Wild boar, otherwise known as feral hogs or wild pigs, are not native to the United States or Maryland. So how did feral hogs reach Maryland? These pesky pigs were brought to North America by way of a ship in the late 1400s and 1500s by explorers like Hernando DeSoto and Christopher Columbus. It is estimated that the first shipment of pigs to the U.S. was as large as 300 hogs. These first pigs were used as a food source or were traded to native people. Most hogs brought over were allowed to roam free, many escaped, and as a result, formed their own population of wild pigs. Of all livestock, pigs are the most likely to escape and “go wild” but why that is is unclear. Over many years the feral hog population has dwindled but, due to the resurgence of wild boar in the areas surrounding Maryland, it is cause for concern.
How Are States Dealing With Feral Hogs
In 2014, as a result of the growing population of wild hogs near Maryland, the DNR asked that Maryland hunters shoot to kill if they encounter wild hogs. A 2013 census lists 6 million feral pigs found in 38 states. Texas has the largest feral pig population, estimated to number 2.3 million animals. At present, there are significant feral pig populations in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, but there are no known breeding populations in either Maryland or Delaware. Recent estimates in Pennsylvania list 3,000 feral pigs in the state; the state has declared an open season on them, creating the Pennsylvania Feral Swine Task Force to develop strategies to control these populations. Some feral pigs have been shot in Allegany County, which more than likely migrated south from Bedford or Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Since the Potomac River separates Maryland from Virginia and West Virginia it is more likely that these boar will arrive from the north. Wild boars cause significant damage to ecosystems due to their feeding habits. They dig out roots, eat eggs of ground-nesting birds and animals and leave behind nothing but bare dirt. For farmers, wild pigs destroy crops, kill other livestock and leave the landscape completely bare. Because they are so detrimental to the environment, they must be removed immediately.
Get Rid of Feral Hogs Sooner Rather Than Later
Regardless of how did feral hogs reach Maryland, they do not seem to be going anywhere. This invasive species can cause damage to wherever they are. It is important to have professional help to get rid of feral hogs. In addition to feral hogs, Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control can help with the removal of many different species. Some of these services include:
Feral hogs can do thousands of dollars of damage to property overnight. To prevent this devastation, the feral hog population has to be kept in check. If you come in contact with a feral hog on your Maryland property, contact us today at 866.784.8058 for wild boar removal. Get rid of this invasive species today.