Upper Cumberland residents have few options on how to control feral hogs.
Overton County UT Extension Agent Jason Garrett said the USDA free services to hunt and trap the hogs.
“Our main techniques is to trap. A feral hog is the most reproductive mammal in North America,” Garrett said. “They can rebreed at 6 months old, have four to fifteen piglets, considering the environmental conditions they are in and food availability.”
Garrett said scientists classify feral hogs as invasive species found largely in Overton, Putnam, Fentress, and White Counties.
“In the woods, they will lay in mud holes, rub on future, let’s say, oak trees,” Garrett said. “Damage the bark, and when you damage the bark, that lets all the insects and fungus in. So in the future generation own timber, very destructive.”
The hogs also damage farmland by digging in the moist ground. Garrett said feral hogs can cause up to $1 million in damages each year in Tennessee.
“The one thing you need to watch out for if someone is hunting them and they shoot one. They do carry diseases,” Garrett said. “Rabbit fever, pseudo-rabies. They recommend putting gloves on if you are hunting them and touching them.”
Any citizen concerned about feral hogs on their property can contact their local UT Agriculture Extension agent for more information.