For months, residents in the Waterside subdivision of Riverstone watched in desperation as feral hogs returned each night and destroy more of the neighborhood.
It’s hard to say how the nightly appearances began, but for whatever reason, 25 feral hogs decided to make the neighborhood near Sugar Land their roaming grounds. Not surprisingly, they began to cause a lot of damage, tearing up grasses, rooting through gardens and turning over trashcans wherever they could.
The neighborhood also had a Homeowner’s Association that requires residents to keep their lawns beautiful. So, every time the boars returned, it was another bill neighbors had to pay.
“They did around $3,000 worth of damage,” said resident Bianca Calderon de Lachica, gesturing to her uprooted flowerbed. Collectively, the neighborhood has spent $3,800 trying to fix the damage the feral hogs caused.
And the landscaping costs were only half of their worries. As de Lachica noted, boars could pose a threat to public health.
“These are aggressive animals, they are invasive, dangerous and destructive,” de Lachica, a Houston attorney and mother of two, told the Houston Chronicle. “They carry diseases and are a threat to our kids.”
Unfortunately, though, the HOA refused to help the neighbors hire trappers because this method “creates potential liability for everyone involved.”
So, the neighbors of Riverstone decided to take matters into their own hands.
Texas Homeowners Hire Trapper to Solve Feral Hog Problem, Despite HOA’s Stance
Riverstone neighbors decided to hire Edward Dickey from Texas Wild Hog Control, whose business sells the captured animals to ranches. Dickey set up shop for two weeks and observed the 25 feral hogs, noting that one was pregnant.
“It’s a process trapping these hogs because they are extremely intelligent,” Dickey said. “I can’t just set up the trap right away, I have to condition the hogs to trust the site.”
On the 14th day, just hours before the hog trapper was ready to corral the wild animals, the HOA forced him to stop, stating that he was trespassing.
“I got a call from the HOA saying I had to pull the trap out, because I didn’t have the HOA’s permission,” said Dickey. “They told me their attorneys thought it was too much of a liability to have a trap on community property.”
In the past, other HOAs have even commissioned Dickey to solve this exact problem. But HOA spokesperson Jaime Villegas insisted that trapping was not the way to deal with the problem.
“When a resident reports a pig issue, we try to find an access point,” said Villegas. “We have miles of fencing around Riverstone that we’ve installed to keep these wild animals out of the community. So, if there’s an access point that was damaged that these hogs have found, we can send someone to deal with that.”
Villegas added that the HOA has added sprinkler systems to deter the beasts, but Dickey said that these moisture-seeking animals would actually enjoy that.
“We would like a response or at least not be stopped when we try to fix the issue ourselves. We’re not trying to do anything illegal,” de Lachica shared.
Going forward, the fed-up resident is looking into hiring lawyers to help solve the feral hog problem.