People living outside of Hawaii envision island life as a tropical paradise with colorful birds and not a problem on-site. However, if you have lived on Oahu long, you would know that living in paradise comes with a price for wild pigs.
The feral pigs on the Hawaiian Islands are a nonnative species brought to Hawaii by two peoples at different times in history. The Polynesians are credited with first introducing the pigs to Hawaii sometime in the fourth century AD. These pigs, or pua’a, soon became a Hawaiian tradition and an important food source. The pig populations were controlled so they would not roam free and destroy the taro and sweet potato crops the inhabitants depended on. The first pigs were highly dependent on humans for food, which helped control their numbers. But as soon as nonnative fruits such as mangoes and guavas were introduced, the pigs were able to feed themselves, and their population exploded.
The second group of people to introduce pigs to the Islands was Captain Cook and crew in 1778. Cook noted that pigs were common on the island, so he introduced European breeds to make Polynesian breeds bigger. Today, the feral pigs in Hawaii are descendants of these two species of pig.
Danger To Humans
Wild pigs are extremely dangerous to humans, especially when traveling alone. Groups of pigs, especially females with piglets, should be avoided as much as possible. Female pigs are very protective of their young and can become very aggressive, and Feral pig attacks can cause serious injury and even death. Besides being highly aggressive, wild pigs can also cause infections in wounds and are known to carry diseases. Wild pigs carry as many as 45 diseases that can be transmitted to humans, livestock, pets, and other wildlife species. Some of the diseases wild pigs spread are E.coli into surface water systems and crops, hepatitis E, influenza A, and brucellosis.
Impact On the Ecosystem
Wild pigs are not only a threat to island inhabitants but are also a threat to the ecosystem. Their food search can cause massive amounts of damage to native plants and soil erosion. As they dig for roots and tubers, they churn up the forest floor. This process hurts many of the native plant species and robs the soil of many valuable nutrients. Their feeding and digging prevent young plants from establishing themselves.
Another impact that wild pig feeding has on the ecosystem is that they contribute to the spread of mosquitoes. Wild pigs like to hollow out the interiors of tree ferns in search of food. These hollowed-out trees act as rain catchers and collect rain runoff. These standing pools of water create the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed.
Measures to Protect Yourself from Wild Pigs Attacks in Hawaii
Over the years, the Hawaiian government has taken measures to control the population of wild pigs, but their high breed rate makes that an uphill battle.
Fencing: Wild pigs tend to destroy landscapes and gardens in their search for food. Putting up fencing around your yard or garden is a good way to keep pigs out. However, pigs are intelligent and highly adaptive and have figured out ways to get around fences by digging under them.
Hunting: Though this is not the ideal way of handling the problem, it is useful in reducing their numbers, reducing the threat they pose, and alleviating ecological stress. Be sure you read the rules for hunting wild pigs established by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Get Professional Wild Pig Control From Sandwich Isle
If you are having trouble with wild pigs disturbing your yard or business, call the Sandwich Isle experts. Our wildlife removal program will ensure you get your home or business back in no time at all.
For more information, call us at (808) 638-2406 or contact us online. Don’t forget to check out our monthly blog for more helpful tips and tricks.