Terrestrial Terror Round 2 results: Garlic Mustard vs. Feral Swine

By Alice Rossignol and Rachael Gleason

Editors note: Great Lakes SmackDown! Terrestrial Terror is an ongoing Great Lakes Echo series.

In Round 2, The Beast crushed Colonel Mustard into the ground in the brackets and the polls.

Seventy-one percent of pollsters chose the feral swine over the garlic mustard. In the brackets, 47 percent of bracketeers picked the feral swine and 21 percent chose the garlic mustard. The rest of the bracket picks went to fighters that have already dropped out of the running.

The garlic mustard definitely has some strong points in its favor. Garlic mustard seeds remain viable in soil from five to seven years. The plant is also a biennial, meaning that it sticks around for two years and  it’s time-consuming and costly to control, said Tom Boos, forestry invasive plant coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“I would say long-term it’s costly. It’s time consuming which you can equate with cost,” Boos said.

But the feral swine carries various diseases and parasites and trample things like plants.

They can carry a bunch of disease and like most invasive species they can also change ecology and the make up of the landscape, said Michelle Rosen, a laboratory technician of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The hog is also extremely hard to control and eat native wildlife.

They’ll eat ground-nesting bird eggs and they’ll eat fawns, Rosen said.

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