The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

October 23, 2013

Hogs gone wild: Palestine property owners plagued by feral hogs

PALESTINE — They're baaaaaaaaaack!

Palestine property owner Clauis Lamb stepped out onto his front porch one morning last week and what he saw was nearly enough to make him spit. Feral hogs had destroyed a good 75 percent of his front yard, which fronts Texas 19 South.

“We had this problem a couple years back,” he recalled. “But it didn't seem near as bad as this, and they didn't come so close to the house that time. That was brand new St. Augustine grass, too! That's a lot of money. I got plenty of land back behind the house — I don't know why they can't go back there.”

Teresa Warner, Lamb's longtime family friend and caregiver, added, “We're just disgusted and discouraged that this happened again. It's so bad — how are we supposed to mow that now?”

The website, www.feralhogs.tamu.edu, reports “a 2004 survey conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service placed annual damage to agriculture in Texas alone at $52 million with an additional $7 million spent by landowners to attempt to control the pigs and/or correct the damage. This is indeed a very conservative estimate. Other researchers suggest that damage per pig per year averages $200– but the problem there is that the assumption is made that a 40 pound pig causes as much damage as a 300 pound pig, which is unlikely. The total pig population in Texas was an estimated 2.6 million in 2011.”

Lamb, a local leatherworker, joked about just laying Astroturf this time around, just to keep his yard looking nice.

“They're just a huge nuisance,” he lamented. “I just hope nobody hits them with their car.”

Anderson County AgriLife Extension Agent Truman Lamb (no relation) said he empathizes with Clauis Lamb's plight and that he's not alone.

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