How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Wild Pigs

Scientific Name: Sus scrofa

(Reviewed 7/16, updated 7/16)

In this Guideline:

Description of the Pest

Wild pigs include both domestic swine (lacking ear tags) that escaped captivity and wild boar. Wild pigs are commonly found in the foothill areas, and they prefer areas of dense brush. During periods of hot weather, they will "wallow" in water or moist soil.


  • Wild pigs will feed on insects and underground vegetation. This rooting behavior can disrupt parts of the orchard and vineyard floors.
  • Pigs also create large uneven basins or wallows in moist soil during hot weather. Both rooting and wallows can disrupt the application of irrigation water.
  • If a pig gets tangled up in flexible irrigation equipment, it will pull it out.
  • Pigs can eat lower fruit on trees and vines.
  • Wild pigs may contribute to some produce contamination issues when inhabiting fields or adjacent fields with downhill run off potential or from blowing dust.


Wild pigs are considered game animals and fall under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Pigs can be trapped or shot, but this requires a depredation permit. Contact your local CDFW representative for further details on depredation permits.

Cultural Control

Fencing can be effective but is expensive.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions

In some counties, the agricultural commissioner has trappers who can assist; other counties have contracts with USDA-Wildlife Services to assist with problematic pigs.

Frightening devices

Frightening devices can be used for a short-term solution.


There are no toxicants currently registered for use on wild pigs in the United States, and there are no known effective repellents.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Citrus
UC ANR Publication 3441


R. Baldwin, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, UC Davis

Acknowledgment for contributions to Vertebrates:
R. E. Marsh (emeritus), Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, UC Davis
T. P. Salmon (emeritus), UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County
M. W. Freeman, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County

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