Fatal Drug Approved in Texas to Fight Feral Hogs

Officials have approved Kaput Feral Hog Bait, which contains a warfarin-based toxin, in the battle against the invasive species found throughout the Lone Star State.

Fatal Drug Approved in Texas to Fight Feral Hogs

A new drug called Kaput Feral Hog Bait has been approved in Texas to help in the fight against invasive, destructive wild pigs. The product is produced by Scimetrics Laboratory and contains a warfarin-based toxin that has been proven to be deadly to pigs. It was approved on February 1 for use by licensed pesticide applicators.

“It’s taken the better part of a decade to make this product available to licensed applicators,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening told www.texasfarmbureau.org. “We are encouraged by this new addition to the toolbox. Traps and hunting don’t always fit the situation when you’re trying to remove feral hogs and protect your crops, livestock and farm and ranch lands.”

Feral hogs are found in Texas from the Galveston beaches to the borders with adjoining states. The state has the country’s largest feral hog population. Officials say the destructive swine do more than $200 million annually in crop and livestock damage losses. Feral pigs also have begun showing up in neighborhoods in large cities, such as Houston, in places such as golf courses, public parks and even cemeteries.

Kaput Feral Hog Bait has been shown to work quickly to kill feral pigs that consume it. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension researchers conducted tests for more than two years with the drug. Specific feeders that allow pigs to eat, but not non-target species, are used. After a condition period in which the pigs grew accustomed to eating the food and placebo bait, the Kaput Feral Hog Bait was added. It took less than a week for lethal results after consuming the bait.

“Feral hogs reproduce rapidly, can thrive in various environments and lack any natural predators,” TBF President Boening told www.texasfarmbureau.org. “Farmers and ranchers have been working on this problem with tools and strategies for decades. We hope this pesticide will help better control the feral hog population to protect livestock, crops and natural resources in our state.”

A blue dye in the Kaput Feral Hog Bait shows up in the pigs’ body fat. Texas Tech researchers said the dye showed up about three hours after consumption. It intensifies in the fatty tissue as the pigs eat more. The amount of warfarin, the lethal toxin, is about a fifth of the active level of similar baits for rodents in homes or businesses. 

“The feral hog problem has exploded into a crisis,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told www.texasfarmbureau.org. “All but one of 254 counties across the state have endured damage, not just to farm and ranch land, but to urban areas, too. I welcome any product available to help farmers and ranchers, and Kaput gives farmers, ranchers, homeowners and businesses another tool to use in fighting the devastating feral hog presence in Texas.”

Kaput Feral Hog Bait will be available in spring to licensed applicators.


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