Wireworms are not a separate type of insect, but the larvae of the click beetle that develop in the ground. They got their name because of the long, elongated body with a dense, shiny cover.
The larvae live up to 5 years. They gnaw passages in potatoes, carrots, beets and other root crops, and also eat the roots of cultivated plants and weeds.
How to protect vegetables from wireworm when planting
It is better to start pest control right at the planting stage. The easiest option is special tools that are sold in stores. Applying them in the spring will provide protection for the entire season. So, before planting, you can treat potatoes and seeds with Prestige or another insecticide.
When planting potatoes and various root crops, you can additionally apply insecticidal preparations containing diazinon directly into the ground. It can be “Medvetoks”, “Provatoks” and others. When planting potatoes, it is convenient to first mix 30 g of the product and ⅔ liter jar of dry sand and pour about a teaspoon into each well. For seed beds, the agent can also be mixed with sand or poured in its pure form into the furrows for planting.
From folk remedies, birch tar is useful. Dilute a tablespoon of this remedy and moisten each tuber with liquid before placing it in the hole. When sowing seeds, you can water the beds with the same solution right before planting.
From biological preparations, when planting potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, you can add “Nemabakt” or a special soil “Protection” to the soil. They contain entomopathogenic nematodes, which are also called predatory. For plants, these roundworms are not dangerous, but for insects this is a serious threat.
How to get rid of wireworm during crop growth
If spring processing did not help, you should take care of other measures.
How to get rid of a wireworm with traps
Traps will help to destroy the pest. To make them, cut a small potato in half and a large one into several pieces. Pierce each piece through with a skewer, twig or wire about 30 cm long. For an additional effect, you can soak the bait in an insecticide for a day.
Dig holes at least 10-15 cm deep near the places where the wireworm has already been seen, or just on potato, carrot and other beds. The optimal interval is about 1 meter. Place cut side down in each potato and dig in. After 2 days, dig up, prying off a clod of earth along with a trap.
In a bucket or jar, mix a liter of water and 5-6 tablespoons of salt. Shake the stick insects directly from the potatoes into the saline solution. Bury the potatoes again in the ground, only first update the cut.
There is another trap option. Between the beds, dig one or two holes about 15 cm deep. Put potato peels in them, moisten them a little with water and sprinkle with earth. After 2-3 days, dig out the trap and destroy the insects.
How to get rid of the wireworm with the help of folk remedies
In addition to traps, infusions from plants, including weeds, will also come in handy in the fight. You can cook them according to any of these recipes:
- Add 200 g of chopped dandelion roots and leaves to 10 liters of water, leave for 12 hours.
- Add 500 g of chopped nettle leaves and stalks to 10 liters of water, insist for a day.
- Add 100 g of chopped leaves and stems of celandine to 10 liters of water and leave for 2-3 days.
Strain before watering. Moisten the beds with natural remedies 3-4 times at intervals of a week and a half.
For additional protection throughout the season, you can sprinkle the beds with crushed eggshells.
What to do so that the wireworm does not appear in the garden
Prevention will also bring tangible benefits. Moreover, organizing it is not at all difficult.
The first step is to eliminate adult insects so that they cannot leave their offspring. The easiest way is to lure them into simple traps. To do this, you will need a 1.5–2 liter plastic bottle with the cap removed. Cut off the top of it. In a glass that turns out, put pieces of potatoes, carrots or beets. And then insert it into the bottom of the bottle with the neck towards the bottom. Once every few days, remove the caught insects and destroy them, and renew the bait.
The next important point is the condition of the soil. Wireworms are comfortable in an acidic environment, so every three years it is worth taking care to reduce acidity. In the fall, after you harvest, dig the beds deep and add chalk, lime, ash and other substances. The second digging can be done right before the onset of frost so that the pests die due to the low temperature. And the third is already in April-May.
After the first autumn digging, you can sow the area with mustard or other green manure so that it does not remain empty until the next spring plantings. Only in this case, it is no longer necessary to re-dig up the beds in late autumn. Re-sow mustard in early spring.
And be sure to remove weeds from your garden that the wireworm really likes. We are talking primarily about wheatgrass and wild oats.