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LSU Develops Patent-Pending Bait to Fight the ‘Pigdemic’

Wild pigs can replicate quickly. A single sow can produce more than 400 descendants in three years.

Wild, invasive pigs cause more than $90 million in damage to Louisiana farms each year and pose a growing threat to the environment, people and other animals. With $50K in support from the state, LSU is now moving into controlled field trials of a patent-pending bait based on fish, potatoes and, ironically, the key ingredient for bacon.

And while the LSU baits are effective on wild pigs, they have next-to-no impact on the environment, break down quickly and won’t harm animals or humans who might be tempted to eat the pigs.

Wild pigs are everywhere in Louisiana, rampaging through forests and farms, causing significant damage to crops and creating an E. coli problem. There are now more invasive wild pigs in the state than there are people in the most populous cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport combined—close to 1 million. Pigs reproduce quickly. A single sow can produce more than 400 descendants in three years. When food is abundant, like it is in Louisiana, any local wild pig population can double within mere months.

“In Louisiana, with our growing seasons, there’s always something to eat,” said Glen Gentry, who is an animal scientist and director and coordinator of two LSU AgCenter research stations, including Idlewild, which specializes in wildlife management.

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