redish wire-type worms - Knowledgebase Question

san diego, Ca
Question by Marlene_Walk
July 20, 2010
What are these redish-wire type worms in the soil and how do I get rid of them?


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Answer from NGA
July 20, 2010

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Wireworms look like short (? inch) reddish brown worms, but they are actually the larval stage of the click beetle. There are several species of wireworms, distributed throughout most of the world. Wireworms are very common in most types of soil and can be found year round.

Since wireworms are so common, they are extremely hard to control. However, if you suspect wireworms are present, here are a few techniques you can try to limit their destructiveness.

1.Cultivate your soil in May/June, when they hatch, to expose them to hungry birds.

2.Use chunks of potato as a decoy trap. Skewer a piece of raw potato and bury it near the problem area, with the skewer above ground marking its spot. Dig after about 1 week and check for the presence of wireworms. Dispose of the potato piece, wireworms and all.

3.Remove and destroy infected crops after harvesting, to limit overwintering.

4.Apply beneficial nematodes (Heterorhabditis megadis) to attack wirewomrs. Heterorhabditis megadis needs to be applied to the soil as the wireworms are hatching and reapplied each year.

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