Swine spree in Sanford neighborhood as wild hogs tear up yards

Herd of hogs seen rummaging day and night

SANFORD, Fla. – Neighbors in a Seminole County neighborhood are looking at ways to ward off wild hogs that have caused damage to several yards.

The hogs were caught on surveillance video in the Sterling Meadows neighborhood in Sanford.

“Went into the backyard one night and there is a whole pack back there just rummaging around, and over the next couple of weeks they just kept on coming out and there is no front yard,” Theron Lasher said.

Lasher is a sophomore at the University of Central Florida and says he has dealt with wild animals living in the state’s panhandle, but says even with that experience he wasn’t prepared for this hog family digging up his yard.

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“The adult female in particular is really large, so being out here even during the day if they come out — it doesn’t feel safe,” said Lasher.

Another neighbor, Kevin, says he also saw damage in his backyard.

He tells News 6 that wildlife is not new to the area, but says while he doesn’t expect construction to be the cause of hogs coming through the neighborhood, it’s still concerning.

“They’re tearing a little bit more ground up than they usually do, but this here as you can see is the first time I’ve seen it like this,” Kevin said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hogs cause approximately $2.5 billion in damages each year.

In a statement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says there are a number of factors for wild hog reports, naming seasonal food options, year-round reproduction, and increased human population as potential causes.

Since February of this year, FWC reported there have been 16 hog incidents between Lake, Orange, and Seminole counties.

The FWC does not provide removal services for wild hogs, but this species is not protected in Florida. On private property with landowner permission, wild hogs may be trapped and hunted year-round during the day and night and no hunting license is required.

For properties open to the greater landscape (e.g., residential areas, golf courses), trapping is an effective method of preventing damage. A list of private nuisance wildlife trappers can be found on the FWC website.

In addition to private trappers, the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services (352-377-5556) provides a fee-based trapping program that services homeowner and community associations to resolve wild hog issues.

For Kevin, he says he prefers a more holistic way of warding off swine.

“Usually they do not like pepper, pepper flakes, they get a sniff of it and are usually deterred by it,” Kevin said.

Lasher says he and his roommates are thinking of using fencing as their option. “So eventually in the next couple of weeks, we are going to put up a fence and get someone to fix the grass — but the fence is the main thing.”

Going forward, neighbors say either way they will just have to wait for these hogs to move out of the area before they can start to fix their yards.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.