Feral Pigs

Feral Pigs_Photo

Feral or wild pigs inhabit areas throughout California including Santa Clara County. These feral pigs are descendants of wild boar introduced by European settlers for sporting purposes that bred with escaped domesticated pigs. Their habitat is wooded areas, particularly oak tree dominated ecosystems, but they can also be found in chaparral and grasslands. 

Although they are not native to California, they have had a predominant presence in our corner of Santa Clara County for over 185 years. The original Mexican land grant given by Governor José Figueroa to Juan María Hernandez in 1835 was named "Ojo de Agua de La Coche", which translates to "pig spring". This area encompassed what is now modern day Morgan Hill. 

The diet of feral pigs diet is varied and includes fruits, roots, tubers, fungi and invertebrates.  They forage both day and night, but are more active at night in seeking food.  They use their snouts to forage for food.  They root-up hillsides and grasslands but have also been active in residential neighborhoods, which can cause significant property damage. 

Protect Your Property

  • If possible, install a sturdy fence around the perimeter of your yard
  • Use a biological or chemical application on your lawn to reduce the number of invertebrates living beneath the grass (e.g. snails, grubs, larvae).
  • Plant landscaping that includes little to no grass
  • Water your lawn less in summer and fall to reduce the number of invertebrates inhabiting the layers beneath your grass
  • Install a motion sensitive device that will detect the pigs' movement (this can be a bright light or water stream to frighten away the pigs)
  • Hire a private trapper

Stay Safe

If you encounter a feral pig, never approach and keep your distance. Although attacks are rare and not often deadly, they can attack if they feel threatened. Keep your dog on a leash at all times and give your dog and yourself plenty of room between you and the feral pig(s). 

For more information

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has established a Wild Pig Management Program. This site contains information and resources regarding feral pigs in California. For general inquiries, call the Bay and Delta Regional Office (Region 3) of the Department of Fish and Wildlife at 707-428-2002.