Friday, January 22, 2010

Feral hogs as landscape pests — big and bad

OVERTON, TX — Most of us have figured out how to get rid of white grubs, mole crickets, billbugs, fire ants and their likes . . . but feral hogs?

Yes, we’re talking wild hogs, and they’re apparently a big problem for property owners in many areas of the United States. Well, if they’re a problem for you and you’re in the vicinity of Overton, TX, Feb. 4, you won’t find many better ways to spend a day than to attend the East Texas Turfgrass Conference.

Billy Higginbotham, Ph.D., extension service expert, is going to tell you what you can do to keep "mud pigs" from destroying your landscapes at the event that's planned for the AgriLife Extension Research and Extension Center.

"Because of urban and suburban sprawl, feral hogs encroachment into these areas is on the rise," said Higginbotham.

Higginbotham will not only discuss the extent of feral hog encroachment but also the issues involved in controlling the species in urban and suburban environments.

"The best control remains trapping, as in rural areas," he said. "But once you've got them, the question is what do you do with them."

In rural environments, it's common to shoot the animals once they're trapped. But in urban areas, this is usually not a solution because of safety and legal concerns, Higginbotham said.

"So it's necessary to choose a trap that allows it to either be loaded on a trailer with hogs inside or one where the hogs can be transferred to another confinement," he said.

Higginbotham will also discuss fencing, but doesn't recommend it as a control strategy.

Other speakers and topics will include: “Disease Control Updates For Turfgrass,” Karl Steddom, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist; "Weed Identification," Dr. Jim McAfee, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist; “When You Can’t Grow Grass,” Keith Hansen, AgriLife Extension horticultural agent in Smith County; “Zoysia Management and Varieties For East Texas,” McAfee; “Turfgrass Insect Problems,” Dr. Scott Ludwig, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist; “Ants, Ants & More Ants,” Dr. Bart Drees, AgriLife Extension entomologist; “Facts & Fiction on Soil Fertility Products,” Dr. Leon Young, Stephen F. Austin University soils testing laboratory director.

The Overton center is located approximately 2 miles north of Overton on FM 3053 N. Maps and driving directions can be found online at .

For more information, contact agent Dennis Smith at 903-236-8428 or

If you’ve read to the end of this blog, good for you. Now you know what to do if feral hogs turn up in your neighborhood.

Click here for some excellent information from Texas Parks and Wildlife about feral hogs.

If you want to see some guys who really know how to deal with feral hogs, check out the Hogstoppers. These guys know how to deal with those nasty, dangerous critters, and promise low-cost removal for their Texas clients. — The LM Staff (on the lookout for huge, ugly landscape pests)

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