Feral pig maps of the United States show that populations are heavily concentrated in Southern states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana. Heavy populations also exist in California, and an overall trend shows movement northward. Since the 1980s, feral pig numbers have grown exponentially. It is hypothesized that hunters transporting pigs are a source of this population boom, although pigs are capable of traveling on their own as well.
Feral pigs are responsible for more than $1.5 billion in damages and control costs annually. Most of this damage is confined to agriculture, as pigs dig up fields and create wallows even when they do not consume food. Feral pigs also destroy property such as enclosures, and they even contaminate local water sources with their fecal matter, which contains harmful bacteria. It is estimated that each pig in Texas is responsible for around $200 in damages. This totals to approximately $500 million for the 2.6 million feral pigs living there. Due to the sizable destructive capabilities of feral pigs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture aims to curb feral pig populations by 2025.
Pigs are adaptable animals and reproduce rapidly. They can begin reproducing at just six months of age, and sows average 1.5 litters per year. A litter may contain a dozen or so piglets. When traveling, pigs stay in groups of between eight and 15, which makes the task of trapping much more difficult. Due to their intelligence, pigs can also elude hunters and trappers.