How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Wireworms are the soil-dwelling larvae of the click beetle. They are shiny, slender, cylindrical, hard-bodied, wirelike, yellow-to-brown larvae found at all times of the year and in almost any kind of soil. The larval (or wireworm) stage of this beetle may last several years.
Wireworm larvae injure crops by devouring seeds in the soil, thus preventing seedlings from emerging. They also cause damage by cutting off small, underground stems and roots; and by boring in larger stems and roots.
Wireworms may be a problem following an alfalfa rotation or in fields that were previously pastures. Cultivating, flooding, and dry fallowing can help reduce populations.
The presence of wireworm larvae can be monitored by burying carrot pieces partially into the soil at seeding to attract the wireworms. If wireworms are present, a preventive seed treatment may be necessary.
Start inspecting plants for wireworm damage along with other pests and their damage when the crop emerges. Often the wireworm will be found near the damaged or missing seed or plant. Consider using treated seed in fields with a history of wireworm problems.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Dry