LIVERMORE, Calif. - The drought is causing more wild pigs to search for food away from the hillsides. In Livermore, wild pigs are causing quite a problem for one winery owner.
"God, that guy the boar was big," said Linda Ault of Livermore.
Ault is describing what she saw after hearing grunting outside her front door at 3 a.m. Saturday. It wasn’t just one pig but a family of wild pigs.
"I tried to chase them off the property," said Ault.
The damage had already been done. Her front yard looks like it’s been rototilled and her back yard too. This has not been their first visit. She noticed the problem began last week.
"I said oh my God, that’s not exactly what we said, worse things but oh my God," said Ault. "I’m devastated, couldn't believe it."
Ault and her husband own Cedar Mountain Winery in the outskirts of Livermore. While they’ve seen cows and cattle not so much wild pigs.
"We haven’t had any trouble with pigs for eight years," said Earl Ault of Livermore. "Now they have discovered this property and we will have to do something about it."
"They are looking for grubs ,they are coming out of the hills and there’s a drought, they are hungry," said Linda Ault.
Ault said they typically come between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. She’s prepared. Ault read pigs don't like fish so she even soaked cheerios in fish oil to try and deter them.
"We put it around and it looks like they are not hitting those areas," said Linda Ault.
Wild pigs have been a nuisance in other neighborhoods in San Jose, San Ramon and Lafayette.
"It typically happens in late summer, early fall but in drought years like we are having right now, it happens a little more often," said Ken Paglia of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said pigs are expanding their search for food. Homeowners can file a wildlife incident report for help.
"You can make noises, you can throw a small rock at it, you can chase it away," said Paglia.
Ault is planning on putting up a fence. She’s also working with Fish and Wildlife to try and trap the pigs.
"Our neighbors saw 22 of them and I don’t know how we are going to catch them all," said Linda Ault.
Luckily, the pigs have not affected the winery’s landscaping. She estimates it will cost $30,000 to replace the lawn.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.