The wireworm is actually the larva of the click beetle. It is very easy to distinguish from other larvae because its body is very strong and hard (like a wire) and its coatings are glossy. Potato wireworm can do a lot of damage to potato tubers, and it is just as dangerous to the plant as the Colorado potato beetle. However, it is much easier to save bushes from the beetle, because it settles on the leaves, where it is easy to detect and destroy. The wireworm, on the other hand, lives underground, making it more difficult to detect and also making it more difficult to control.
Special features of the wireworm
The wireworm is a polyphagous, feeding not only on roots but also on plant shoots, as well as seedlings and seeds. Wireworms make holes in roots and tubers, causing them to store very poorly and in some cases they cannot be eaten at all.
The length of a wireworm can vary from 1 to 5 centimeters. The very stiff and thin body may be colored in various shades from yellow to dark brown. If you want to crush such a pest, you will have to try very hard.
The developmental cycle of the snapper is five years, with the larva developing over the course of 3-4 years. During the first year, the larva traumatizes the underground part of various crops, but it is not able to do much damage. From the second year of life, the larva is more dangerous, and in the fourth year it pupates. The adult chrysalis beetle emerges from its pupa in spring.
Fighting the wireworm
Most pests can be fairly easily dealt with by applying an acaricide or insecticide.
But the wireworm is not so easy to get rid of. The matter is complicated by the fact that it lives in the ground, so it is quite difficult to find and get to it. Because of this, the larvae must be dealt with immediately by all methods available to you, namely mechanical, agrotechnical and chemical.
Agrotechnical methods of fighting wireworms:
- Spring deep dig the soil in the vegetable garden, while being sure to select and destroy all pupae, larvae and wireworm beetles. Also remove all weeds from the plot in time, pay special attention to the rhizomes of willow-grass and wheatgrass.
- Remember the rules of crop rotation. For example, it is recommended to sow peas and beans after potatoes.
- Sow siderats on the plot that can repel the pest. Vegetarians often use green manure such as lupine, alfalfa, mustard, and vetch for this purpose because they are most effective.
- Sow lettuce between the rows of potatoes because the wireworm likes to eat their roots.
- In autumn, deep digging or tilling should be done just before a hard frost. This allows you to get rid of most of the pests (50 to 90 percent).
The easiest way to kill wireworm in your garden
Medicines for wireworm (preparations)
Pest control is done with superphosphate granules treated with insecticide, 3 or 4 pieces per hole. They can be treated with Karate, Actellic or Decis. Spread pellets of superphosphate in a thin layer and treat them with the following solution: 80 milligrams of water combined with 200 milligrams of acetone and 15 milligrams of any of the above insecticides.
In case there are very many larvae on the plot and it is impossible to get rid of them with the above methods, then it is recommended to use Bazudin, which is highly toxic, you can also choose a less dangerous drug for warm-blooded animals Diazinon. In the control of wireworms also use Prestige, which can reduce the number of Colorado potato beetles and wireworms by almost 2 times, plus, this drug is less harmful in comparison with Bazudin. Provotoks, which is not addictive to wireworms, has low toxicity to humans, and is absolutely harmless to earthworms, is also used to control this pest. The duration of the action of this agent is quite long. In addition to these pesticides for getting rid of wireworms, such as: Grom-2, Kapkan, Zemlin, Aktara, Force, Metarizin and Dochlox.
Remember that before using any of the chemical preparations, you should carefully study the instructions and strictly follow them.
Since chemical agents are capable of harming the human body, it is recommended to use them in the fight against wireworms only as a last resort. You can replace them with folk remedies, of which there are quite a few. The best folk recipes from wireworms:
- Tincture of celandine. This infusion is considered the most effective of all herbal remedies.
It is recommended that the prepared infusion be poured over all the soil on the plot.
- Wood ash. It is recommended to cover the soil surface between the rows with a layer of ash, which will kill the larvae.
- Nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrogen fertilizers containing ammonium are quite effective against wireworms; instead, the soil can be sprinkled with ammonia water.
Ammonium salts are detrimental to the pest, and they are also an excellent nitrogen fertilizer for root crops.
- Lime. As a rule, slaked lime is used to deoxidize the soil, but at the same time it can kill most wireworms. Chalk, hard coal ashes, or dolomite meal may also be added once in 3 or 4 years.
Ground eggshells are cheap but fairly effective. It is sprinkled on the surface of the whole plot.
- Baits. Several traps may be set up on a plot. For this purpose make a small hole 7 to 15 cm deep and put in a cake or a piece of carrot or beet.
On top of the hole should be covered with a piece of iron or plywood. Also as a bait in the hole you can put grass, straw or hay, which did not have time to mature to the end. After three to four days, check the holes and destroy the baits along with the click beetle larvae. The first baiting is done 7-15 days before planting root crops, and then continue to do it regularly throughout the summer. In autumn, it is recommended to put bundles of straw or pieces of manure on the soil surface in several places on the plot.
After the first frosts pass, the baits will accumulate the click beetle larvae, which must be destroyed together with the straw.
- Margano2. If root crops or potatoes are growing in soil with a neutral or alkaline reaction, then it is recommended to treat the prepared planting holes with a solution of potassium permanganate (5 grams per bucket of water) just before planting. For one hole take 0.5 l of solution.
