Wild Pig Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Overview of Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Habitat Modification

In general, habitat modification is not practical for the control of wild pigs. In some situations, the removal of dense understory through cutting or prescribed burns may move pigs to alternative locations and improve the efficiency of other techniques for control.  

Pregnant ewes, nanny goats, and cows should be moved to areas less frequented by wild pigs. Ewes that have twins are vulnerable particularly, as the young are smaller and maternal protection is divided. 

Exclusion

Fences are not practical except in small areas around yards and gardens. Heavy wire with holes no larger than 6 inches must be used with posts, but exclusion is almost impossible if pigs are persistent. A single strand of electric wire about 6 inches off the ground may reduce attempts by wild pigs to breach a fence.  

Two-strand electric fences with one wire at 8 inches and another at 18 inches have been as effective as 3-strand fences in reducing incursions by 50% in one trial. Electric fences, however, can be difficult to maintain over large areas. Thirty-four-inch hog panels were very effective in containing wild pigs even when the pigs were chased.  

Frightening

No frightening devices are effective for the control of wild pigs. Harassment through hunting may move pigs from an area for limited periods of time.  

Repellents

None are registered.

Toxicants

None are registered.

Shooting

Successful control of wild pigs using shooting is dependent on local situations, laws, and terrain. Use rifles that are .243-caliber or larger. Sport hunting is used in some areas to reduce densities of wild pigs and can be a source of revenue for landowners. Sport hunting is not recommended if there is a serious problem of depredation or disease. Unsuccessful attempts will cause wild pigs to stay under cover and to change feeding habits, making control more difficult. Advances in night vision and firearm equipment have made sharp-shooting a viable way to depopulate wild pigs rapidly. 

Dogs can assist hunters in tracking, locating, cornering, and flushing pigs from cover for hunters to shoot. Hunters and landowners should be aware that this technique may move pigs to other locations. 

Aerial shooting is costly, but the number of pigs that can be shot may make it a viable option, particularly when extirpation is the goal.  

“Judas pigs” are pigs, especially adult females, fitted with radio-transmitter collars that enable hunters to locate the main sounder. The technique is expensive and only practical for eradication programs.