Although pigs are not native to Hawaii, it is hard to separate them from Hawaiian culture. It may be their connection to the demi-god Kamapua'a, who is found in many chants and legends, and who is said to protect the pigs of Kohala, even to this day. Or it may be that pigs are a popular animal for hunting--and even more popular for eating. Whatever the reason, pigs and Hawaii seem to go together. However, having free-roaming pigs is not without its issues. Here are some reasons it is important to control feral pigs, and what control options work best.
Wild pigs aren't just a problem in Hawaii. It is estimated that feral swine in the United States cause more than $1.5 billion in damages and control costs each year. For those of us bringing home the bacon, that is a lot of bacon.
They destroy crops, tear up golf courses, erode riverbanks, trample grass and vegetation, invade gardens, consume livestock feed, contaminate water supplies, and much more. Here are some of the many ways feral pigs are affecting our state.
In the rain forests, pigs use their hard noses and sharp tusks to dig at soft forest floors. The damage caused allows aggressive weeds to take root quickly and overtake native plants.
In urban areas, pigs are constantly in search of food. A food source that they are quite fond of is grubs and other insects. This has them digging lawns up like a rototiller.
When pigs pass through an area, their rooting and wallowing create areas for water to collect; and standing water is a breeding site for mosquitoes, which are vectors for dangerous diseases and viruses.
Pigs themselves are known to carry over 30 diseases and 37 parasites that can be transmitted to livestock, people, pets, and other wildlife. Some of the many diseases pigs are associated with are toxoplasmosis, tularemia, trichinellosis, swine influenza, salmonella, E. coli, and a wide variety of bacterial diseases.
Feral pigs are known to be aggressive and territorial. This can be an issue if you happen to run into a wild pig while hiking a trail or if you cross paths with one in your backyard.
While the number of pigs that should be allowed to roam freely in Hawaii can be debated, it is clear that these animals should be controlled. At Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, we have pioneered state-of-the-art trapping and removal services that work to proactively control a wide range of wild animals, including feral pigs. We work with government municipalities, businesses, and residents to reduce the damage caused by wildlife.
If you're seeing feral animals on your property, take action. The impact of these animals is far reaching, but together, we can reduce the threat.