If the soil is acidic, then the result of using such a solution can be that the roots of the seedlings will burn. It is therefore recommended that a handful of coniferous needles or onion husks be poured into wells made in sour soil.
To rid yourself of the wireworm for ever it is very useful
After a site is de-wormed, special preventative measures are required each year. If this is not done, the pest may resettle in your vegetable garden.
Main preventive measures:
- At least once every 2 or 3 years it is recommended to change the plot used for growing a certain crop.
- At least once every spring and even more so in autumn the soil is turned over the depth of the spade. By digging the soil in the fall, you raise the larvae to the surface of the plot, which die in a hard frost. During the spring digging you will manage to get rid of the roots of weeds, which pests are also happy to eat.
- In May and June it is recommended to systematically loosen the soil on the plot. In this case, the eggs of the chirp beetle on the surface of the ground are killed by direct sunlight.
- Systematically clean the area of weeds, paying particular attention to couch grass. If there are too many weeds and you cannot get rid of them yourself, use Roundup.
- Make sure your garden is always clean. In autumn, remove all haulm and grass; otherwise it is a good place for the pest to overwinter.
- With a few places in the garden, it is recommended to plant velvets; their smell is very attractive to the wireworm.
However, the sap of this plant is poisonous to the pest. It is possible to repel the larvae with legumes (soybeans, beans, black beans and peas) because they have bacteria in their root system that release nitrogen. To increase the effectiveness of this method, it is recommended to plant phacelia together with legumes, which helps to neutralize acidic soil.
- Pest repellent crops such as ramets, spinach, rape, mustard, buckwheat, melilot and oilseed radish. It is advisable to sow one of these crops regularly once every 2 or 3 years in an area where root crops or potatoes are grown.
This allows the larvae in the ground to either die or become adult beetles and leave the plot.
- Horticulturists who sow rye to control wireworms say that it is not capable of repelling the pest, but rather this crop is very attractive to it. In addition, rye takes a lot of moisture from the soil, so it is highly undesirable as a green manure.
- To get rid of the pest very quickly, treat the surface of the soil with ordinary salt. This method may not be used more often than once every 7 years.
If you have just begun to cultivate the soil, remember that it may contain a huge number of wireworms. Because of this, it is recommended that you systematically remove the pests from the ground during the first few years, as well as clear the area of weed roots. In the early years it is better not to grow root crops or potatoes in such an area but plant nightshades, legumes or pumpkins instead.
How to get rid of wireworms
Wormwood in potatoes
If the potatoes are very numerous, all possible methods should be used to remove them. If the plot allocated to growing potatoes, despite all preventive measures, still appeared larvae of click beetle and began to actively spoil the tubers, then the first thing to do is to place baits in several places.
To do this, make a not very deep hole, in which a piece of beet or carrot is placed. The hole must be necessarily covered from above. Instead, for each 1 square meter vegetable garden can be dug up to the neck in the ground one glass jar of 0.5 liters, each of which is placed a small piece of root crops, cover them with a top. After two or three days, the bait is taken out of the soil and burned along with the larvae that are in it.
Also for getting rid of wireworms in potato fields you can use herbal infusion made from celandine, coltsfoot, nettle or dandelion in accordance with the following recipe: pour 0.2 kg of dandelions or 0.1 kg of celandine, or 0.2 kg of coltsfoot or 0.5 kg of nettle in a bucket of water, ready in 12 hours (celandine infusion is ready in three days).
After it is strained, it is poured over the soil on the plot.
To protect potatoes from this "invisible" pest that can be fought for a very long time, the following preventive measures must be taken:
- in the same plot grow potatoes not more than two years, and it is recommended to alternate it with plants belonging to the family of legumes;
- specialists advise, before planting the tubers to treat with a solution of the active substance Prestige, it will provide reliable protection for potatoes against wireworm, and also against the midge, midge and Colorado beetle.
Besides that you should also remember the preventive measures mentioned above. If everything is done correctly and in time, your vegetable garden will be well protected against the larvae of the Colorado potato beetle.
A simple device will destroy all wireworm in the plot
The wireworm in carrots
The worm is not only able to harm potatoes and carrots, but also almost all root crops.
But it is highly undesirable to use chemicals to control it in this case, because the toxins in them can accumulate in the rootcrops. If carrots are grown on an industrial scale, in this case it is unlikely to cope with the pest without special pesticides. However, in an ordinary vegetable garden you can try to protect carrots from the pest with harmless folk remedies.
To keep larvae away from carrots the following methods can be used:
- So few shallow holes are made in which pieces of potatoes, beets or carrots are placed.
- Soak the soil in the plot with herb infusion (see above) regularly every 2 or 3 days.
- Between the carrot rows it is advisable to plant beans, soya, marigold, peas, or black beans.
- For preventive care 30 days before sowing carrots in the plot where they will grow it is possible to plant mustard. They bury the seeds in the soil only 15-20 mm, after the sprouts emerged to the height of 15-20 cm, they are sprayed with Baikal EM 1 (diluted in water 1:500), which accelerates fermentation, and then the plants are cut and embedded into the soil with a hoe or ploughshare. Then not only carrots, but also beets, potatoes and other root crops can be sown in this area.