Wireworms are the larval stage of click beetles. They look like yellow worms, about 1-1/2” long and tend to be yellow to brown. Unlike worms, their skin is hard.
Mature click beetles are not much of a threat to garden plants. They are a lot of fun hold, however. One moment they are sitting on your hand and the next (Click!) they are gone! Their larval forms are something else altogether. Wireworms burrow into the roots, stems, and tubers of many garden plants. Favorite foods include potatoes, beets, carrots, peas, beans, melons, and onions.
If you suspect wireworms, leave a couple of carrots out on the ground overnight and monitor for wireworms. If wireworms are present in significant numbers, the area may need to be plowed and allowed to go fallow. Drying out the soil significantly reduces wireworm populations. If you are not fully committed to going organic, there are some pesticides that are effective against wireworms, including ETHOPROP (Mocap). If pesticides are used, be sure to follow package directions exactly and completely. Small populations are not a big concern.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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