Two Texas universities will share $500,000 from the state legislature to study the feral hog issue in Texas.

The legislature recognized the destructive impact that feral hogs can have on pastures, cropland and private property, and the disease threat they pose to other livestock.

A 2004 survey by the Texas Extension Service found that the average respondent estimated losses of $4,184 due to damage caused by feral hogs. The problem is estimated to cost the state $51.7 million.

Texas A&M University was awarded $390,500 and Texas Tech University $109,500 to study ways to address the feral hog issue in Texas, home to an estimated two million wild hogs.

Texas A&M researchers will assess feral hog damage to crops, evaluate control measures and estimate economic impact.

Texas Cooperative Extension Wildlife and Fisheries Unit and Wildlife Services are formulating a pilot program for trapping wild hogs in three ecological areas: east Texas, central Texas and the coastal bend region.

Creating a pheromone and odor bait to attract feral hogs to the traps, and developing a birth control program for wild hogs is Texas Tech’s research mission.