Wild hogs in the Sugar Land neighborhood

Residents exercising or walking their pets at night should be on high alert for dangerous animals.

SUGAR LAND, Texas — They’re a costly nuisance that no homeowner wants to deal with — feral hogs.

And they’re causing trouble again in the Sugar Land area.

Residents said they saw them more frequently in recent weeks. They are not only worried about the damage they cause, but also about their safety. They said the damage alone can cost them hundreds of dollars every time the pigs pass.

A resident said the pigs tore up his yard. Where a flower bed and shrubs were just a big pile of dirt.

“Every time that happens, it’s a few hundred dollars to fix the yard,” said Dipu Kakumani, a resident. “Thank goodness that hasn’t happened too often until the last few weeks.”

Another resident said he has seen firsthand how the hog problem continues to grow.

“For example, four of them are a bit bigger and they have about 15 piglets,” said resident Anuja Patil.

here is a recent video of a pack of hogs in the riverstone subdivision in the land of sugar:

But the problem persists in neighborhoods around Houston and Texas in general. Texas Wildlife Services State Director Mike Bodenchuk told KHOU 11 News that the invasive species is not native to North America and there are believed to be between 2.5 and 3 million pigs in the whole state.

“The feral pigs we have in Texas and the Southeast are a hybrid between a European boar – very durable, very adaptable to the environment – and the domestic pig, which has a high reproductive rate, growth rate high,” Bodenchuk said. “You have the perfect storm in a pest that will grow rapidly, large litters will consume almost anything. If it has a calorie, the feral hogs will eat it.”

He said there’s no real reason for an increase in sightings right now, but some tips to keep them out of your yard are to water your lawn during the day and consider buy an electric fence.

“Wild pigs don’t like electricity. Simple, low electric fences will keep pigs out of your yard,” he said.

For Kakumani, the cost of repairing his garden matters far less than the potential danger.

“Not just the cons. I fear for my children and my animals. If they come out at the wrong time, the pigs can attack,” he said.

Since pigs are usually out at night, people exercising or walking their dogs are advised to be on extra alert.

Why do feral pigs love the Houston area?

Michael Bodenchuk of the US Department of Agriculture said waterways and golf courses are a beacon for invasive animals. The animals travel as a sounder or family and are known to be very active in Houston-area neighborhoods at night.

“We see pig sounders from six or seven up to 50 or 100 pigs in a group,” Bodenchuk said. “Wild pigs are considered an invasive species in North America. They are not native wild animals. They were brought here European style in the 1600s and escaped into the wild.

And as quickly as the Texans can trap and hunt them, the super-fertile piggies keep popping up in neighborhoods from Sugar Land to Spring.

“In the United States, there are approximately 6 million feral pigs. About half of them live in Texas. So that’s at the heart of the feral hog problem,” Bodenchuk said.

He pointed to the East Texas watersheds as an attraction for the majority of hogs in the state.

“Watering our lawn actually brings the bugs close to the surface, so the hogs are rooting into your lawn to get those worms and bugs below the surface. We create green spaces and golf courses that are perfect environments, and pigs, unsurprisingly, take advantage of that,” Bodenchuk said.

Rachel J. Bradford