Economic Cost of Feral Hogs in Texas

Morgan Mason
December 20, 2023
2 min read

The economic cost of feral hogs in Texas is significant, with estimates running into the millions of dollars annually. These costs are primarily associated with damage to agriculture, property, and natural resources, as well as efforts to control and manage the feral hog population. Here are some key factors contributing to the financial burden of feral hogs in Texas:

  1. Agricultural Damage: Feral hogs cause extensive damage to crops, including corn, soybeans, rice, and more. They uproot plants, consume valuable crops, and trample fields. According to estimates from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, feral hogs cause hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural losses in Texas each year.
  2. Livestock Impact: Feral hogs can harm livestock, damage fencing, and compete with domestic animals for food resources. The cost of treating and preventing injuries to livestock can add to the economic burden.
  3. Property Damage: Feral hogs are notorious for damaging residential and commercial properties, including lawns, gardens, and landscaping. They can also damage infrastructure like roads and culverts.
  4. Natural Resource Damage: These invasive species also have a detrimental impact on natural resources. They destroy native habitats, negatively affecting native wildlife, and compete for food resources with native species.
  5. Control and Management Costs: Texas invests significant resources in controlling the feral hog population. These efforts include trapping, hunting, aerial gunning, and the use of professional wildlife management services. The cost of these control measures adds to the overall financial burden.
  6. Disease Concerns: Feral hogs can carry diseases that affect both livestock and wildlife, adding potential healthcare and veterinary expenses to the equation.

It's essential to note that accurately quantifying the exact cost of feral hogs in Texas is challenging due to the multifaceted nature of the issue and the variability in damage from year to year. However, it is clear that feral hogs have a substantial economic impact on the state's agriculture, property, and natural resources, resulting in significant financial losses and management expenses. Efforts to mitigate these costs continue through various control and eradication programs, but the problem remains a persistent challenge for Texas.