Plants may wilt due to larval root feeding. Underground vegetables and tubers will have small burrowed tunnels. Leaves may have holes at the edges where adults feed.
- Roots of many garden ornamental and vegetable plants are attacked.
- Wireworms are the larvae of Agriotes and Athous, species of click beetles.
- Eggs are laid below the soil between May and June.
- Newly hatched larvae are very small and white.
- Larvae grow to 3cm in length, and develop a tough, golden brown skin. They have three pairs of short, stout legs.
- Larvae feed on roots of plants, and burrow into tubers. Potatoes are particularly susceptible.
- The larval period can last up to four years.
- Larvae move up and down in the soil depending on moisture levels.
- Pupation occurs about 30cm below the soil surface in a small chamber.
- After three to four weeks adults hatch and remain in the soil to overwinter.
- Adults emerge in summer to mate.
- When overturned, click beetles propel themselves into the air by arching their back and snapping their head back. This action makes a clicking sound.
Products containing the following chemical ingredients are all effective on Wireworm
- There are no effective chemicals available for wireworm control.
Note: It is important to read manufacturer’s instructions for use and the associated safety data information before applying chemical treatments.
- Regularly cultivate soil in spring and summer.
- Early lifting of susceptible crops will minimise damage.
- Encourage insectivorous birds by hanging feeders and bird boxes.
- Inspect compost heaps for wireworms and remove any you find.
- Do not plant susceptible crops in known infested areas.
- Thoroughly turn soil in autumn to expose wireworms to predators.
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