, distribution, biology, and damage.  The following bullets will help get the facts straight.

History and Distribution

  • Swine were domesticated thousands of years ago from wild stock in Europe and Asia.
  • Swine were first introduced to North America by Spanish explorers. 
  • Confined and/or free-ranging domestic swine escaped from

Why are feral hog populations expanding?

Feral hogs are expanding their range because of high reproductive output and wide variety of suitable habitats available to them.  Additionally, only a few predators are willing to take adult feral hogs.  Populations of feral hogs are showing up in new areas away from other feral hog populations.  This is likely due to escape from pens and from intentional, illegal releases of feral hogs.

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Feral Hogs in Your Backyard


Figure 1. Locations of municipalities in the United States that have reported problems with feral hogs in suburban and urban areas since 2000. Illustration courtesy of Jack Mayer.

Since 2000, feral hogs (also called wild hog and wild pig; Sus scrofa) have started showing up in numerous suburban and urban neighborhoods across the United States (Fig. 1).  Prior to that time, such appearances by these animals in developed areas had been a very rare event.  In fact, such recently …