Wireworms are up to 40 mm long and can vary greatly in shape. They may have soft, flat, creamy-white or pale bodies with dark wedge-shaped heads and forked tooth-edged tails, or hard smooth round yellow to red-brown bodies with flattened, round or cone-shaped tails. Larvae bore into germinate seed and eat seedling roots and shoots. Adult false wireworms eat seedlings at or above ground level, ring-barking or cutting the stem. Damage is worse when crop growth is retarded by dry, wet or cool conditions. Wireworms generally favour moist areas.
- Treat the seed with a recommended seed treatment
- Suitable crop rotations may also limit increases in population number
- Sample seed beds prior to sowing
- If damage occurs after sowing, no treatment is available, other than resowing bare patches with an insecticide treatment
- Clean cultivation over summer will starve adults and larvae by exposing them to hot dry conditions, thus preventing population increases