How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific names: Limonius spp. and others
(Reviewed 1/06, updated 8/08, corrected 3/19)
In this Guideline:
Wireworms are the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles. They resemble mealworms and are slender, elongate, yellowish to brown with smooth, tough skin. The body is usually cylindrical, but flat on the lower side. There are six short legs close together near the head, and the tip of the abdomen bears a flattened plate with a pair of short hooks.
Wireworms may remain in the soil as larvae from 1 to 3 or more years, depending upon the species and the food supply.
Wireworms feed on seeds and root portions of a wide variety of plants. In corn they can destroy germinating seeds and tiny seedlings. Often the wireworm will be found near the damaged or missing seed or plant. Wireworms will also attack young plants, resulting in weakened plants or a reduced stand. Damage is most likely to occur where corn is planted into a field formerly in pasture or weedy alfalfa.
If wireworms have been a serious problem in the past, a preventive seed treatment or a treatment at planting may be necessary.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines:
Insects and Mites
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis