RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WSAV) — For years, feral swine (also known as wild pigs) have shown up in neighborhoods across the United States, including the Georgia area.
“It’s very common. We obviously live near the marshy areas, and we have several different kinds of animals that come through, deer, pigs, all that kind of stuff,” said Richmond Hill resident Ashlee Barker. “My kind of opinion on that is they were here first. It’s kind of hard for me to want to try and get rid of them or eradicate them. However, they are destroying lawns in our neighborhood, which is Strathy Hall, and I’m sure some other areas around Richmond Hill.”
Strathy Hall resident Joann Edenfield said, “We’ve been here since the ’80s. I don’t recall seeing any signs of pigs or boar, only a deer every now and then and that’s rare.”
Even if she were to see a wild pig Edenfield said it wouldn’t bother her. “I’m a country gal and I like it,” she said.
However, it’s a different story for her son when it comes to wild pigs.
“My son lives in Rincon, and he has trouble with them. They come out of the woods and really tear up his yard. The neighbors might set out a trap or something.”
According to the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD), feral swine live in all of Georgia’s 159 counties and have become increasingly detrimental in Georgia, causing significant damage to agricultural crops and natural resources throughout the state.
The economic impact of damage caused by wild pigs in Georgia is estimated at more than $150 million.
The GACD considers wild pigs to be the greatest invasive species in Georgia but some residents don’t have an issue with them.
“We’ve been hit in our yard once or twice by some pigs,” said Barker. “I don’t have an issue with it because I love nature, I love the wildlife, so I mean, if people are looking to be in a rural area or that type of stuff, come on, you’re going to have to deal with the pigs and the deer and stuff like that. I find it nice and relaxing with the marshes and stuff like that.”
However, there are options for those who consider them a challenge, or nuisance.
“They could hire a trapper, professionals that know how to deal with the population, and know how to trap, remove, relocate or euthanize,” The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Game Management Division said. “They could also do different hunting methods, they have to follow local ordinances. Hazing would be the third option, different chemical high repellants, loud noisemakers, just carrying them away from the property, although that method is not that successful because they just might come back.”
The Game Management Division continued, “You can always call the Department of Natural Resources, we have numerous amounts of resources and provide helpful information. On our website, we do have links to our trapper app that is accessible to anyone who might be looking for a trapper. It’s called the nuisance wildlife trapper app and it shows all of the trappers for all of the counties throughout Georgia.”