GRANT-VALKARIA, Fla. – Wild hogs tore up yards in Grant-Valkaria and Suntree in the past few days. The root of the problem: a wet season that just won't get going.
As forest wetlands have receded, lawn sprinklers have been providing the long-lost moisture that lures hogs to their staple diet -- insects they root up from any damp soil they can find.
"This thing would take a finger off in a heartbeat," said James Dean of AAA Wildlife Removal, pointing out the sharp cutters protruding from the mouth of the hog inside a trap in the back of his pickup.
It was Dean's second hog since Saturday. He caught it Monday off Henderson Drive at Valkaria Road in south Brevard County.
"They're getting close to people in some neighborhoods. Not too close, but too close for comfort," he told Local 6 News partner Florida Today.
With five inches below the average rain since Jan. 1, the Space Coast is closing in on the record late date for the onset of the rainy season.
On Monday, the high temperature at Melbourne International Airport set a record of 99. The normal high for the date is 88 degrees, while the previous record of 97 was set in 1998.
Forecasters expect lightning late this week but not much rain, with a 20 percent to 30 percent chance.