Wild pig-fighting bait developed by LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Wild hogs are one of the most invasive species when it comes to damaging farmlands, eating up all kinds of crops like the ones grown here at home.
They can also reproduce at an alarming rate. A single female can have up to 400 babies in just three years. According to experts, our state alone has more wild hogs than there are people in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport combined.
A new patent-pending bait being developed at LSU hope to help fight them off. Professor John Pojman is a chemist at LSU who was asked to come up with a bait that would not only kill the pigs but also remain environmentally friendly.
“We need to kill about 800,000 a year for the population to be stable. So this is an enormous problem. They pose a threat to levees, they damage property, so it’s a very serious problem, but they’re very smart. And so we need to have a mechanism that can not only kill the hog humanely, which this does, but also make sure if any scavenger comes upon the carcass, it isn’t poisoned,” said Professor Pojman.
Farmers often need to fight the beasts off themselves using their guns and traps to solve the problem. It takes a lot to stay on top of keeping them away and running the farm. The new bait will hopefully reduce the burden.
“The example could be, we developed rat poison, but we haven’t eliminated rats. I mean, I think it’s going to be one more tool in the arsenal to keep the population in control,” Pojman added.
“As you go north, the problem is much bigger, and it has a very big crop impact to the grain farmers that plant up there,” said Heath Morris, who owns a sugarcane and soybean farm in Port Allen.
A couple of years ago, Heath and his neighbors had to kill off an entire herd.
“We were very proactive in trying to get rid of them and typically we saw them during our harvest season. When you were cutting cane, you would see them running out of the cane. So, we would set up with guns and with people who were qualified of course. Whenever they came out, I mean...they were shot,” Heath explained.
Heath said having to protect his crops 24/7 while staying on top of the farming is almost impossible for any farmer to do without help. He added once the product is available for sale, he would be interested in stocking up.
“If the problem reemerges for me, yeah absolutely it’d be a product that we’d be interested in. I’m sure a bunch of farmers up north, the guys who really have the problems, they’re itching to get it out there,” Heath continued.
“We can work together to help a problem that’s really important to the citizens of Louisiana, and I’m very proud as a resident of Louisiana and an employee of the state of Louisiana to be able to help with that,” said Professor Pojman.
LSU said it currently needs to wait for EPA approval to begin field testing the product and for the government to issue its patent before they can put this bait on the shelves for folks.
For more information about the bait, click here.
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