By Elsa Maxey
Now that Fort Bend County is minus over 600 feral hogs, who’s going to come out to handle any developing or recurring problem when those creatures, prolific as cockroaches and more destructive than rodents, show up?
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, landowners and counties are encouraged to call their local AgriLife Extension office for information on feral hog control measures.
This month’s reported results of the “Hog Out” state-wide program that took place in the fall indicate that Fort Bend County was among 21 counties that participated. In this local area, when over 100 participated in the program, feral swine, sometimes referred to as free ranging livestock, were stopped in their tracks. Fort Bend received an 11th place ranking for eliminating a total of 610 wild hogs. The top number wiped out in another area, 2,047, was done with only 23 participants in Hardeman County. Five Texas counties received challenge award grants for removing the most hogs and overall in the state, 12,632 were eradicated.
Locally, officials are hopeful that the “Hog Out” program will be funded again this fall, and that Fort Bend County will increase its participation and end up as the number one county eradicator.
Feral hogs are reported to be a costly nuisance to agricultural and wildlife habitats. They also represent a serious threat to the traveling public, report officials, noting that the wild hogs find their way into urban areas destroying residents’ yards, public parks, golf courses and more.
Those on the fringes of open land areas, including residents in outlying parts of Missouri City, contacted city officials in the past about needing help with issues of wild boar persistently rooting up their lawns and tearing down fences. Animal control, the police department and other entities were looped in about the problem, now clearly under the management of the Texas Department of Agriculture with the participating help of counties like Fort Bend.
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Fort Bend County may be contacted at 281- 342-3034. The office is located at 1402 Band Road, Suite 100 in Rosenberg.