When Tampa police were called out to a gas station last week after unwanted pigs arrived, they posted a pun-filled post on Facebook.
There were jokes from commentators about little piggies going to market and the costs of a hog wash. But AGweb posted that the pigs wandering to a gas station is actually an indication of an alarming trend.
Homeowners are increasingly having to deal with wild pigs wreaking havoc in neighbourhoods and yards.
One owner of a wildlife removal company says he’s seeing a jump in calls for help to remove the pigs.
“I probably got more (calls) this year than I have five years prior,” said Dave Lueck, owner of The Trapper Guy, a wildlife removal and control company, in a Fox 13 News story.
When wild pigs run out of food sources near the conservation areas where they usually hang out, they move on to new sources. In this case, that means grass and acorns in town.
“They’re opportunists, so they’re basically eating whatever they can once they get their noses underneath the ground,” Lueck added.
Homeowners are increasingly frustrated by the damage and expense caused by the wild pigs.
Wild pigs are strong, and can dig and jump, making them difficult to keep out. Lueck said the best defense for homeowners is a fence or wall to keep them out.
According to officials with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, wild hogs are not native to Florida, but can be found in all 67 Florida counties. Once they are trapped, the pigs are euthanized.
On most public wildlife management areas (WMAs) in Florida, wild hog hunting is allowed during most seasons, except spring turkey season. People may hunt wild hogs only during established seasons and in accordance with regulations outlined in the area-specific WMA regulations.
On private lands, wild hogs may be hunted or trapped year-round with landowner permission. A hunting license is not required when hunting only wild hogs.