LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It is officially summer, and the heat is not the only thing invading the Lufkin area. The first cases of feral hogs have been reported inside the Lufkin city limits.
East Texas News spoke with Angelina County's only state-approved trapper about the issue, and he explained the best ways to fight the problem.
Imagine waking up to this - feral hogs right in your back yard.
"It's not common to catch them on a game camera in a backyard in Lufkin's city limits," said Cary Sims, Angelina County's agriculture extension agent.
However, that's exactly what David Saunders found when he checked a camera he sat up in his back yard after noticing some uprooting in his Brookhollow home's backyard.
Hogs have been populating the region for at least 400 years. Trapper Edwin Parker said it has recently boomed.
The hogs are multiplying year by year," Parker said. "It's amazing how fast they are raising."
The death of the spring overgrowth and the perfectly manicured lawns in Brookhollow make the perfect recipe for feral hogs.
"We've got these manicured lawns," Sims said. "We water them, we fertilize them and hogs will eat roots such as earth worms and grub worms. Bugs, roots, and fresh tender shrubs, that's what they're after right now. They are just looking for something to eat, so it's pushed them out of the woods into the subdivisions."
Due to city ordinances, it is not legal to hunt a hog in the city. The only options are to trap them or fence in the yard.
For the most part, feral hogs want to be left alone. And while it's tempting for a person to get close to a piglet, it can be dangerous.
"If you see a little bitty pig, I would stay away from it, because momma ain't far behind," Parker said.
Parker added that as the county grows, the interaction between swine and man will become more frequent.
"We're moving into their territory, on lakes, and on creeks, and that where the hogs run," Parker said.
Just this week, the Texas Department of Agriculture announced they are offering the county hog abatement matching program, or CHAMP, which offers up to $30,000 for counties to eradicate hogs in the area.