‘The pig bomb’: Feral hogs make a great meme, but they are a serious pest in Virginia

‘The pig bomb’: Feral hogs make a great meme, but they are a serious pest in Virginia
Feral swine. (Source: USDA)

The frequently asked questions page on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ website says it best.

“Feral hogs are four-legged ecological disasters.”

Earlier this week the “30-50 feral hogs” meme swarmed the internet, an unexpected by-product of the nationwide gun debate.

But in many parts of the country, including Virginia, feral hogs have posed a huge threat to natural habitats and endangered plants and animals, according to DGIF. They multiply fast, have few or no natural predators aside from humans and, once established, are nearly impossible to eradicate.

Starting in the 1980s, the population of feral hogs exploded in the southeastern U.S. — a phenomenon wildlife experts deemed “the pig bomb.” The USDA estimates there are over 6 million pigs in 35 states.

The Virginia Mercury is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.