Baits To Use For Trapping Feral Hogs

Baits used for trapping feral hogs can range from homemade concoctions to specialized commercial blends, carrion, or feedstuffs including whole corn, livestock cubes, or soured grain. Trappers advocating the use of each of these baits can be found depending on individual experiences. Ease of use, price, and availability are three of the most important variables to consider when choosing which bait to use for trapping feral hogs. Luckily, feral hogs will eat just about anything, making our choices less complicated.

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 …

What kinds of feral hogs are found in the United States?

All of the feral hogs (wild pigs) found in the United States belong to the same genus and species, Sus scrofa.  Two types of Sus scrofa, Eurasian wild boar and domestic swine, were introduced into the United States. Because these two types belong to the same species interbreeding has occurred.  Presently, there are three types of wild Sus scrofa in the United States: Eurasian wild boar, feral hogs (i.e., wild pigs that are solely of domestic ancestry), and …

How large do feral hogs get?

The average adult body weight of a feral hog is approximately 180 lb.  Males are slightly bigger, with the comparable body weights for adults of each sex as follows: 150-170 lb for females; and 200-220 lb for males.  Exceptional specimens have been reported to exceed 500 lb.  In all instances of these exceptional weights, the animals were males.  Adult feral hogs average 5-6 ft in length (tip of nose to end of tail) and 2.5-3 ft in shoulder height.  Exceptionally …

What diseases do feral hogs carry or transmit?

Feral hogs (wild pigs) are susceptible to a wide range of viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases (e.g., African swine fever, anthrax, tuberculosis, brucellosis, hog cholera, E. coli, foot-and-mouth disease, influenza viruses, leptospirosis, pseudorabies virus, and vesicular stomatitis).  Specifically, feral hogs have the potential to contract and transmit all of the diseases of domestic swine.  Some of these diseases are specific to domestic swine, while others can also infect other wild and domestic mammals as well as humans.  As such, …

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 …

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. …

Feral Hog Poison and Toxicants and the Boar-Operated-System

Currently, there are no approved poisons or toxicants that are registered and legal for use.  However, there is considerable interest among the public and state and federal agencies to research use of toxicants to reduce feral hog (Sus scrofa) populations.  The United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) is working with researchers to evaluate toxicants and delivery mechanisms. 

A challenge in the use of toxicants is making them species specific.  For instance, …

Head Gate (Door) Design for Feral Hog Traps

The gate should be designed to prevent captured hogs from escaping through the trap entrance.  Three gate designs are among those most commonly used for trapping feral hogs: 

Figure 1.  Guillotine (drop) head gate on corral trap. Photo courtesy of Texas AgriLife Extension

  • Guillotine, or Sliding drop gates use a trip wire to trigger the door to fall. One drawback of guillotine gates is that they do not allow additional pigs to enter once the trap has been triggered.